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After I got off the train on Tuesday I attended the Seattle Mariners/Detroit Tigers true doubleheader (1 ticket - 2 games). Had a great time. The Mariners are an AL wildcard team. Yes that’s me, Die hard Cub fan in all my Mariners gear. When in Rome …….. I collect hats anyway. 😎


Good Luck in the playoffs Mariners!!!!


Amtrak facility from the stadium


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Last edited by N&W 1218

Great report on your trip'..  Many of your pics did not post.. Love to see them..  I recently rode an Amtrak Regional to Boston.. Average speed was 105 MPH.  Do you know what speeds your train traveled at.. And yes, Washington State is a very beautiful state'... I spent time at Fort Lewis in the late 70s.. I did love it in the Pacific North West.  Thanks for taking the time posting your adventure'..👍😉

After paying my respects at the cemetery, I got a tour of Cary’s childhood home. I got lucky because the apple harvest was 2 weeks late because of a cold snap in the spring.


Cary’s brother Alan on our touring vehicle


Red Delicious and they were!!!


Granny Smith bunches


One I picked


Plywood lined boxes ready to be picked up


Those same boxes in the field


Apples that are first put in a water bath


coming out of the waxer


Separated by quality


Pictures taken and then computer separated


Quality Control Station


There’s that darn machine that puts the sticker on. 😳


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Last edited by N&W 1218

Great report, Kevin.  Thanks for all the extra work you did en route.  Personally, I am happy that Amtrak and BNSF both came through with good service.  What a fortunate coincidence that you were able to watch a double header Mariners baseball game.  Even on the upper deck, a baseball game is easy to watch and always engaging.  Nothing else can equal the feeling of being in a true family of fans that Cubs games do, but the railroad running right over the wall at T-Mobile Park is a great feature!  

And you get a tip of the hat for visiting the earthly resting place and the family of your friend, Cary - a very decent thing to do.  That makes a statement about your character.

Last edited by Number 90

Thanks Tom!
I decided my adventure wouldn’t be complete without posting photos of the CIT Train club through the years.


March 2003 - L to R - Me, Jerry, Stan, Don, & Cary. This was Don’s 70th Birthday party. It’s just Don and I left today. Don will be 90 this March 1, 2023.


Cary at VTM in June 2003


Last train meeting with Cary October 1, 2003, 3 days before he passed away. Don left, Cary right.


IRM Visit L to R - Me, Jerry, Kevin Ehlers, Don, & Zach Ehlers.


RailFest 2009 L to R - Me, Zach, Don, & Kevin


Train Meeting at Don’s L to R - Back Row - Rick, Fred, Stan, Joe, Chuck, Front Row - Me, Jerry, & Don.


Breakfast before a Train Meeting over Christmas Holiday. L to R - Rick, Ron, Don, Me, Fred, & Jerry. Chuck took the photo 👍🏻


L to R - Jerry, Me, Fred, Chuck, Don, & Stan. This was the Last Train Meeting with Jerry & Stan. We lost Jerry and Stan in 2020.


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Last edited by N&W 1218
@N&W 1218 posted:

After I got off the train on Tuesday I attended the Seattle Mariners/Detroit Tigers true doubleheader (1 ticket - 2 games). Had a great time. The Mariners are an AL wildcard team. Yes that’s me, Die hard Cub fan in all my Mariners gear. When in Rome …….. I collect hats anyway. 😎


Good Luck in the playoffs Mariners!!!!

Hey Kevin, thanks for sharing your posts about the trip. As an FYI, Ron Santo, a beloved Cub and MLB hall of famer, grew up in Seattle, also Tacoma was the AAA affiliated for the Cubs in the late 1960s, so your Cub gear would not be offensive.       


I missed this thread early, but happy to catch up now. I also was at the Mariners game, as I live just across the water on Bainbridge Island.

For the last 15 years or so, I have been taking the Empire Builder from Seattle to the Izzak Walton Inn located inside Glacier Park at a stop called Essex. It is an old Great Northern bunkhouse converted into a hotel, restaurant, and bar at the edge of the BNSF yard on the westside of Mariahs Pass. For anyone traveling on the Empire Builder staying a day or two at the Izzak Walton before continuing on is worth it, lots of BNSF action and local hiking or catch an open touring car and see Glacier Park.

I often take the Portland section at Spokane where they split the Builder going home. This leg takes you through the Columbia River Gorge, also incredibly scenic like Steven's pass to the north on the Seattle to Spokane leg.  A day in Portland and catch the Starlight north to Seattle.

When you emerged from the Cascade tunnel you were only a few miles below the location of the Wellington train disaster of 1910, when 96 lost their lives; detailed in the book "The White Cascade" a real interesting read.

Anyways I wish I had known you would be hangin in Seattle I would have invited you to the Island for a scotch and railroad history conversation, thank you for the video and pics, excuse the smoke on the westside of Steven's Pass, big wildfire near Index WA.


@Number 90 posted:

We rode the Builder from St. Paul to Chicago and return a couple of years ago ...  The Engineer on the eastward trip out of LaCrosse was awful … she had to make a double stop at the short Wisconsin Dells station platform … two rough stops.  Other than poor train handling … it was a good trip.

Train handling can make the difference between an enjoyable trip and one that you regret.

Years ago I was riding a CSX/Amtrak train north out of Miami to Jacksonville. CSX had put their theater car on the rear of the train, and I was enjoying the ride back there with my host Dick Young, who was the Vice President of Passenger Services at CSX. The car had a speedometer and a gauge showing the pressure in the brake pipe.

We were rolling along at 79 mph when I felt the brakes come on - HARD. I looked at the brake pipe gauge and realized that the engineer had made what is called a “Full Service Application” of the brakes. This is the hardest you can apply the brakes without setting them to the “emergency” position. Dick noticed me looking at the gauge. He turned to me and simply said, “Watch this.”

With a full service application set, our speed was dropping fast! In railroad terms, the engineer was “drivin’ ‘em in and settin’ ‘em down.” As we slowed to below 20 mph, I saw the brake pipe pressure coming back up, and felt the brakes ease off a bit. The brake system on this train was set up for “Graduated Release” which means the engineer can gradually ease off the brakes, something you cannot do with a freight train.

A moment later we eased to to a very smooth stop with no slack action at all. It was a perfect “stretch braked” stop. A second after we stopped, I heard one only word on the radio - “Perfect.”

The stop was at Delray Beach, where the platform at the time was only 10 feet long! The engineer had to position the vestibules of the 3rd and 4th car centered on that platform. He did it perfectly, with no car length countdown from the conductor. It was, as the conductor had said on the radio, “Perfect.”

That was the most impressive demonstration of smooth and precise train handling I had ever seen.

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