Rather embarrassing to have to admit – but I had no clue Amtrak Beech Grove 10001 and Pacific Cape 10021 business cars were on back of Lincoln Service 305 on October 1st 2015. This is actually funny for two reasons – one I clearly was recording train when it arrived in Springfield Illinois. Second reason is – I was going to St Louis a day early to hopefully record Beech Grove and other privately owned rail cars.
I knew President and CEO of Amtrak Joe Boardman was speaking at American Association of Private Railroad Car Owners Inc. – AAPRCO 2015 St Louis Convention. That meant there was a good chance I’d have a shot at recording Beech Grove – Amtrak’s private car for it’s CEO and other higher ups. I figured Beech Grove would come down on Texas Eagle – not an Illinois Regional Lincoln Service. Obviously I was wrong.
Lincoln Service 305 was running an hour late – I was in a hurry to get boarded. So once I saw Business Class was in front of train I took off in that direction. Not bothering to look behind me – because I expected I’d just see coach cars. If I would have glanced that direction I would have seen Amtrak Beech Grove 10001 and Pacific Cape 10021.
When I de-boarded train in Alton Illinois to avoid St Louis roller coaster – again I didn’t look behind me. Luckily as we heading for underpass I saw back of Beech Grove heading over bridge. You can’t begin to imagine my amount of aggravation inside the car that night. As we headed down highway – Lincoln Service caught up with us – I thought it would be ahead. My driver decided to chase instead of pull over where there was light. So once again I missed a shot.
Finally get to St Louis – get checked into hotel and mad dash to MetroLink. Since they were doing late night track maintenance – it took ages for me to catch one of the last trains. Video shows a very quick glimpse of Beech Grove from inside MetroLink car as we pulled into Gateway Station.
Luck was on my side that night – Beech Grove was still in station when I got there. Not happy with all my shots. I couldn’t get camera to focus in on backend logo. Took a long walk to bridge over yard to try and get better recordings. If I had gone down to employee drive I could have gotten much better quality. Didn’t want any early morning drama. No valid ticket to head to platforms etc. Didn’t think I could sneak over when 307 came in.
Next day I went back to Gateway Station and St Louis Union Station and I saw no signs of Amtrak Beech Grove, Pacific Cape. Figured Mr. Boardman did his morning presentation and headed back to Washington DC or another event. Yes I glanced towards yard area – saw nothing.
Only later did I find out I was wrong. Someone in Springfield Illinois saw both cars on back of Lincoln Service 302 a few days later. I was on 306 = so they weren’t hiding in plain sight again on me.
If you look at my previous video of Beech Grove in Chicago Union Station – you will see it now has a new paint scheme. I’m guessing I saw it as it was heading to get it’s makeover. I had never recorded either Beech Grove or Pacific Cape – when I did – I got different paint schemes about 30 days apart. I only knew about paint job – do to Eastcoast railfans discussing it. Didn’t think I’d get a chance to record this change any time soon – turns out I was pleasantly wrong.
“‘When I saw them, they were heading North on 302.”
I’m assuming since both have new paint jobs just a month after I recorded video linked above – that both were headed to Amtrak Beech Grove Indiana maintenance facility from Chicago for a makeover.
#10021 Pacific Cape, a heritage Pacific-series 10-6 sleeper now converted for crew use. It is usually used along with the Beech Grove for official business by the Amtrak president and other VIPs. List of Amtrak rolling stock Business cars