APRHF President and Treasurer Check out the South Shore With the Rail Rangers!!

SS Logo

“Why are we getting up this early?” was the question when the alarm went off at 5:30 am. Oh yes, it is South Shore train ride day! That made getting up early much more bearable. It was not long before the Chicago Coordinators Robert and Kandace Tabern showed up at the hotel to pick us up and whisk us off to Millennium Station. Not our first visit there, but our first time to actually ride the South Shore. It was also our first time to review the South Shore program that the Rail Rangers do on select weekends. Once we boarded the train, Robert put out the speakers while Kandace got the scripts and props ready and Steve got the microphone ready.

speaker placement
Our wireless speaker system is very handy for use on these programs since they take up hardly any space.

mic check
Almost ready for sound check.¬†Check 1, 2, 3… We are ready to go!

It is now time to wait for departure. A few people came right to the car because they read about the program online. One of our newest APRHF members, Keith Thomas, joined us all the way from Milwaukee. He takes a seat and gets ready for his first ride on the South Shore, too.

All Aboard! And we are off. The Rail Rangers program is announced on the train and passengers are told which car it is in if they want to join. Soon the car was full. Steve is doing the route to South Bend, Indiana this morning.

steve talking
Rail Rangers Guide Steve is giving some details about some of the city parks that are being passed while we are leaving Chicago.

The route miles are rolling by and people are having a good time listening to the program and reading their handouts.

questions
Robert Tabern is seen here answering a passengers questions about the route.

Beverly Shores station is a flag stop along the route. It boasts a unique style of architecture for this area.
Beverly Shores

Before we know it, Michigan City is upon us. This is the Headquarters for the South Shore Railroad. Michigan City is known for having the last street running for an interurban railroad. It sure is fun rolling down the middle of the street. They of course have a yard with equipment and everyone was enjoying spying the caboose. Sorry no picture, mine was blurry.

Here is the old Michigan City station. This area is still served, just a little farther down the road.

MC station
It is hard to get a full shot of the station from the middle of the street.

There was an ad car in the yard (pic 1). Got a clean view of the pantographs up on some equipment (pic 2). All the South Shore trains originate in Michigan City.
ad car

pant up

After Michigan City, it is back on the fast track as we roll on to South Bend Airport with a carload of passengers continuing to learn about the route and the neat things that we are passing.

Next up, South Bend Airport. We made it! All passengers detrain and this give us time for some lunch and some conversation with the crew and each other. The food in the airport was good. They had some cool snacks. The Bar Fly is the name of the cafe.

south bend airport
Here is our train at the Airport Station.

Lunch is over and it is time to head back to Chicago. Robert and Kandace will be narrating the route back home. A side note is each guide does the route differently, that way you do not hear the same stories both ways.
RT
Robert telling us all about the view out the window of the train.

KT
As evidenced by the view outside the window, we are rolling right along as Kandace tells us about some upcoming sights. The GPS is on cue right beside her.

BC
I even got to have some mic time.

We had a nice ride back to Chicago and Keith didn’t fall asleep, so I guess we all did good. It was fun visiting with the passengers and listening to the program as we rolled across Illinois and Indiana. All to soon, we were at the bumping post in Millennium Station.

Stars
Here are the stars of the program from our day. Robert Tabern, Kandace Tabern, Steve Snyder, and the South Shore Line.

SS
A neat perspective down the platform.

The Rail Rangers are an outreach of the American Passenger Rail Heritage Foundation. They do interpretive narration on private rail car tours and this South Shore program. To go on a trip with them or get your own route guide, check out the links below.

Rail Rangers

Outside the Rails

APRHFstore.com

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