It was a very special ride indeed. When I first arrived at Union Station, I saw Judy Pardonnet (Metra Spokeswoman) and several other people gathered outside of track 10. At the end of the platform were some photographers getting pics of 401. As we were out of Union Station, the conductor made an announcement that the train was being pulled by 401, named after Oliver Tibbles, and that there is media present at the Downers Grove station and there would be a short delay.
There were people standing at Roosevelt Rd. and when the train passed under, the engineer tooted the horn. Once we got into Berwyn, there were people at just about every station platform and at the street crossings waving and taking pictures as 401 rolled by at 65 mph.
As we approached Westmont, we started slowing down for the Fairview interlocking to allow an equipment move to take place from MT1 to MT3. The engineer blew a full horn sequence as we passed the stopped train at the Fairview Station. There were a few people at that platform waving as 401 passed.
As we pulled into Downers Grove a couple of minutes early, news vans, photographers, and people alike were present to greet 401. Commuters getting off the train and people gathered stood by to look at the newly named locomotive. People applauded as 401's bell rang and the train slowly pulled away from Downers Grove. After the train passed, Judy Pardonnet talked to the media and I got a glimpse of the actual train orders for #1259. A very warm and heartwarming story and a good way for homebound commuters and everybody alike to show that people care.
401 pulled 8 cars and had cab cars 804, 8465, and 8592 as the 3 rear cars.