The action includes vista-dome and trackside views on the route from Chicago to St. Paul, including Aurora, Oregon, Savanna, LaCrosse and the Mississippi River. Features the "Twin Zephyrs", "North Coast Limited", "Empire Builder", "Denver Zephyr", "California Zephyr and other trains. Concluding musical epilogue along the Mississippi River in the week before the Amtrak takeover. Chapters include:
Chicago: Illinois Central passenger trains at Central Station, scenes taken from the YMCA Hotel roof. Dearborn Station and the Santa Fe, C&WI, C&EI. Rear view from "Danville Flyer" on the C&WI. "James Whitcomb Riley" rear view on the IC.
Chicago & Eastern Illinois: "Danville Flyer" at Danville and Hoopeston.
Chicago, South Shore and South Bend: Michigan City Shops in July, 1972.
Great Northern and BN: "Dakotan" and hi-rail car at Alexandria, MN in 1969, "Empire Builder" trip in Washington and Montana in June, 1970.
Lafayette, IN: Penn Central (NYC) "James Whitcomb Riley" and "Indianapolis Special" in Lafayette and West Lafayette, Norfolk & Western "Wabash Cannonball" at Lafayette and onboard to Danville, IL. Monon & N&W (NKP) through freights.
Monon: "Thoroughbred" in Crawfordsville and to Chicago
Milwaukee Road: Aboard the "Morning Hiawatha" from Chicago to St. Paul in December, 1968. Freight at Dundas, MN. Passenger trains in Northern Illinois.
Northern Pacific: With the hostler at Northtown Roundhouse. Cab ride on the "Mainstreeter" from St. Paul, and "North Coast Limited" in Glendive, Montana, August, 1966. Winter trip on "North Coast Limited" in 1967.
Northfield, MN: Milwaukee Road F-units at MN&S yard, Rock Island "Twin Star Rocket" and "Zephyr Rocket" in Northfield and Dundas. Cab rides on the MN&S from Northfield to Randolph over the Chicago Great Western. Brief shot of CGW RS-2. Milwaukee Road, MN&S, and Rock Island freight activity.
Peoria & Eastern: P&E (NYC) freight trains in Crawfordsville, IN.
St. Paul: Special feature on St. Paul Union Depot trains and area, with morning trains in summer of 1964 and July, 1966, during an airline strike. Mainline activity on summer evenings at Dayton' s Bluff and Newport, Minnesota in 1968. MILW, RI, BN, and C&NW freight trains at Dayton' s Bluff & Pigs Eye in 1972.
Early Amtrak: Trip on Milwaukee Road-BN "Empire Builder" from Chicago to Minneapolis in summer of 1971, and from Red Wing south in 1972. Western Avenue interlocking and Union Station in Chicago. "San Francisco Zephyr" and "Illinois Zephyr" at Mendota, IL in 1971-72. BN, ATSF, and PC at Chicago Union Station.