i worked the dinkies soon after the BNSF merger. I enjoyed the jobs, and have many memories of the guys that I worked with. I met some interesting people on them too. I mostly worked night runs, except when I could hold the passenger extra board. We had people who commuted downtown to work overnight. Evening workers would ride home with us. I got to know many of them and their stop. Many times one of them would fall asleep. I would try to wake that person. There were no more trains if the stop was missed. One of the regulars was an editor for the Chicago Sun Times. He would ride home after finishing up the next morning's paper. He would give me his copy of it as he got off. We also had people returning from the arts or sporting events.
In my time, the F40s were just a few years old. Many of the engineers missed the E units. The whole operation was a marvel! We boasted about the best on time performance. I remember one bad snow storm. Many of the other lines had no service, or were delayed by hours. We were just a few minutes late. There were signal maintainers everywhere, just in case. The equipment was maintained very well. I used to think how crappy Amtrak was compared to BNSF. Half of Amtrak's cars had square wheels. if one developed on one of our cars, it got switched out and repaired. The crews religiously set their railroad watches every day. I have heard fellow crew members complain if some conductor gave the highball a few seconds late.
The schedule had expresses stopping at various stations. Some would just do Route 59 and Naperville. Others would do Lisle, Belmont, and Downers Grove. Still others would do the closer stations. These were usually "flips", where a job would deadhead out of Chicago to say Congress Park and pick up on the way in. A local would usually follow. The only way to really grasp the whole schedule would be to play Signal Computer Consultant's' train dispatcher simulation 3.5.