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Thu Mar 19, 2020, 06:00 PM

America the Beautiful - By Amtrak

Hello Again, DU'ers,

Since my prior 'Canada By Train' post was so well-received, I thought I might post some pics from a U.S. train trip.

For those interested in taking a virtual journey across the Western US, in better times my wife & I often traveled by train (and plan to do so again once the current global health crisis has passed) & thought we might share some pics from the route of Amtrak's Train #5 - 'The California Zephyr' - which runs from Chicago, Illinois to the San Francisco Bay Area.

The pics are from my website, https://northamericabyrail.info/

Stay safe & hope you enjoy!

First, a pic from onboard the California Zephyr as our train rounds a curve in the front range of the Colorado Rockies


Now from East to West:

Chicago Union Station


Onboard the California Zephyr, passing Chicago Burlington & Quincy steam locomotive on display in Galesburg, IL


A coyote somewhere in the Iowa plains


Crossing the Mississippi River at Burlington, IA


Neon sign at Denver Union Station - 'Travel by Train'


Onboard the California Zephyr approaching tunnel & flatiron rock formations in the front range of the Rockies


Passing Gross Reservoir, near Plainview, CO


Roosevelt National Forest


Fraser-Winter Park, CO


Fraser Canyon, CO, as seen from the California Zephyr


Glenwood Canyon, CO


Glenwood Springs, CO


California Zephyr at Glenwood Springs, CO


New Castle, CO


Pallisade, CO


Grand Junction Amtrak Station


Onboard the California Zephyr racing through Ruby Canyon


Ruby Canyon, CO


A herd of deer near Green River, UT


Salt Lake City nocturne with Train #5


Rolling through the desert near Elko, NV


Donner Lake - onboard the California Zephyr climbing Donner Pass


California Zephyr crossing a trestle near Emigrant Gap, CA


Rolling through the American River Valley, CA


Passing a palm tree (a big deal for Canadians like me)


Rolling under a suspension bridge over the Carquinez Strait in thick fog


Emeryville Amtrak Station


And now for some pics of the onboard accommodations:

Amtrak Sightseer Lounge Car


Roomette on Amtrak Sleeping car


Amtrak Dining Car

19 replies, 1231 views

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Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 19 replies Author Time Post
Reply America the Beautiful - By Amtrak (Original post)
Hiawatha Pete Mar 2020 OP
Nay Mar 2020 #1
Hiawatha Pete Mar 2020 #4
steventh Mar 2020 #2
Hiawatha Pete Mar 2020 #5
CaliforniaPeggy Mar 2020 #3
Hiawatha Pete Mar 2020 #6
Talitha Mar 2020 #7
Hiawatha Pete Mar 2020 #8
alfredo Mar 2020 #9
Hiawatha Pete Mar 2020 #10
alfredo Mar 2020 #11
Hiawatha Pete Mar 2020 #13
alfredo Mar 2020 #15
Callalily Mar 2020 #12
Hiawatha Pete Mar 2020 #14
mnhtnbb Mar 2020 #16
Hiawatha Pete Mar 2020 #17
mike_c Mar 2020 #18
Hiawatha Pete Mar 2020 #19

Response to Hiawatha Pete (Original post)

Thu Mar 19, 2020, 06:05 PM

1. What a trip! I love your photos. nt

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Response to Nay (Reply #1)

Thu Mar 19, 2020, 06:13 PM

4. Thanks for the compliment and for viewing my photos!

The trip comes highly recommended, no photo can compare to seeing the real thing in person. Hope to be able to do it again someday.

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Response to Hiawatha Pete (Original post)

Thu Mar 19, 2020, 06:10 PM

2. America is so beautiful.

Thanks so much for sharing these photos.

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Response to steventh (Reply #2)

Thu Mar 19, 2020, 06:48 PM

5. No problem!

It was my pleasure.

Cheers,

Pete

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Response to Hiawatha Pete (Original post)

Thu Mar 19, 2020, 06:11 PM

3. Wow, these are so good, my dear Hiawatha Pete!

Makes me want to get up and GO!

Beautiful scenery plus the train is as well! You are an excellent photographer!

Glad you're posting!

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Response to CaliforniaPeggy (Reply #3)

Thu Mar 19, 2020, 06:59 PM

6. Thank you for the compliments!

I enjoyed posting them. The fact that the scenery out West is simply phenomenal certainly helps. Seems like almost anywhere you point a camera, you've got a picture! This was also the first time I ever visited California, BTW.



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Response to Hiawatha Pete (Original post)

Thu Mar 19, 2020, 08:00 PM

7. Thank you so much... all are fantastic - but Ruby Canyon, oh my!

And Chicago's Union Station.... I was there twice a day for many years.

Your website has been bookmarked, and I'll also send the link to a neighbor who LOVES travelling by train. No doubt he'll recognize things.

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Response to Talitha (Reply #7)

Thu Mar 19, 2020, 10:45 PM

8. Thanks for checking out my pics!

Ruby Canyon is definitely one of my favorite parts of the trip. Pics don't do justice to the real thing. It was such an exhilarating experience speeding along the Colorado river through the canyon, all I could think of afterwards was ... Wow!

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Response to Hiawatha Pete (Original post)

Thu Mar 19, 2020, 11:46 PM

9. What a great way to travel the country. Wonderful photos

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Response to alfredo (Reply #9)

Thu Mar 19, 2020, 11:53 PM

10. Thank You!

It is a great way to travel.

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Response to Hiawatha Pete (Reply #10)

Fri Mar 20, 2020, 12:31 AM

11. I was thinking about the food?

Is it still good?

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Response to alfredo (Reply #11)

Fri Mar 20, 2020, 08:47 AM

13. Yes,

All of the Western long distance trains (like the Zephyr) still have dining cars & we found the food to be excellent:





Unfortunately on the Eastern long distance trains the diner has been replaced with in-room meal service - heated from frozen storage.
However if they're like the heated meals available in the cafe-lounge cars found on those trains, then that still would not be a deal-breaker for me anyway.

Cheers,

Pete


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Response to Hiawatha Pete (Reply #13)

Fri Mar 20, 2020, 11:25 AM

15. The presentation alone speaks well of their food.

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Response to Hiawatha Pete (Original post)

Fri Mar 20, 2020, 08:37 AM

12. Thanks for taking us along on your trip.

Your photos are fantastic.

A train trip is moving farther up my "things to do" list.

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Response to Callalily (Reply #12)

Fri Mar 20, 2020, 09:08 AM

14. Thank You!

I'm flattered! Likewise we certainly hope to be able to do that trip again sometime.

It's been my pleasure to share the experience, as much as is possible through photos.

Cheers,

Pete

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Response to Hiawatha Pete (Original post)

Sat Mar 21, 2020, 06:07 AM

16. Thanks for the trip!

I love traveling by train. Been doing it since I was a kid in the late 50's and early 60's. My dad did not like flying, so we rode the 20th Century Limited and the Santa Fe Super Chief when we'd go to visit grandparents in California from where we I grew up in NJ.

As an adult, I've ridden the Coast Starlight from Los Angeles to Seattle, made the Canada by rail trip from Toronto to Vancouver, taken advantage of fast trains in Europe, and ridden trains from where I live now in NC north to Washington DC and NYC, and south to Charleston.

I just love train travel. Thanks for posting photos of your trip!

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Response to mnhtnbb (Reply #16)

Sat Mar 21, 2020, 11:35 AM

17. Thanks! Always a pleasure to meet a fellow rail travel aficionado!

I'm envious that you got to ride the original 20th Century Ltd and Super Chief!

I've been on the Lakeshore Ltd and Southwest Chief which of course are Amtrak's version of the 'Century' and the 'Chief' respectively, so at least I got to experience the routes if not the original rolling stock & equipment.

In 2012 we rode the 'Grand Canyon Limited' steam special from Los Angeles, CA to Williams, AZ to visit the Grand Canyon. The train had the Santa Fe 3751 steam locomotive pulling fourteen 1940's & 50's vintage passenger cars. As close as I'll get to having a time machine..

Thanks again for checking out my pics!

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Response to Hiawatha Pete (Original post)

Sat Mar 21, 2020, 11:12 PM

18. Oh my goodness I have meant to ride that train for years.

I haven't yet. What great images!

My family used to travel by train a lot, when I was a kid. The last time I road a train I traveled from Alexandria, Virginia to Chicago, 40-ish years ago. It was an overnight trip so I booked a sleeper compartment. There was a loose screw or some other fitting in the compartment that vibrated all night long at the precise tone and volume as my alarm clock. No sleep for me!

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Response to mike_c (Reply #18)

Sat Mar 21, 2020, 11:46 PM

19. Yikes!

Last edited Sun Mar 22, 2020, 08:22 AM - Edit history (2)

My belated sympathies about that sub-par experience you had on the train back in the day. What an interesting story, though!

Before Amtrak was created in 1971, many railroads did everything they could to get out of the passenger business & would often defer any maintenance not deemed "safety-critical". As a result Amtrak inherited a lot of equipment-related issues that they struggled with in their early years when they took over the passenger service.

To their credit though, Amtrak did upgrade the service over time & eventually got new rolling stock to replace their old 'heritage fleet'. I've traveled about 100,000 miles cumulatively on Amtrak and VIA Rail and have had only very good experiences onboard.

Thanks for the compliment BTW!

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