Have you been on a train lately, 2014? Reprise.

I had so much fun on Amtrak

The Amtrak Southwest Chief runs daily between Chicago and Los Angeles, through the vast expanse of the fabled American West.

imgres I decided to take my wife this time. It is August 2014. Our first time Westbound. We decided to visit our son in Los Angeles. We took the Missouri River Runner to Kansas City and then changed to the Southwest Chief with direct service to Los Angeles.  A 42 hour trip in all, following the route of the  Atchison Topeka and Santé Fe, with stops in Albuquerque, Flagstaff, Barstow and San Bernardino. The Missouri River Runner  follows the Missouri river through Jefferson City, the state capital to Kansas City.amk34images Continue reading

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More trains Calif Zephyr 2010 and Sunset Limited 2010 Texas Eagle

English: Union Station (Los Angeles)

English: Union Station (Los Angeles) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Map of El Paso

Map of El Paso (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: El Paso Skyline from the north.

English: El Paso Skyline from the north. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

El Paso Museum of history, El Paso, Texas

El Paso Museum of history, El Paso, Texas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

El Paso, Texas in 1886. Bird's Eye View of El ...

El Paso, Texas in 1886. Bird’s Eye View of El Paso, El Paso County Texas, 1886. Lithograph, 20 x 30 in. Lithographer unknown. Private Collection. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

University of Nevada, Reno

University of Nevada, Reno (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Downtown Reno, including the city's famous arc...

Downtown Reno, including the city’s famous arch over Virginia Street at night. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Donner Pass : California Zephyr

Donner Pass : California Zephyr (Photo credit: Loco Steve)

English: lobby of Union Station in Los Angeles

English: lobby of Union Station in Los Angeles (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: The abandoned Track #1 CPRR/SPRR/UPRR...

English: The abandoned Track #1 CPRR/SPRR/UPRR railroad grade over Donner Pass. (2003) ©2003-2007 DigitalImageServices.comhttp://digitalimageservices.com (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Donner pass Ca.

Donner pass Ca. (Photo credit: Loco Steve)

donner pass scenic overlook

donner pass scenic overlook (Photo credit: Slideshow Bruce)

I presented my paper at the ACS national meeting in San Francisco. Although I flew out I decide to reduce my carbon footprint and take the train back to St. Louis. Although I had ridden the train in Europe many times, it was my first overnight trip in the States. I was excited.

The California Zephyr leaves from Emeryville between Oakland and Berkeley Calif. It takes 48 hours. For the first hour the train hugs the eastern shore of San Francisco Bay. We cross the Sierra Nevada during  March the Donner Pass was still covered in snow.

Reno  The trip through the desert was fascinating. It was just light enough to see something. The best part of travel on the train is the people you meet. The Zephyr goes thorough Salt Lake, Denver, Omaha, and Iowa.

Crossing the Missouri the Mississippi Rivers in the same day. There was one glitch, the train doesn’t go to St. Louis. I got off in Galesburg where my kind wife was waiting for me. We drove back on Route 61 and back home after a stop in Hannibal. A very worthwhile trip.

Three days in a train I took the train twice that year

My daughter and I drove my son out to LA to graduate school at UCLA. Marion had heard about my trip on the Calif Zephyr. She wanted to try the train herself. I was reluctant at first, but she talked me into it. It turned out to be a great idea.

Official seal of City of El Paso

Official seal of City of El Paso (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The train from LA to St Louis takes three days with an over night stay in San  Antonio. Although the Southwest Chief was shorter, we opted for the more southern route hugging the border with Mexico Sunset Limited as we had stopped at the Grand Canyon on the way out. We boarded the train in Los Angeles Union Station in the afternoon. The first stop is Pomona then Yuma. After a brief trip through Tucson and New Mexico we spent the next three days  in Texas including El Paso, the Alamo, Austin and Dallas. Yes, it really is a big state. After three days we arrived home in St. Louis. The train continued on to Chicago. With the addition of an additional wagon. Trains are popular now.

Reno

Reno (Photo credit: ChrisYunker)