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Views from Texas Eagle


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#1 cpotisch

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Posted 23 September 2017 - 05:43 PM

Hello everybody!

I just booked a February trip with my dad from Pomona to New York City via Eagle #422 and LSL #48. I was wondering what the best scenery will be on the Sunset/Eagle so I know when to be in the SSL or bottom bunk of our roomette (for the window). Obviously the Eagle is not Amtrak's prettiest train, but I've been wanting to take it for a while and know that it's not all ugly.

Thanks in advance for your help!


Routes Traveled: Silver Meteor, Silver Star, CrescentLake Shore LimitedCalifornia Zephyr, Sunset Limited, Texas EagleEthan Allen Express, Empire Service, Maple Leaf, AdirondackAcela Express, Northeast RegionalKeystone Service, Downeaster w/ Great Dome
 
Wish List: Auto Train, Cardinal, CONO, Empire Builder, Southwest Chief, Crescent (overnight), Adirondack w/ Great Dome


#2 PVD

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Posted 23 September 2017 - 06:07 PM

http://www.amtrak.co...ute-Guide,0.pdf
 
this is a start  (I hope)
been a while for me, but I'll be on it again in about 6 weeks

Edited by the_traveler, 23 September 2017 - 06:27 PM.
Corrected link


#3 Lonestar648

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Posted 23 September 2017 - 07:13 PM

Going East near the NM/AZ border are some great rock formations, but you will desert mountains all day.  You can note how the landscape changes as you approach Texas and in Texas, though dry, there is more green and some great formations.  Morning of Day 2 you will be backing out of San Antonio, so you will be up close to the Alamodome and have the city and the Tower in view for nice photos.  You will cross the river as you enter Austin with come crew boats training, and lots more.Between Austin and Ft. Worth is Texas ranch lands.  Look for the lone Texas Live Oaks standing majestically in the acreage. Each tree is different in shape because they grow so slowly.  FTW and DAL are the big cities.  Leaving DAL you are heading towards the more and more trees as you near East Texas. In the morning, you will be in STL.  Crossing the Mississippi look for the arch and the city, and the river itself. Now you have Illinois, mostly flat farm land.  You will parallel I-55 from Springfield to south of Joliet.  After Joliet, keep you eye peeled for views of Chicago.  Though some find the 421/422 route almost boring, I do not.  In fact I find every route interesting and having something new each time I travel on them.  I have the curtains open at night to catch the stars, the little towns, the artistic displays of light through the trees from artificial light or the moonlight.

 

Have a great trip.  Though we have been on this route many times, we took over 100 photos.  Somethings were similar but the light different.  



#4 niemi24s

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Posted 23 September 2017 - 07:50 PM

Follow along the route on Google Earth and see for yourself.  For the names of things along the way, doing the same using scrollable topographic maps like these... http://www.mytopo.com/maps/  ...will provide more information than you can shake a stick at.



#5 cpotisch

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Posted 23 September 2017 - 08:14 PM

Thank you so much!


Routes Traveled: Silver Meteor, Silver Star, CrescentLake Shore LimitedCalifornia Zephyr, Sunset Limited, Texas EagleEthan Allen Express, Empire Service, Maple Leaf, AdirondackAcela Express, Northeast RegionalKeystone Service, Downeaster w/ Great Dome
 
Wish List: Auto Train, Cardinal, CONO, Empire Builder, Southwest Chief, Crescent (overnight), Adirondack w/ Great Dome


#6 FrensicPic

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Posted 24 September 2017 - 10:59 AM

Here's some shots from our trip in to DC in 2015...

this is the Maricopa to about El Paso portion ...

https://flic.kr/s/aHskqw5XH7

 

and San Antonio to Chicago ...

https://flic.kr/s/aHsknRZrzQ


John...

29,076 miles on the Coast Starlight, Sunset Limited, Texas Eagle, Southwest Chief, Empire Builder, California Zephyr and Capitol Limited.

5540 miles booked for this fall on the Sunset Limited, City of New Orleans, Illini/Saluki, Southwest Chief.

More miles on the Pacific Surfliner, Metrolink, White Pass and Yukon Route, Grand Canyon Railway, Napa Valley Wine Train, Fillmore and Western and private railcars with LARail.com

Photos: http://www.flickr.co...rensicpic/sets/


#7 KmH

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Posted 24 September 2017 - 02:20 PM

In the morning between Maricopa and Tucson you will pass Picacho Peak. It will be on the right side of the train.
For most of the morning (as far a Benson) you will be in the Sonoran Desert and a part of the Southwestern US known for it's Basin & Range topography.
 
Soon after Picacho Peak you will see the Tortolita Mountains out the left side of the TE. Across the basin towards the south you will see the north side of the Santa Catalina Mountains, part of the Coronado National Forest.
 
Tucson, a fresh air/smoke/service stop lies in a basin surrounded on the NE by the south side of the Santa Catalina Mountains, the Rincon Mountains to the east, Tucson Mountains to the west, and the Santa Rita Mountains to the south.
 
Tucson is in many ways the astronomy center of the USA. Many of the mountains in the region are home to Astronomical telescopes because of the dry conditions and high number of clear nights.
There are several telescopes on Mt. Lemmon, the highest part of the Santa Catalina Mountains @ 9157 feet. Just below where the telescopes are is the southern most ski area in the US.
The Fred Whipple Observatory is on Mt. Hopkins in the Santa Rita Mountains and while we can't see it from the train Kitt Peak National Observatory is some 40 miles west of Tucson in the Quinlan Mountains on the Tohono O'odham Nation.
 
16 miles south of Tucson your train will take one of 2 the sets of track. With luck it will take the eastern set along the riparian zone of Ciénega Creek. Some 8 miles after the 2 tracks veer away from each other they cross at the Ciénega Creek Bridge near Marsh Station Rd.
 
When the tracks rejoin I-10 if you look out the right side on the other side of I-10 you can see part of a long line (3.5 miles long on Google maps) of stored UP locomotives. I see Google maps has blacked out the locomotives since the last time I looked at them.
 
Shortly you will start descending into the San Pedro Valley and for a short stop in Benson. We are now in the northern reaches of the Chihuahuan Desert. From here to the New Mexico border will will also be surrounded by the Madrean Sky Islands. Leaving Benson we climb out of the valley and ascend into the Dragoon Mountains.

 

We then descend past the south end of the Gunnison Hills towards the Sulphur Springs Valley. At the edge of the valley we cross the NW part of the Willcox Playa. For the next 15 mi or so, out the left side of the train we can see Mt Graham (Pinaleño Mountains) and the dome of the Large Binocular Telescope .
 
Leaving Sulphur Springs Valley the Dos Cabezas Mountains will be on the right. The next valley (basin) we cross is the San Simon Valley that delivers us to the Peloncillo Mountains where we cross the AZ-NM border near Steins Mountain. Next we cross the Animas Valley and there are sinks out the left side of the train and we stop briefly in Lordsburg.

 

30 miles out of Lordsburg the tracks cross the Continental Divide (Alt 4564 ft). You'll know you are there when you get to the I-10 interchange 2.6 miles past the I-10 rest area on the right side of the train.

 

22 to 23 miles after Deming the train crosses under I-10 and takes a more direct route towards El Paso than I-10 does. A further 23 miles puts the train adjacent to the Arden Lava Flows. 20 miles further Union Pacific has built themselves a new intermodial rail yard near Santa Teresa, NM.

12 miles after the new yard the train will be quite close (as close as 30 feet if on the right tracks) to the US/Mexico border. 2.5 miles or so later we cross the Rio Grande River into Texas on the outskirts of El Paso. El Paso is also a fresh air/smoke stop.

 

The Texas Eagle/Sunset Limited rails along between I-10 and the US/Mexico border until it veers away from both near small, unincorporated, McNary, TX .

 

The train rejoins I-10 about where the ICE has a checkpoint on I-10 (Etholen, TX).

Five miles on we go under I-10 at Sierra Blanca and take a more direct route for 36 miles  to join US-90 and the Lobo Valley & Ryan Flat. 11 or so miles later the train starts a 40 mi straight run with no curves. 

 

The next town of appreciable size is Marfa, where car headlights on mountains in the distance are said to be alien spacecraft visiting Earth. If it is dark by then maybe you'll get to see some 'aliens' too.


Edited by KmH, 25 September 2017 - 01:12 PM.

California Zephyr • Coast Starlight  • Southwest Chief • Sunset Limited • Texas Eagle • Illinois Zephyr • Capitol Corridor

. . . . Amtrak miles - 23,703, so far.


#8 cpotisch

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Posted 25 September 2017 - 03:53 AM

In the morning between Maricopa and Tucson you will pass Picacho Peak. It will be on the right side of the train.
For most of the morning (as far a Benson) you will be in the Sonoran Desert and a part of the Southwestern US known for it's Basin & Range topography.
 
Soon after Picacho Peak you will see the Tortolita Mountains out the left side of the TE south. Across the basin towards the south you will see the north side of the Santa Catalina Mountains, part of the Coronado National Forest.
 
Tucson, a fresh air/smoke,service stop, lies in a basin surrounded on the NE by the south side of the Santa Catalina Mountains, the Rincon Mountains to the east, Tucson Mountains to the west, and the Santa Rita Mountains to the south.
 
Tucson is in many ways the astronomy center of the USA. Many of the mountains in the region are home to Astronomical telescopes because of the dry conditions and high number of clear nights.
There are several telescopes on Mt. Lemmon, the highest part of the Santa Catalina Mountains @ 9157 feet. Just below where the telescopes are is the southern most ski area in the US.
The Fred Whipple Observatory is on Mt. Hopkins in the Santa Rita Mountains and while we can't see it from the train Kitt Peak National Observatory is some 40 miles west of Tucson in the Quinlan Mountains on the <a data-ipb="nomediaparse" data-cke-saved-href="https://en.wikipedia.../wiki/Tohono_O"href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tohono_O" odham_nation"="">Tohono O'odham Nation.
 
16 miles south of Tucson your train will take one of 2 the sets of track. With luck it will take the eastern set along the riparian zone of Ciénega Creek. Some 8 miles after the 2 tracks veer away from each other they cross at the Ciénega Creek Bridge near Marsh Station Rd.
 
When the tracks rejoin I-10 if you look out the right side on the other side of I-10 you can see part of a long line (3.5 miles long on Google maps) of stored UP locomotives. I see Google maps has blacked out the locomotives since the last time I looked at them.
 
Shortly you will start descending into the San Pedro Valley and for a short stop in Benson. We are now in the northern reaches of the Chihuahuan Desert. From here to the New Mexico border will will also be surrounded by the Madrean Sky Islands. Leaving Benson we climb out of the valley and ascend into the Dragoon Mountains.

 

We then descend past the south end of the Gunnison Hills towards the Sulphur Springs Valley. At the edge of the valley we cross the NW part of the Willcox Playa. For the next 15 mi or so, out the left side of the train we can see Mt Graham (Pinaleño Mountains) and the dome of the Large Binocular Telescope .
 
Leaving Sulphur Springs Valley the Dos Cabezas Mountains will be on the right. The next valley (basin) we cross is the San Simon Valley that delivers us to the Peloncillo Mountains where we cross the AZ-NM border near Steins Mountain. Next we cross the Animas Valley and there are sinks out the left side of the train and we stop briefly in Lordsburg.

 

30 miles out of Lordsburg the tracks cross the Continental Divide (Alt 4564 ft). You'll know you are there when you get to the I-10 interchange 2.6 miles past the I-10 rest area on the right side of the train.

 

22 to 23 miles after Deming the train crosses under I-10 and takes a more direct route towards El Paso than I-10 does. A further 23 miles puts the train adjacent to the Arden Lava Flows. 20 miles further Union Pacific has built themselves a new intermodial rail yard near Santa Teresa, NM.

12 miles after the new yard the train will be quite close (as close as 30 feet if on the right tracks) to the US/Mexico border. 2.5 miles or so later we cross the Rio Grande River into Texas on the outskirts of El Paso. El Paso is also a fresh air/smoke stop.

 

The Texas Eagle/Sunset Limited rails along between I-10 and the US/Mexico border until it veers away from both near small, unincorporated, McNary, TX .

 

The train rejoins I-10 about where the ICE has a checkpoint on I-10 (Etholen, TX).

Five miles on we go under I-10 at Sierra Blanca and take a more direct route for 36 miles  to join US-90 and the Lobo Valley & Ryan Flat. 11 or so miles later the train starts a 40 mi straight run with no curves. 

 

The next town of appreciable size is Marfa, where car headlights on mountains in the distance are said to be alien spacecraft visiting Earth. If it is dark by then maybe you'll get to see some 'aliens' too.

 

Thank you so so much! This is super helpful! :D


Routes Traveled: Silver Meteor, Silver Star, CrescentLake Shore LimitedCalifornia Zephyr, Sunset Limited, Texas EagleEthan Allen Express, Empire Service, Maple Leaf, AdirondackAcela Express, Northeast RegionalKeystone Service, Downeaster w/ Great Dome
 
Wish List: Auto Train, Cardinal, CONO, Empire Builder, Southwest Chief, Crescent (overnight), Adirondack w/ Great Dome


#9 Bob Dylan

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Posted 25 September 2017 - 04:43 AM

One addition to KmH's very good post:

After Marfa you'll go thru Paisano Pass, the Highest point on the Sunset Route between LA and New Orleans, and then have a Fresh Air/Smoke stop @ the Mountain Town of Alpine, place of my birth and where I caught my first LD Train in 1945 (SP's Sunset Ltd.) Heading for McCook,Nebraska with my mom to visit my dad before he left for the Pacific in WWII.

If time allows,( Alpine is a Crew change spot for the T&E Crew) visit the Historic small Station (ex SP) with its murals inside and step across the street to take a quick look @ the nicely restored Holland Hotel, an old Railroad Hotel.

Edited by Bob Dylan, 25 September 2017 - 01:23 PM.

"There's Something About a Train! It's Magic!"-- 1970s Amtrak Ad
 "..My heart is warm with the friends I make,and better friends I'll not be knowing,
Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,No matter where its going!.." -Edna St. Vincent Millay

#10 KmH

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Posted 25 September 2017 - 01:04 PM

Paisano Pass is at 5067 feet.

 

And the lowest point on the Sunset Limted/Texas Eagle route, some 215 below sea level, lowest of any Amtrak route, is along the east shore of the Salton Sea where the tracks cross Salt Creek a mile or so past Ferrum.

Ferrum is where the now abandoned rail line from the Eagle Mountain iron mine, defunct since the 1980s, some 12 mi north of desert Center, CA used to join the UP tracks.


California Zephyr • Coast Starlight  • Southwest Chief • Sunset Limited • Texas Eagle • Illinois Zephyr • Capitol Corridor

. . . . Amtrak miles - 23,703, so far.


#11 cpotisch

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Posted 25 September 2017 - 05:45 PM

Now that the TE has an SSL and CCC, are the 3-person booths and lack of tablecloths the only disadvantages of the CCC to a regular diner?


Routes Traveled: Silver Meteor, Silver Star, CrescentLake Shore LimitedCalifornia Zephyr, Sunset Limited, Texas EagleEthan Allen Express, Empire Service, Maple Leaf, AdirondackAcela Express, Northeast RegionalKeystone Service, Downeaster w/ Great Dome
 
Wish List: Auto Train, Cardinal, CONO, Empire Builder, Southwest Chief, Crescent (overnight), Adirondack w/ Great Dome


#12 OlympianHiawatha

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Posted 25 September 2017 - 06:47 PM

Now that the TE has an SSL and CCC, are the 3-person booths and lack of tablecloths the only disadvantages of the CCC to a regular diner?

 

The 3 seats booths are long gone, replaced with the traditional 4-tops.  The only problem is the aisle end of the table scallops in, leaving a larger than normal gap between edge of table and lap for the aisle seats.



#13 cpotisch

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Posted 25 September 2017 - 06:56 PM

 

Now that the TE has an SSL and CCC, are the 3-person booths and lack of tablecloths the only disadvantages of the CCC to a regular diner?

 

The 3 seats booths are long gone, replaced with the traditional 4-tops.  The only problem is the aisle end of the table scallops in, leaving a larger than normal gap between edge of table and lap for the aisle seats.

 

 

How long ago did they ditch the 3-seat booths? Well, good riddance.


Routes Traveled: Silver Meteor, Silver Star, CrescentLake Shore LimitedCalifornia Zephyr, Sunset Limited, Texas EagleEthan Allen Express, Empire Service, Maple Leaf, AdirondackAcela Express, Northeast RegionalKeystone Service, Downeaster w/ Great Dome
 
Wish List: Auto Train, Cardinal, CONO, Empire Builder, Southwest Chief, Crescent (overnight), Adirondack w/ Great Dome


#14 Rail Freak

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Posted 26 September 2017 - 09:50 AM

Getting back to the views, I got a couple of good photos of Dealey Plaza in Dallas on the TE!


A Rookie No More! But Still A Lot Of Track To Travel !!!
Silver Meteor #97(6) & #98 (4), Silver Star #91 (2), Capitol Limited #29 & #30(6), Empire Builder #7,#8,#27(2) &#28(4) Coast Starlight #11 (6) & #14(5), California Zephyr #5 (2) & #6 (5), Cascades #506, City of New Orleans #58, #59 (2), South West Chief #3 (4), Lake Shore Limited #49, Maple Leaf #63, San Joaquin #714, Pacific Surfliner #774, Texas Eagle #422 (2), Cardinal #50, Crescent #19, Sunset Limited #1. Approx. 60,169 miles & 41 states!

 





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