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Southwest Chief vs Texas Eagle


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#21 Chey

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 10:21 PM

I like both of them - being smack in the middle between Lamy and Fort Worth, and preferring the drive to Lamy, I have a slight preference for the SWC but it's usually more expensive going east.

#22 zephyr17

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 01:18 PM

 

. . . I can't seem to bring myself to forgo a ride on the Southwest Chief in favor of the Texas Eagle, especially because I can't imagine the scenary being a draw, having spent a reasonable amount of time in Dallas area.

But for a guy who lives deep in the woods just south of Lake Superior, the following scene from the Texas Eagle was absolutely mesmerizing:

 

attachicon.gifIMG_1258a.JPG

 

Miles and miles of miles and miles, someone said.  It may be ho-hum for you, but for me it was - WOW!  

 

To each his own...picture just reinforced my "meh".


Pre Amtrak: SP Coast Daylight, AT&SF San Diegan, AT&SF Super Chief, D&RGW Rio Grande Zephyr; Amtrak: Southwest Limited/Chief, San Diegan/Pacific Surfliner, San Joaquin, Cascades, California/San Francisco Zephyr, Coast Starlight, Empire Builder, Sunset Limited (LA-ORL), Desert Wind, Pioneer, City of New Orleans, Silver Star, Silver Meteor, Lake Shore Limited (NY Section), Cardinal, Hoosier State (Amtrak),  Hoosier State (Iowa Pacific), Ann Rutledge, Adirondack, Maple Leaf, NE Regional, Capitol Limited, Crescent, Acela Express, Lake Shore Limited (Boston Section)
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Other: BC Rail Cariboo Dayliner, Alaska Railroad, Eurostar, Thalys, DB, Netherlands Rail, Austrian Railways, BR, Korail (conventional), Korail KTX

#23 Lonestar648

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 03:58 PM

The TE from Chicago to Los Angeles offers an opportunity to see so many variations of landscape.  Illinois has the flat fields, racing along I-55 with the Interstate traffic, Crossing the Mississippi into St. Louis.  In the morning, you breakfast through the thick trees of Arkansas, before crossing into the East Texas Piney Woods which gives way to farming and ranch lands.  Dallas and Ft. Worth are two great cities.  Once outside Ft. Worth, you are passing through the many cattle ranches until reach the Austin area.  The city of Austin has many things to see out the windows.  Ther next morning you are in the West Texas Mountains which their own beauty and are very different from New Mexico and Arizona.  After EL Paso the New Mexico landscape has changed significantly from Texas.  Several times we have seen hot air balloons in the sky.  Nearing the NM/AZ border are some great rock formations in the mountains.  The Arizona landscape is mountainous with various formations and colors.  

 

So, it is all how you look at the trip.  I look for the uniqueness of each state as well its beauty.  Yes some states are more spectacular than others, but having slept in all 50 states, Canada, and Mexico, I so enjoy being able to discuss the scenery and what I experienced.  Each of the Western LD trains have so much to offer.  I am so glad that I was able to travel each of trains, to experience the variety this great country has to offer.


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#24 Bob Dylan

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 04:14 PM

Ditto on Lonestar 648s Post!
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#25 neutralist

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 11:29 PM

Just make sure to turn off International Roaming on your phone if you decide to take TE around El Paso. Too many people get hit with roaming charges when their phones get locked to cell towers south of the border.



#26 cpotisch

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Posted 10 March 2018 - 01:11 AM

Just make sure to turn off International Roaming on your phone if you decide to take TE around El Paso. Too many people get hit with roaming charges when their phones get locked to cell towers south of the border.

That happened to me! I got a text from T-Mobile saying "Welcome to Mexico! Free international roaming is included in your T-Mobile plan. Enjoy your stay!". So I didn't have to pay anything, but it was kind of funny. But yeah, if you find out after, and do have to pay for roaming, that can be a less than ideal situation.


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
 
Wish List: Auto Train, Cardinal, CONO, Empire Builder, Southwest Chief, Crescent (overnight), Adirondack w/ Great Dome, Downeaster


#27 Chey

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Posted 10 March 2018 - 10:33 PM

If you are old enough to remember the JFK assassination - within a minute or so of the TE leaving Dallas on its way to Fort Worth - on the right side of the train - you get a clear close-up view of Dealey Plaza and the former Texas School Book Depository. First time I ever saw it I was stunned, recognized it right away. I hadn't thought of that tragedy in years.

The Eagle has a series of podcasts that act as a guide for the trip, covering many points between Chicago and Los Angeles. You can download them and listen, or just download the text files and read them.

http://amtrak.adventgx.com/

I wish all the LD routes had this feature!

#28 SarahZ

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Posted 10 March 2018 - 11:12 PM

In the morning, you breakfast through the thick trees of Arkansas

 

I wish that were true. I didn't get to see Arkansas at all during my westbound trip (save for waking up when we pulled into Little Rock).

 

The last stop in Arkansas is Texarkana, at 5:58 a.m, and you cross into Texas immediately after. The diner isn't open for breakfast until 6:00 or so.

 

Maybe you're thinking of the eastbound trip? If it's summer, the sun is up long enough to catch a bit of Arkansas around sunset.


Amtrak Miles: 48,312
 
Amtrak Routes: Blue Water, California Zephyr, Capitol Limited, Carl Sandburg, City of New Orleans, Coast Starlight, Crescent, Empire Builder, Hiawatha, Illinois Zephyr, Lincoln Service, Southwest Chief, Texas Eagle, Wolverine
 
Metropolitan Rail: Chicago Metra, Chicago L, Dallas TRE, Detroit People Mover, New Orleans RTA, San Francisco MUNI, Seattle Monorail, South Shore Line (NICTD), Toronto Subway & RT, Washington DC Metro




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