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Southwest Chief LAX-CHI Live-ish Blog


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#21 Dakota 400

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Posted 10 June 2018 - 02:28 PM

When I rode the SWC, LAX-CHI, we were escorted to the platform from the Lounge and then had about the same length of wait as you did while the train backed in.  The Red Cap told us where the Sleepers would be, but his information was incorrect.  There were a couple of Private Cars on the end of the train and that made the Sleepers further done the platform.

 

Good to know that printed timetables are no longer available in the Rooms.  I'll have to remember to pick one up at the Station.

 

I'm enjoying your report and your excellent photos.


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#22 Lonestar648

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Posted 10 June 2018 - 03:01 PM

You may want to print out time tables to carry or have in pdf for viewing.  I do the same with the Route Guides.  


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#23 cpotisch

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Posted 10 June 2018 - 03:06 PM

You may want to print out time tables to carry or have in pdf for viewing.  I do the same with the Route Guides.  

I will say that when you're crossing three timezones and your train is running five hours behind, written timetables aren't particularly effective...


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


#24 D.P. Roberts

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Posted 10 June 2018 - 03:36 PM

Due to not getting enough sleep last night & getting up early to see the Arizona scenery, I napped through Albuquerque. I normally like to detrain there since it's such a long stop, but we just went through there on #3 last week & got a good look around. 

 

 

Attached Files


Amtrak miles: 23,182
Routes traveled: Capitol Limited, California Zephyr, Lake Shore Limited, Southwest Chief, Coast Starlight, Empire Builder, Pacific Surfliner, and Silver Meteor.
 


#25 AmtrakBlue

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Posted 10 June 2018 - 03:43 PM

You may want to print out time tables to carry or have in pdf for viewing.  I do the same with the Route Guides.  

I will say that when you're crossing three timezones and your train is running five hours behind, written timetables aren't particularly effective...
its useful for me . The next stop is still the next stop regardless if the train is in time or hours late. I don’t have the route stops memorized.
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#26 D.P. Roberts

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Posted 10 June 2018 - 03:56 PM

After Albuquerque we went to lunch. I had my first Amburger of the trip, and it was actually not too bad. The patties usually taste very premade and frozen, but they were better this time. My wife got the entree salad, which she especially enjoyed since they got her order right - this diner crew has not been great with special requests. I ordered the cheesecake for dessert, which was once again presented upside down. Perhaps someone in the galley likes it better that way? 

 

Here's the part where I lament not having my camera with me, and attempt to describe the great photos I could have taken. I never bring my camera to the dining car, but I wish I had this time. We spente a fair amount of our lunch time at Lamy, which is a beautiful little stop. It's about 1100 feet higher in elevation than Albuquerque, and is more of a pine forest than the scrub & shrubs of the lower elevations. Several old train cars are parked there, including one that appears to have been turned into a residence (it has a little wooden patio attached to one end). There's a little picnic area right by the track in a grove of trees, strung with decorative lights. While we were parked there someone was setting up decorations for a party. It looked like a very pleasant place to spend the afternoon.

 

From Lamy, the Chief ascends another thousand feet or so to the small town of Glorieta. While it's not an Amtrak stop, there's a little station there that has been turned into a post office. The town sits at 7400 feet, but the mountains in the background clearly ascend much higher. It's a lovely little area, but you'll just have to take my word for it.

 

We were just moved to a siding to allow the westbound #3 to pass. I was all set up to take a great photo of the train passing us, but I just missed it. I'd post my photo of the side of a Genesis locomotive for you, but you can probably picture what a plain grey and blue slab looks like. Not having a great photo day, but hopefully it will get better!

 

Speaking of getting better, we left Lamy only 20 minutes late, and when we passed #3 it was less than an hour late. Things are looking up schedule-wise.


Amtrak miles: 23,182
Routes traveled: Capitol Limited, California Zephyr, Lake Shore Limited, Southwest Chief, Coast Starlight, Empire Builder, Pacific Surfliner, and Silver Meteor.
 


#27 D.P. Roberts

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Posted 10 June 2018 - 04:08 PM

To make up for my lack of photos today, I'll add some from roughly this portion of the trip last week. The Ute Park Fire started the day we left, and was really starting to spread the moring we went through New Mexico. Since it was fairly new & we were stuck on the train we hadn't heard about it, and were wondering what was going on with the dark brown skies. At first I thought it was a sandstorm, but the cause eventually revealed itself. As of now the Ute Park Fire is 77% contained and has burned about 35,000 acres, so I wonder what it will be like when we go through that area later today.

 

Attached Files


Amtrak miles: 23,182
Routes traveled: Capitol Limited, California Zephyr, Lake Shore Limited, Southwest Chief, Coast Starlight, Empire Builder, Pacific Surfliner, and Silver Meteor.
 


#28 seat38a

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Posted 10 June 2018 - 04:30 PM

Love the photo report! Keep up the good work. One of these days if they have 100% reliable internet onboard, I might take the LD trains more often. I can work from my roomette but reliable internet is critical for that. I guess the only way that will happen is if they installed a satellite system like the new fast ones used on cruise ships.



#29 Dakota 400

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Posted 10 June 2018 - 04:33 PM

You may want to print out time tables to carry or have in pdf for viewing.  I do the same with the Route Guides.  

 

I do print out the Route Guides and never thought I would need to print out the time table.  Thanks for your good suggestion!



#30 Dakota 400

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Posted 10 June 2018 - 04:36 PM

D.P. Roberts,

 

You are not the only one whose camera was resting elsewhere when I should have had it!  



#31 D.P. Roberts

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Posted 10 June 2018 - 05:48 PM

We just left Las Vegas, NM, and I got yelled at over the intercom!

 

On our way west we had several minutes to stop at Las Vegas. I got out then & took several photos. At this stop they didn't mention whether it was a "smoke break" stop or not, so I headed downstairs & asked our attendant before stepping off the train if it was okay to take a few photos. She pointed far down at a group of people who were boarding our car, & she said that as long as I got back on the train when they did it would be okay. So, I ran out, took a few photos, and followed those passengers right back into our car (I was literally standing right behind them waiting to board). As I was walking up the stairs, they made an announcment addressed to "the gentleman who got off the train", telling me not to do that. They then made an announcement chastising our car attendant too! 

 

That was not the first time they used the Almighty Microphone to do that. They've told "certain individuals" that it was time to stop sleeping in the lounge car, and then yelled at others for taking up too much space in the lounge with their "stuff" for too long a time, asking them to be more considerate to others.

 

I've worked in customer service for a long time, and I really hate that sort of passive-aggressive behavior. If a whole bunch of people need to hear a rule, then feel free to use the intercom. If you're addressing an individual or a small group, talk to them IN PERSON. If you do that, you have a chance to find out WHY somebody did what they did, have an actual conversation about it, and address it PRIVATELY, instead of berating people in front of a crowd!

 

So anyway, I'm very annoyed. These two photos are the ones that put me in the doghouse - a building under renovation that looks like an old Harvey House. Enjoy!

Attached Files


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Amtrak miles: 23,182
Routes traveled: Capitol Limited, California Zephyr, Lake Shore Limited, Southwest Chief, Coast Starlight, Empire Builder, Pacific Surfliner, and Silver Meteor.
 


#32 seat38a

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Posted 10 June 2018 - 06:39 PM

We just left Las Vegas, NM, and I got yelled at over the intercom!

 

On our way west we had several minutes to stop at Las Vegas. I got out then & took several photos. At this stop they didn't mention whether it was a "smoke break" stop or not, so I headed downstairs & asked our attendant before stepping off the train if it was okay to take a few photos. She pointed far down at a group of people who were boarding our car, & she said that as long as I got back on the train when they did it would be okay. So, I ran out, took a few photos, and followed those passengers right back into our car (I was literally standing right behind them waiting to board). As I was walking up the stairs, they made an announcment addressed to "the gentleman who got off the train", telling me not to do that. They then made an announcement chastising our car attendant too! 

 

That was not the first time they used the Almighty Microphone to do that. They've told "certain individuals" that it was time to stop sleeping in the lounge car, and then yelled at others for taking up too much space in the lounge with their "stuff" for too long a time, asking them to be more considerate to others.

 

I've worked in customer service for a long time, and I really hate that sort of passive-aggressive behavior. If a whole bunch of people need to hear a rule, then feel free to use the intercom. If you're addressing an individual or a small group, talk to them IN PERSON. If you do that, you have a chance to find out WHY somebody did what they did, have an actual conversation about it, and address it PRIVATELY, instead of berating people in front of a crowd!

 

So anyway, I'm very annoyed. These two photos are the ones that put me in the doghouse - a building under renovation that looks like an old Harvey House. Enjoy!

Sounds like typical Amtrak the way they handled the situation.  :rolleyes:

Last December when we were on the CS, the dining car LSA on the intercom like every 10-15 minutes telling people to stay at the door until they are seated. When you got into the dining car, mind you just stepped inside, his hand would go up like a traffic cop with "stay there until your seated." It was too much. Sounds like the conductor on your train likes his intercom a little too much like our dining car LSA did.



#33 D.P. Roberts

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Posted 10 June 2018 - 07:06 PM

Love the photo report! Keep up the good work. One of these days if they have 100% reliable internet onboard, I might take the LD trains more often. I can work from my roomette but reliable internet is critical for that. I guess the only way that will happen is if they installed a satellite system like the new fast ones used on cruise ships.

It hasn't been 100%, but probably 90%+. I've mostly used my own hotspot because it's a touch faster, but it has been getting just as good a signal every time I checked it. I've had something going on the internet almost constantly since I woke up about 12 hours ago, and I've only been maybe 10-15 minutes without a signal.  


Amtrak miles: 23,182
Routes traveled: Capitol Limited, California Zephyr, Lake Shore Limited, Southwest Chief, Coast Starlight, Empire Builder, Pacific Surfliner, and Silver Meteor.
 


#34 D.P. Roberts

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Posted 10 June 2018 - 07:30 PM

Crazy Intercom Person is at it again. Let's just say I would NOT want to be the people in seats 37 A and B in the coach car behind the lounge right now! Between their personal belongings stashed in the wrong spot and their "fake" seat check, I'd be afraid to go back to my seat if I were one of them! Seriously, she went ON AND ON for about 10 minutes! On the positive side, I think she has forgotten all about me...

 

We're now about an hour behind after an unexpected stop sign. We stopped briefly in Raton, and I made it a point to not be the last person from our car to get back on the train. I took a few photos today, plus I added a few from last week. 

Attached Files


Amtrak miles: 23,182
Routes traveled: Capitol Limited, California Zephyr, Lake Shore Limited, Southwest Chief, Coast Starlight, Empire Builder, Pacific Surfliner, and Silver Meteor.
 


#35 Railroad Bill

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Posted 10 June 2018 - 08:38 PM

Enjoying your trip report. We always love riding the SWC. Sorry you have a rather relentless conductor. Perhaps the new ones will be better..smile 


Amtrak Trains Ridden So Far:    86,889 miles and counting
Lake Shore Ltd, Capitol Ltd, Pennsylvanian, NE Corridors, Crescent, City of New Orleans, Empire Builder, California Zephyr, Hoosier, SW Chief, Surfliners, California Capitol Corridors, Coast Starlight, Cascades. Texas Eagle, San Joaquins, Missouri River Runner,Cardinal, Downeaster, Silver Meteor, Keystones, Auto Train, Adirondack, Lincoln Service, Illinois Zephyr, Carl Sandburg, Texas Eagle Detour Rt, 2013 Autumn Express Tour PHL, Silver Star, Sunset Limited -Acela Express-  2015 Autumn Express ALB - Empire Service Via Rail Corridor Trains Cobourg-Ottawa-Montreal,(round trip)  The Ocean (round trip)--   2,250 miles


#36 railiner

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Posted 10 June 2018 - 10:31 PM

Sounds like your conductor is a "gun and badge wannabe"....I suppose she'll be gone by LaJunta....

If you feel inclined, you might want to repeat your experience to the customer relation's office.   If she's had enough complaint's from other's, they might instill some 'correction' to her...


Edited by railiner, 10 June 2018 - 10:32 PM.

metroblue?

okay on the blue!

#37 SarahZ

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Posted 10 June 2018 - 10:57 PM

Wow. You venture a lot farther than I do. :) I've never been brave enough to walk beyond the station in Raton, even when we have ten minutes.

 

I have tons of pictures of those old train cars in Lamy. The first time I saw them, they reminded me of a children's book series called "The Boxcar Children". They were some of my favorite books when I was a kid.


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

#38 Lonestar648

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Posted 10 June 2018 - 11:47 PM

Thank you for your photos.  I have enjoyed seeing what you captured, especially that someone is actually fixing up the old Harvey House.  



#39 D.P. Roberts

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 08:19 AM

Thank you for your photos.  I have enjoyed seeing what you captured, especially that someone is actually fixing up the old Harvey House.  

 

 

I googled it afterwards & found out that the guys who are restoring it hope to reopen in another year or so:

 http://www.santafene...0bc8fe6377.html


Amtrak miles: 23,182
Routes traveled: Capitol Limited, California Zephyr, Lake Shore Limited, Southwest Chief, Coast Starlight, Empire Builder, Pacific Surfliner, and Silver Meteor.
 


#40 cpotisch

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 09:01 AM

The first time I saw them, they reminded me of a children's book series called "The Boxcar Children". They were some of my favorite books when I was a kid.

Oh my god. I loved those books when I was little. I had totally forgotten they existed until just now. Ah, memories...


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





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