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Southwest Chief LAX-CHI Live-ish Blog


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#41 D.P. Roberts

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 09:23 AM

So where was I? Oh yeah, dinner last night. I would have posted it last night but the internet connection in Kansas is NONEXISTENT. Every other state has been great, but Kansas gets a big fat F.

 

I had the gnocchi for dinner, followed by the raspberry tart. Both were still pretty good, but for some reason the gnocchi didn't taste as good as last time. My wife's steak was an epic failure - she asked for medium, but got blue to rare. She sent it back - this was the first time either of us has ever sent a meal back on Amtrak. They promptly microwaved it into oblivion - not only was it well done, it had that microwaved consistency to it. Another passenger we ate with previously said that he always orders his steaks well done, as they're always undercooked. Is this an Amtrak thing now?

 

I got a few photos of Trinidad before the sun set and the internet disappeared.

 

 

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.
 


#42 cpotisch

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 09:28 AM

So where was I? Oh yeah, dinner last night. I would have posted it last night but the internet connection in Kansas is NONEXISTENT. Every other state has been great, but Kansas gets a big fat F.

 

I had the gnocchi for dinner, followed by the raspberry tart. Both were still pretty good, but for some reason the gnocchi didn't taste as good as last time. My wife's steak was an epic failure - she asked for medium, but got blue to rare. She sent it back - this was the first time either of us has ever sent a meal back on Amtrak. They promptly microwaved it into oblivion - not only was it well done, it had that microwaved consistency to it. Another passenger we ate with previously said that he always orders his steaks well done, as they're always undercooked. Is this an Amtrak thing now?

 

I got a few photos of Trinidad before the sun set and the internet disappeared.

 

 

Beautiful pictures and sad to hear that you're steak was so disastrous. I've had the gnocchi I think four times so far, and I've always loved it. The most recent time was on the SL/TE in February. The one time that I've sent a meal back on Amtrak was on the LSL in February, when my french toast was so undercooked that the inside had the consistency of wet play-doh. I'm usually pretty lenient with that kind of stuff, but I just couldn't bear that texture. I gave it back to our server and asked for him to cook it a bit more, and when we got it back, it was perfect inside and tough as leather on the outside. Not my best meal. 


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


#43 Lonestar648

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 11:27 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

 

 

Thank you for the link.  I think this restoration of the three buildings and the square will be a major boost for Las Vegas as it was in La Posta.



#44 D.P. Roberts

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 02:08 PM

I woke up this morning shortly before we arrived in Kansas City. I usually sleep very well on the train, but not so much on the Southwest Chief. I think it's for two reasons: very rough tracks, and the constant horn. I don't mind the sound of the train's horn, but on the SWC the sleepers are in the front so it's rather loud, and we're crossing roads almost constantly. I think many of the other routes are smoother and quieter.

 

We walked about for a bit in Kansas City - our train is now running a little early, so we had plenty of time. We were both a little paranoid to actually go into the station, but we took a few photos before heading off to breakfast. We had the pancakes & continental breakfast, which were fine.

 

Okay, the wifi has been terrible today. I find it amusing that it really broke down by state, coming and going almost exactly on state lines. I'd grade them as follows:

 

California: A+

Arizona: A-

New Mexico: A-

Colorado: C-

Kansas: F

Missouri: F

Iowa: n/a (it's only one stop & I wasn't using it then)

Illinois: A+ (so far)

 

You can't see much of Kansas City from the station, but I tried. The last shot is of the Missouri River, seen later.

 

 

Attached Files


Edited by D.P. Roberts, 11 June 2018 - 02:14 PM.

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


#45 D.P. Roberts

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 02:28 PM

We had lunch somewhere near Galesburg. I got the Amburger again, and for the first time in my Amtrak life they actually warmed up the bun! I love that. Melting the cheese & warming up the bun makes a huge difference to a cheeseburger. I can't say much for their steak cooking skills, but these chefs are better with burgers than most.

 

Not much else to report - it's kind of a dreary day, with corn as far as the eye can see. We also noticed that humidity has returned - it's strange how much of a difference that makes. I prefer not having humidity, but so does everybody else...

 

I have a bunch of other pictures from Arizona and Nevada that I hadn't posted yet, so I thought I'd add them in here. I'm not precisely sure where they are, but these scenes are a lot more interesting than corn.

 

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.
 


#46 cpotisch

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 02:56 PM

We had lunch somewhere near Galesburg. I got the Amburger again, and for the first time in my Amtrak life they actually warmed up the bun! I love that. Melting the cheese & warming up the bun makes a huge difference to a cheeseburger. I can't say much for their steak cooking skills, but these chefs are better with burgers than most.

 

Not much else to report - it's kind of a dreary day, with corn as far as the eye can see. We also noticed that humidity has returned - it's strange how much of a difference that makes. I prefer not having humidity, but so does everybody else...

 

I have a bunch of other pictures from Arizona and Nevada that I hadn't posted yet, so I thought I'd add them in here. I'm not precisely sure where they are, but these scenes are a lot more interesting than corn.

 

Some of that scenery reminds me a lot of the Sunset Limited - and that's a good thing! The desserts with the mountains and rock formations in the distance are so nice. Keep 'em coming!


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


#47 Lonestar648

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 04:55 PM

You have so many great photos.  I usually create a coffee table photo book of the best of my photos for each of my trips.  I have books for the CZ, SL, EB, CS, etc.which have opened many discussions about traveling by train.  My Hematologist and I discussed traveling with family, so after I loaned him a few of the books, he and his wife took their two kids on a train trip instead of flying both ways.  I enjoy the conversations on my trips.  After every trip, my Saturday morning christian men's breakfast group always has me give a detailed account of my train trip, some have traveled by train as a result.


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#48 SarahZ

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 05:48 PM

Okay, the wifi has been terrible today. I find it amusing that it really broke down by state, coming and going almost exactly on state lines. I'd grade them as follows:

 

California: A+

Arizona: A-

New Mexico: A-

Colorado: C-

Kansas: F

Missouri: F

Iowa: n/a (it's only one stop & I wasn't using it then)

Illinois: A+ (so far)

 

 

 

It pretty much corresponds with cell service in the area. Were I to grade cell service in those states, my grades would be similar.

 

With so many people trying to use the wi-fi, I don't even bother.


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

#49 Tennessee Traveler

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Posted 01 July 2018 - 06:56 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!

 

 You definitely want to print the schedules. I went through Chicago in June and they no longer have the printed schedules available at all.


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#50 Dakota 400

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Posted 04 July 2018 - 03:59 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!

 

 You definitely want to print the schedules. I went through Chicago in June and they no longer have the printed schedules available at all.

 

 

 

I just returned from a visit with family in the D. C. area.  I rode Metro Rail to Union Station to do some reconnoitering prior to my Winter trip from there on the Silver Meteor.  Seeing no Amtrak timetables available, I asked the pleasant woman at the Information Desk about their availability.  She confirmed that one needs to download both the timetable and route guide for one's train as neither are available, either on board or at the station any more.



#51 dogbert617

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 03:13 AM

 

 

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!

 

 You definitely want to print the schedules. I went through Chicago in June and they no longer have the printed schedules available at all.

 

Sadly, I can second/third the fact that printed Amtrak schedules increasingly aren't available at more and more stops, as a cost cutting measure. :( For sure, PRINT OUT whatever train schedules for Amtrak you're interested in or DOWNLOAD them to a smartphone(if you have that), before your trip begins.

 

I saw Pittsburgh's station still had some Amtrak train schedules(as I did a Pittsburgh trip via the Capitol Limited in May), but who knows for how much longer? I'm assuming those schedules are probably just remaining paper schedule stock, that probably won't be replaced once the stock of those schedules runs out. :( Chicago Union Station had a few left too to my surprise, but like Pittsburgh, I doubt it'll be for much longer. Last time I did a Metra(local Chicago area commuter rail) trip into Glenview, IL, outta curiosity I went inside that station house. That station no longer has the printed schedules for Amtrak Hiawatha or Empire Builder, sadly to say. And to add insult to injury, the ticket agent there was eliminated in 2016. :(

 

Do have to add, that the Amtrak stations in both Chicago and Pittsburgh had a decent amount of various tourism travel guides in stock! So I never got bored, while I waited 21/2 hours for my westbound/return train from Pittsburgh to Chicago to arrive that night. :) And for as long as I can remember, Chicago Union Station has always had a good stock of various travel tourism brochures in stock.


Edited by dogbert617, 12 July 2018 - 03:15 AM.


#52 cpotisch

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 08:21 AM

Why don't you just print out the timetable from Amtrak.com? I'm not saying that it wouldn't be ideal for Amtrak to provide them, but given they don't, why not just do it yourself?


Edited by cpotisch, 12 July 2018 - 08:22 AM.

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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