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Southwest Chief vs Texas Eagle

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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.

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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!

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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.

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