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Mystic River Dragon

What's your favorite train terrain?

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Mountains and rivers are good. However deserts and Sierras sort of have a magic of their own. For me, that's why the CZ is the prettiest train in the system. It has the Sierras, mountains, farmlands - you get to see it all.

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I enjoy just looking out the window of a train. Even the vast wastewater plant one sees north of Portland is interesting to me. I don't mind looking at plains all day. Here's an exciting view of a flock of Trumpeter Swans seen on the boring flatlands between Portland and Eugene (I had the wrong lens on my camera for a close-up, but the swans are the white spots):

 

post-12801-0-59814700-1531424797_thumb.jpg

 

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The steeper and higher, the better. Which is why I prefer the Spokane-Seattle leg of the EB to the Spokane-Portland leg, though the latter is beautiful in its own right. I love the CZ through the Rockies and Sierras for that same reason.

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I love the wind-eroded rock formations like you see all along the CZ route in Utah and in various other locations throughout the West. They're so different from the terrain I see at home, it feels almost like being on another planet.

 

ETA photo:

 

post-6500-0-30174600-1531436178_thumb.jpg

Edited by Johanna

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I find the route of the Empire Builder to be of interest to me as to scenery. The California Zephyr's route west of Denver and into Utah and Nevada and Eastern California are enjoyable as well. Parts of the Sunset Limited's route, i.e. just West of New Orleans and areas near the U.S.-Mexico border, were surprises to me.

 

I also think the landscape in the area between New York and Washington can be interesting.

 

And, the views of the Government buildings as the train leaves/enter Washington Union Station can't be beat!

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I enjoy the view of the Front Range when coming to Denver from the east, seeing the mountains getting closer and closer! It means you will have a great day coming up!:)

 

An aside: Living for years in RI, I find it humorous to hear the weather reports say “in the higher elevations (of RI)”. The highest point in RI is I think 640 feet! Many cities have buildings taller than that!:giggle:

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Parts of the Sunset Limited's route, i.e. just West of New Orleans and areas near the U.S.-Mexico border, were surprises to me.

I agree! The Sunset Limited is actually very scenic for a good portion of the trip, with some great views of wildlife and tiny ghost towns in the desert. An underrated route.

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Parts of the Sunset Limited's route, i.e. just West of New Orleans and areas near the U.S.-Mexico border, were surprises to me.

I agree! The Sunset Limited is actually very scenic for a good portion of the trip, with some great views of wildlife and tiny ghost towns in the desert. An underrated route.

 

 

 

The views of the white Border Patrol trucks as the train traveled near the border in the desert was something that I did not expect to see.

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I love the wind-eroded rock formations like you see all along the CZ route in Utah and in various other locations throughout the West. They're so different from the terrain I see at home, it feels almost like being on another planet.

 

ETA photo:

 

attachicon.gifP5240237.JPG

 

 

I remember these outcroppings. I was simply amazed. Looks like someone cut the rock that way or built a building on top of the hill. I would love to take a ride with a geologist where they could give some information on the various rock formations and such. There were more interesting formations in Utah. Sort of looked like enormous piles of fine gravel.

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I enjoy the view of the Front Range when coming to Denver from the east, seeing the mountains getting closer and closer! It means you will have a great day coming up! :)

 

An aside: Living for years in RI, I find it humorous to hear the weather reports say “in the higher elevations (of RI)”. The highest point in RI is I think 640 feet! Many cities have buildings taller than that! :giggle:

 

 

Going east is awesome too. It is striking how flat Denver is even though it is the mile high city. And the viewing switch backs from above is just fascinating. A engineering marvel when you just road over miles and miles of engineering marvels.

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Whatever is outside my window is fascinating to me.

 

I love the classic scenery of the CZ - but I also loved seeing the farms in eastern Colorado. I loved the rural - and urban - scenes from Chicago to Kansas City. Cleveland and Cincinnati at night were amazing. Harper's Ferry was very beautiful. The above-ground cemeteries of NOL were wild! Seeing the radio towers on the back of South Mountain from Maricopa brought me to tears remembering the first time I drove into Phoenix to live there in 1964 (pretty much unrecognizable now.) Going through the Simi Valley, the Pacific coast and later the SLO area were fantastic. My return trip on the CZ was delayed by hours and I saw Utah by day - I'd never realized how beautiful it is. No wonder the Mormons thought it was the promised land! A delayed SL took us through orange grove areas descending from the San Bernardino Valley. The sweet Raton Pass -the semaphores - and Lamy, and the Pueblos between there and Albuquerque. The beauty of Virginia all the way down to Louisiana. The amazing course of the Potomac from the CL going through MD (WV?), and the Mississippi,from the TE on the way from SL going through IL. The wonder of the Pecos Bridge on the SL! What a beautiful country we have! I love all of it! Whatever I've left out here are some of the areas I managed to sleep a bit, not that I ever wanted to miss anything/

 

This fall I will get to see a couple of routes I've never seen before. And I expect to fall in love with this land again.

Edited by Chey

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I enjoy the CZ scenery. I really enjoy the eastern Utah areas. I live in Florida and find it to be the least favorite landscape.

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Next to a body of water of some kind, or crossing a railroad bridge. I've enjoyed going over the Carquinez Strait on the Coast Starlight and Capitol Corridor. I spent the stretch of the Coast Starlight from Tacoma to DuPont (where it hugs Puget Sound) in the Sightseeing Lounge. I also enjoyed the bridge crossings over the Columbia and Sacramento Rivers. I guess I was sleeping and it was dark when it hugged Klamath Lake as well as several bridge crossings.

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Mountains and rivers are good. However deserts and Sierras sort of have a magic of their own. For me, that's why the CZ is the prettiest train in the system. It has the Sierras, mountains, farmlands - you get to see it all.

 

Agree. Diversity rules.

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Mountains and rivers are good. However deserts and Sierras sort of have a magic of their own. For me, that's why the CZ is the prettiest train in the system. It has the Sierras, mountains, farmlands - you get to see it all.

Agree. Diversity rules.

This.

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Crossing over freeways that are parking lots.

 

 

Ha! I was thinking just that riding the Max into Portland from the airport. Because of my late arrival at PDX I at least considered taking a cab. But then still settled on Max. Bumper to bumper in both directions. on the freeways. I can't figure out why more people don't take the train.

Edited by spinnaker

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The CZ thru the Rockies & Sierras, CS Thru the Cascades & the EB thru the Glacier Nat Park in the SNOW (the Deeper the Better)!!!!!! :o

Edited by Rail Freak

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I prefer mountains, water, urban areas, towns, and especially anything covered in snow. Forests, swamps, farmland, and deserts can also be interesting provided they are not too long.

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