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desertflyer

Southwest Chief #3 CHI-LAX live trip report

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Currently headed from Chicago to LA Union Station on train #3. The girlfriend and I are in a roomette. This was my first time seeing the newish Metropolitan Lounge at Chicago Union Station and I have to say I was impressed. Great natural light upstairs.

 

Tanisha is our car attendant and she seems super nice.

 

Currently we are sitting on the train in Sandwich, IL after an emergency stop. At first the conductor said it was a mechanical issue but then he updated to say there was a trespasser incident and the police are making a report. I'm not sure if that means we hit someone, but hopefully we'll be rolling sometime soon.

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Metropolitan Lounge at Chicago Union Station

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Upstairs in the Lounge

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The chaotic boarding at Chicago

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Happy as we were leaving Chicago.

Now the coroner has arrived so I assume the person we hit has died. It's going to be a while.

Edited by desertflyer

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Now the corner has arrived so I assume the person we hit has died. It's going to be a while.

Holy crap. :(

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Thanks mods for moving this to the right forum! Still stopped in Sandwich, IL until the police release us according to the conductor. I thought that engineers had to be switched out in these situations, but they haven't said anything about that. They never even acknowledged that we hit a person - just a "trespasser incident requiring police." Train is pretty much 100% full.

 

Dinner has just started to be served. We grabbed a 6:45pm reservation. Dining car attendant seems lovely, so I'm glad for that.

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We are rolling with the same crew so I have no idea what's going on. About 1 hour 15 min down. Next stop Mendota, IL.

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It’s quite possible a freight hit the trespasser. Or 6. Which is sitting a few miles west of you.

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They had our engineer switch out with one brought in on the very late train 6. I don't know anymore than that, but the conductor did give us that little bit of info.

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It was really foggy just before Mendota, IL.

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For dinner I had the seafood surprise cake + steak. It was decent enough and the dining car attendant was fantastic. I got the Amtrak Carmel Brulee to go for dessert. It wasn't even toasted, so I don't know why the have brulee in the name. It was okay, but too much carmel. My girlfriend had the cheesecake, which didn't have topping today. She says it was good. Sorry, but I didn't take pictures of the food.

 

We had dinner with two single travelers, both very interesting and great company. We could have talked for many hours.

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Enjoying your posts, and photo's!

 

I haven't been to that Metropolitan Lounge since it changed, and was curious if the Keystone, was the only legacy railroad logo on the wall?

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Question are they using both sides of the diner? Last trip a few months ago they only had 2 people the LSA and a waiter upstairs. Only one side of the diner was in use. Sleeper car passengers that boarded during meal hours werent even able to get reservations since they had been given out earlier in the day. Offered meals in room.

Looking forward my next trip GBB to LAX in Dec.

As far as your screen name, do you fly as well?

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Question are they using both sides of the diner? Last trip a few months ago they only had 2 people the LSA and a waiter upstairs. Only one side of the diner was in use. Sleeper car passengers that boarded during meal hours werent even able to get reservations since they had been given out earlier in the day. Offered meals in room.

Looking forward my next trip GBB to LAX in Dec.

As far as your screen name, do you fly as well?

I was on 4(24) last week and the full diner was used.

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I haven't been to that Metropolitan Lounge since it changed, and was curious if the Keystone, was the only legacy railroad logo on the wall?

 

That I'm not entirely sure of, but it was the most prominent. I hadn't been either since the change and found it really nice!

 

Question are they using both sides of the diner? Last trip a few months ago they only had 2 people the LSA and a waiter upstairs. Only one side of the diner was in use. Sleeper car passengers that boarded during meal hours werent even able to get reservations since they had been given out earlier in the day. Offered meals in room.

Looking forward my next trip GBB to LAX in Dec.

As far as your screen name, do you fly as well?

Luckily both sides are in use. The crew was proactive last night about sleeper passengers boarding during meal time. I heard the dining car attendant and my sleeping car attendant scheduling a time for upcoming passengers once everyone else had a reservation. A nice touch.

 

As for my username, I'm also a private pilot. Mostly I fly Piper Warrior IIIs so nothing super exciting!

 

Please forgive any erorrs since I'm mostly writing using my phone.

Edited by desertflyer

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I slept well overnight. We didn't make up the time I had hoped and are still down about 2 hours. It poured rain at some point after Topeka. This morning is overcast and grey, making it a llittle harder to wake up. I got the luck to be on the top bunk since it doesn't bother me and my girlfriend doesn't like it at all.

 

We were able to step off in Fort Madison and Kansas City. On the way into Kasas City we were able to spot the World War I memorial, which was really stunning. That is a place I'd like to visit, along with the rest of the city.

 

Kansas City was around 12:30am so unfortunately I slept through Topeka. The cell service is also pretty much non-existent across northern Missouri, hence no posts last night.

 

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Guess where?

 

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BNSF staring us down in Fort Madison while we stayed on the tiny platform between the tracks.

 

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Kansas City

 

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River Runner on the adjacent track at Kansas City. I like Chargers, I don't care what anyone says.

 

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Good morning from Kansas!

Edited by desertflyer

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I'm enjoying your pictures very much.

 

Also a former private pilot, started in a Piper Tripacer, took 30 years off, shared a 69 Arrow with a friend from work for 8 years. A Beechcraft Bonanza had always been on my bucket list, so I flew a 76 V35B from 2008 - 2016, now grounded for vision problems.

 

Seeing your pictures makes me reconsider my decision to quit using Amtrak (because of declining services/amenities).

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I'm enjoying your pictures very much.

 

Also a former private pilot, started in a Piper Tripacer, took 30 years off, shared a 69 Arrow with a friend from work for 8 years. A Beechcraft Bonanza had always been on my bucket list, so I flew a 76 V35B from 2008 - 2016, now grounded for vision problems.

 

Seeing your pictures makes me reconsider my decision to quit using Amtrak (because of declining services/amenities).

 

Once a pilot, always a pilot! The Bonanza really is a great plane. I flew quite a bit in them in the Phoenix area, but never got my complex or high powered endorsements, so it was always with a friend.

 

As for the declining amenities, I know what you mean. It's more frustrating when you know what it used to be like. I've only been riding since the late 90s, so while I've seen a lot cut, I still find the Amtrak an enjoyable experience. The people on this train have really made the trip so far. From the great crew to the fellow passengers, it has been really enjoyable.

 

I'll get more pictures up once the cell service is a little faster. Currently approaching Trinidad, CO. The scenery is slow starting to shift.

Edited by desertflyer

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Garden City, Kansas has a nice, manicured station. Not many people on or off at the stop.

 

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What you all are really here for - food pics. This was the breakfast omelette with jack cheese and vegetables. The side of turkey sausage wasn't so bad and nice to mix it up from the former chicken sausage.

 

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We had coffee back in the room after breakfast before La Junta.

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La Junta! The crew changed out here. I noticed we had a woman engineer.

 

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Quite a busy platform for a town of 7,000.

 

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The sleeper behind ours (330) is the George M Pullman car. If there is only one of these, I've ridden in this car and had it in the consist on the Starlight a few times.

 

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Entering Trinidad, CO. Still Delayed, but excited about the change of scenery!

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Great photography!

32009 is the only "George M Pullman", named after the founder of the company that built that car. The number selected for that honor was homage to Pullman's first sleeping car, Number 9...

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Ah yes, it's number is 9. Thanks for pointing out that fun fact.

 

We're about to have lunch. It's definitely fall near Raton with the leaves changing colors.

 

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Between Trinidad and Raton.

 

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Nice views.

 

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The station building and beautiful sky in Raton.

 

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About halfway between Raton and Las Vegas, NM.

Edited by desertflyer

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Nice pics,thanks for sharing!😎

 

Hopefully the Raton scenery will still be viewable from the Train for years to come!🤔😊

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Great stuff !!! Keep it coming !!! Excellent photos !!! Love the KC shot with the "Western Auto Sign" ! Did you plan that or got lucky!? :)

Thanks for sharing !!! :):):)

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Great stuff !!! Keep it coming !!! Excellent photos !!! Love the KC shot with the "Western Auto Sign" ! Did you plan that or got lucky!? :)

Thanks for sharing !!! :):):)

That shot took a couple of tries! That sign is iconoc. Glad you're enjoying the pics.

 

We're now about to depart ABQ 2 hours late.

 

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We passed #4 just before Lamy.

 

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Red rocks in New Mexico.

 

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Lamy, NM

 

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Long stop in Albuquerque.

 

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The station in ABQ.

 

I really enjoyed the scenery across New Mexico. It wasn't as dramatic as a few other Amtrak routes, but it was still beautiful. I had been to New Mexico before, but only around Santa Fe and Albuquerque, and never via Amtrak.

 

I apologize that I didn't get a picture of my Chilaquiles because we had a great conversation with a couple visiting from Switzerland. They were ugly and had too much salsa, but were overall good.

Edited by desertflyer

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On the way out of Albuquerque we took showers and got ready for dinner. It's always an experience taking a shower on a moving train.

 

At dinner we had yet another friendly conversation with a couple traveling to drive up California's Highway 1 from LA to Monterey. It made for great conversation. I had the salmon, which was pretty dry, and my girlfriend had the risotto which she found had cheese in it. Kind of odd, especially the amount of cheese they added.

 

They let us walk on the platform at Gallup, NM and Flagstaff, AZ. Flagstaff had a crazy thunderstorm. The rain was pouring so we barely walked on the platform, but it was quite the busy stop.

 

After Flagstaff we headed to bed. We ran about two hours late all night and so we slept until about Victorville. This meant we had time to have breakfast, and added bonus, but that we were running it close missing our Coast Starlight connection.

 

Luckily, as many of you probably know, there is quite a lot of schedule padding between San Bernardino and LA Union Station, so we made our Starlight connection with plenty of time to spare.

 

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Stunning sunset and rock formations after leaving Albaquerque.

 

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Walking the platform in Gallup.

 

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A very stormy Flagstaff.

 

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I take top bunk because I'm a gentleman.

Edited by desertflyer

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