As it happened British Airways had a good (cheap) fare to Austin in September... Below again mostly pictures, with just a few comments. Woke up, walked to the subway, changed to the InterCityDefectDirect to Schiphol. Flight to London was in a 767, the plane was rather empty. In London T5 was not too busy. The 747 left a bit late. After a long and boring flight the plane landed in Austin. The gate was somewhere halfway between San Antonio and Austin. Although I was about the last to leave the plane, there was no line at the border and I was in bus 350 (?) to Austin rather quickly. Walked via the Texas Capitol building to my hotel, the Super 8 Downtown. Had a good night and woke up early. A small breakfast was provided by the hotel. Walked via the Colorado river Trader Joe's to get some fruit and water for the first part of the trip. At the waterfront Austin also seems to try to catch up with the climbing Wall trend. Nice try. At the station I saw the typical American switch lever. And the typical railway crossing. The Texas Eagle was about only about half an hour late. Got my some time to memorize the evacuation plan. Train to Ford Worth gave a few picture opportunities. Above no fences between rail and road. This type of crossing is rather rare in the Netherlands. Above a locomotive in Temple, which can't make it's mind up. It's either Santa Fe, or BNSF! A train waiting in a siding to let us pass, thanks! NS and CSX, brotherly pulling a train. In Fort Worth I walked a bit through downtown and ate a burger at Five Guys. After that I boarded the train to Oklahoma City, one locomotives, two cars. A lot of freight trains, but still almost on time arrival! The bus to Newton arrived on time, too! But shortly after departure the left front wheel made a rattling noise while taking a turn, so we had to go to the bus parking to change buses. We also picked up two ladies, who were put in a motel by Amtrak. The day before the train was late arriving in Oklahoma City and the bus couldn't wait. Luckily my train ran on time! The bus had WiFi and I spotted a cheaper sleeper fare for the return trip on the Texas Eagle from LA to Austin later in the week. So in Newton the lady behind the counter managed to get me that fare and a voucher for a future trip (planned for March...) In case of panic, Newton too has a evacuation plan: Noted the guidelines about taking pictures, but decided to just run in case of an emergency. South West Chief was almost on time. Slept well. Here lovely Ration station. And here Albuw, no, Albecu, rats, Albuquerque. Went to the supermarket nearby to buy sun glaces, I had forgotten mine in Rhoon. Next morning I saw some resting chassis. The like to rest standing up. Picked up my rental car from Hertz and drove to Walmart in Beaumont to buy some water and fruit. Drove on to Palm Springs. And on to Joshua Tree National Park. Bought a booklet about the park. Had a hotel in Twentynine Palms. Next day I drove to Amboy. Train above, a derail on another track below. Didn't walk all the way to Amboy Crater. Drove further to Barstow. Saw some trains near Daggett. Drove up Barstow Hill, with a great few of the new yard. And the old yard and current station. Visited the small railroad museum at the station and still had some time, so I drove to Hinkley. And a bit south to ? Near Hodge some typical sightings. In Barstow I had some Mexican food in a restaurant were I had been before. Hotel Ramada Inn provided a nice few. All night long... Next day I drove via Angeles National Forest to Union Station. You can see rather far here. Parked the car back in the basement. And took the red and blue line to Long Beach. There I took a boat tour. Had still some time to kill, so took the Blue line back to LA and the Expo line to Santa Monica. It was busy on the pier, as I've seen before. Went back to Union Station and had a dinner in the first restaurant in Olvera Street. Walked a bit around Union Station. The sleeping car let me peek behind some doors. Here some pictures I took about switches/points/frogs: Note the sign alerting railroaders to manually switch both parts. We had some nice derailments in the Netherlands where the frog was forgotten... Below a swing nose (?). Below the solution, if you can live with a slower speed on one of the routes, the swing wing (?) And here the common switch frog. Frog has nothing to do with the green animals that say 'fluf' or 'splatsch' when you run them over. No, I'm told it got it's name from the underside of inside/underside of an horses hoof. In El Paso we had a dog inspection. But as far as I know without interaction with passengers. Some spiked rails. During the night we had some good dispatching. As second train behind a freight train in a siding before San Antonio. After the Sunset Limited to LA passed us, we backed up and passed the freight train still waiting in the siding. But still arrived about an our late in San Antonio. The Alamodome in san Antonio provided me with some WiFi to check in for my flight back to Amsterdam. In Austin I waved goodbye to the (steam) train. Bought a book about geology in a bookstore BookPeople. Bused to the airport. Overall had some nice talks with nice people in the Amtrak diners. Different people, but all nice. But I guess I was the youngest all the time.