Austin to California and back

Discussion in 'Travelogues / Trip Reports' started by PeeweeTM, Dec 3, 2018.

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  1. Dec 3, 2018 #1

    PeeweeTM

    PeeweeTM

    PeeweeTM

    Train Attendant

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    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.

    20180925_0904_747.jpg

    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.

    20180925_1817_Austin.jpg

    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.

    20180926_0748_ClimbingWall.jpg

    Nice try.

    At the station I saw the typical American switch lever.

    20180926_0819_Omzetstoel.jpg  

    And the typical railway crossing.

    20180926_0820_CyclistCrossing.jpg

    The Texas Eagle was about only about half an hour late. Got my some time to memorize the evacuation plan.

    20180926_0903_EscapePlanCheck.jpg

    Train to Ford Worth gave a few picture opportunities.

    20180926_1004_NoFence.jpg

    Above no fences between rail and road. 

    20180926_1009_RailFanWindow.jpg

    This type of crossing is rather rare in the Netherlands.

    20180926_1202_EatingFromTwoSides.jpg

    Above a locomotive in Temple, which can't make it's mind up. It's either Santa Fe, or BNSF!

    20180926_1326_ThanksForLettingUsPass.jpg

    A train waiting in a siding to let us pass, thanks!

    20180926_1452_BrothersInArms.jpg

    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.

    20180926_2248_BreakDownBuss.jpg

    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:

    20180927_0212_MakePictureAndRun.jpg

    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. 20180927_1022_Raton.jpg

    And here Albuw, no, Albecu, rats, Albuquerque.

    20180927_1543_AlbeAlbuAlbeqNM.jpg

    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.

    20180928_0629_WaitingForContainers.jpg

    Picked up my rental car from Hertz and drove to Walmart in Beaumont to buy some water and fruit. Drove on to Palm Springs. 20180928_1152_Electifying.jpg

    20180928_1155_PalmSprings.jpg

    And on to Joshua Tree National Park. Bought a booklet about the park.

    20180928_1338_JTNP.jpg

    20180928_1418_JoshuaTree.jpg

    Had a hotel in Twentynine Palms.

    20180929_0649_29Palms.jpg

    Next day I drove to Amboy.

    20180929_0801_WaitForItWaitForIt.jpg

    Train above, a derail on another track below.

    20180929_0815_Derail.jpg

    Didn't walk all the way to Amboy Crater.

    20180929_0827_AmboyCrater.jpg

    Drove further to Barstow. Saw some trains near Daggett.

    20180929_1049_Daggett.jpg

    20180929_1051_Daggett.jpg

    Drove up Barstow Hill, with a great few of the new yard.

    20180929_1158_Barstow.jpg

    And the old yard and current station.

    20180929_1202_Barstow.jpg

    Visited the small railroad museum at the station and still had some time, so I drove to Hinkley.

    20180929_1242_Hinkley.jpg

    20180929_1243_Hinkley.jpg

    And a bit south to ?

    20180929_1314_HolcombRanch.jpg

    Near Hodge some typical sightings.

    20180929_1336_Hodge.jpg

    20180929_1341_Hodge.jpg

    In Barstow I had some Mexican food in a restaurant were I had been before.

    20180929_1512_Barstow.jpg

    Hotel Ramada Inn provided a nice few. All night long...

    20180929_1536_Hotel.jpg

    Next day I drove via Angeles National Forest to Union Station. You can see rather far here.

    20180930_0820_AngelesNF.jpg

    Parked the car back in the basement. And took the red and blue line to Long Beach. There I took a boat tour.

    20180930_1323_LongBeachFerry.jpg

    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.

    20180930_1851_Amtrak.jpg

    The sleeping car let me peek behind some doors.

    20181001_0555_YoWakeUp.jpg

    20181001_0555_Museum.jpg

    Here some pictures I took about switches/points/frogs:

    20181001_1403_MPFSign.jpg

    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 (?).

    20181001_1403_SwingNoseFrog.jpg

    Below the solution, if you can live with a slower speed on one of the routes, the swing wing (?)

    20181001_1517_SwingWingFrog.jpg

    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.

    20181001_1518_Frog.jpg

    In El Paso we had a dog inspection. But as far as I know without interaction with passengers.

    20181001_1528_WhoLetTheDogsIn.jpg

    Some spiked rails.

    20181001_1532_Spikes.jpg

    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.

    20181002_0944_SmokesLikeASteamer.jpg

    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.
     
  2. Dec 3, 2018 #2

    cpotisch

    cpotisch

    cpotisch

    Conductor

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    Wonderful report and photos! 

    I did happen to notice in the below picture that there appears to be a Horizon car right behind the locomotives? Is that right?

    /monthly_2018_12/20180927_1543_AlbeAlbuAlbeqNM.jpg.d511522e86f87d5492ed370e06103267.jpg
     
  3. Dec 3, 2018 #3

    PeeweeTM

    PeeweeTM

    PeeweeTM

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    Two of them. Well noticed! IMG_20180927_102451424.jpeg
     
  4. Dec 4, 2018 #4

    cpotisch

    cpotisch

    cpotisch

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    Wow, I was about 90% sure that I’d gotten that one wrong. Thank you!
     
  5. Dec 4, 2018 #5

    v v

    v

    v v

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    Your photo under the text "Next day I drove to Amboy." is one of my favourite rail photos ever, just superb.
     
  6. Dec 4, 2018 #6

    Misty.

    Misty.

    Misty.

    OBS Chief

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    Granted I live in the territory where they're more common, but yeah, I knew it even from that tiny corner by the engine heh
     
  7. Dec 4, 2018 #7

    SarahZ

    SarahZ

    SarahZ

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    It took a little while for the pictures to load on my phone earlier, and I'm glad. The placeholders showed the file name of each picture, and I got a kick out of a few of them. :)
     
  8. Dec 4, 2018 #8

    PeeweeTM

    PeeweeTM

    PeeweeTM

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    SarahZ, you're welcome!
     
  9. Dec 4, 2018 #9

    PeeweeTM

    PeeweeTM

    PeeweeTM

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    Thanks, v v!
    I saw a small dust bowl in the distance.
    My phone/agenda/entertainment center/distractor/camera couldn't make it sharper, though, bummer.
    And I wanted to clear the crossing, before the ding-ding-ding would start and the driver and conductor would get nervous!
     
  10. Dec 4, 2018 #10

    caravanman

    caravanman

    caravanman

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    Another great report!

    Echoes some of my own style of travel, with Motel 8 and shopping at Walmart. 

    Impressive photos.

    Big surprise to see that Amtrak trains are still allowed to operate when containing large chunks of asbestos!  :eek:

    Ed.
     
  11. Dec 4, 2018 #11

    ehbowen

    ehbowen

    ehbowen

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    When passing through Albuquerque, make sure you don't miss that left turn. The Looniest things can happen....
     
  12. Dec 4, 2018 #12

    PeeweeTM

    PeeweeTM

    PeeweeTM

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    Hmmm, the train took a right turn after Albuquerque.
    And I didn't see any rabbit holes...
    (Had to google (or yahoo!) that one!)
     
  13. Dec 4, 2018 #13

    cpotisch

    cpotisch

    cpotisch

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    I so wish I were alive when actual, good cartoons like that were made and aired. But my collection of 10 or so Looney Tunes DVDs is a pretty good substitute. ;)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 4, 2018
  14. Dec 5, 2018 #14

    ehbowen

    ehbowen

    ehbowen

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    I remember when they were aired on broadcast TV...with the smoking and dynamite jokes intact!
     
  15. Dec 6, 2018 #15

    como

    c

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    A few of us more seasoned members spent way too many Saturday mornings watching Looney Tunes!
     
  16. Dec 6, 2018 #16

    SarahZ

    SarahZ

    SarahZ

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    I miss Saturday Morning Cartoons.

    My brother and I had metal TV trays. His had Transformers on it, and mine had Care Bears.

    We’d sit on the floor and eat cereal while watching “The Smurfs”, “Shirt Tales”, “Dungeons & Dragons”, etc.
     
  17. Dec 6, 2018 #17

    cpotisch

    cpotisch

    cpotisch

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    When I was a lot younger, Cartoon Network would air a lot of old and somewhat mediocre cartoons on Saturday mornings. It mainly consisted of Tom and Jerry, The Smurfs, The Snorks (a sort of aquatic rip off of The Smurfs), The Perils of Penelope Pitstop, and The Inspector. Unfortunately, none of that stuff was particularly good or high quality, and they never aired any Looney Tunes, but I still loved it and cherish the memories.

    All of that said, this seems to be drifting kind of far from the original topic, so would it make sense for discussion of cartoons and such to be moved to the Lounge?
     
  18. Dec 7, 2018 #18

    seat38a

    s

    seat38a

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    Interesting that they still have Asbestos inside the train. And instead of proper signage, someone wrote warming on it with a pen.
     

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