I am on the Texas Eagle!! Yippee!!!

Discussion in 'Travelogues / Trip Reports' started by iliketrains, Jul 8, 2019.

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  1. Jul 8, 2019 #1

    iliketrains

    iliketrains

    iliketrains

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    I officially now have some street cred as a railman!! I just boarded 421 headed all the way to Los Angeles from Texas!! This trip was kind of impromptu. I will be taking the one I’ve been planning later. As a kid my family traveled Amtrak all the time. As an adult I always had to fly due to my job. I did manage to get a few short trips in over the years. I am now semi retired and ready for Amtrak.

    I decided to get a roomette after researching and realized because I’m a stocky guy the roomette is best. I am so glad I did!! I love it. It’s just the right size. The attendant is very nice!! She took my dinner reservation as I was boarding. The larger bathroom and shower are just a few steps away!! I am shocked that the train arrive just a few minutes late. I’m even more shocked that the speedometer app on my phone says we are traveling at 80 MPH!! This train is moving!!! There is not much rocking!! Oh yea I have 4 bars on my Verizon LTE. I’m sure that wont be always but so far so good.

    8:02 PM - I just had dinner with 2 guys who were awesome dinner company. They travel Amtrak frequently and currently on a cross-country trip!!. They had not heard of this Amtrak site and immediately want to join!! When I told them about the upcoming gathering one of them was very interested. Also, they mentioned the Burrito Lady and said thats one of things they look forward to. Here are some pics of my dinner and folks enjoying the dining car. E33A05B2-165F-4FAB-8791-A5D767963337.jpeg 58C9F055-BD80-4F35-ABF0-539ADC8081A6.jpeg 9BFDA8AD-0427-4A83-8C63-E6FF9FFD5146.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2019
  2. Jul 9, 2019 #2

    OBS

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    You are off to a good start!
     
  3. Jul 9, 2019 #3

    Michigan Mom

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    How's the scenery
     
  4. Jul 9, 2019 #4

    iliketrains

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    The scenery is great but so far I’ve only taken one picture. It was raining and I thought I saw a tornado LOL. It’s dark outside now. I will take more tomorrow.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2019
  5. Jul 9, 2019 #5

    iliketrains

    iliketrains

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    5C0BDFA7-ED71-4715-9D98-5323FBEC55D1.jpeg BE785AF8-A322-4C39-B1E7-F06D6002C946.jpeg B08446DB-3083-44FC-8516-00E9E02D19AE.jpeg BD0AC8D9-2098-4C07-A239-686280BADC06.jpeg 0394D0A9-9816-44A1-B241-AF759C43F555.jpeg A759C8EB-D620-46EE-9242-4D5D35C3A8BA.jpeg We arrived in San Antonio a few minutes early. The Sunset Limited from New Orleans is running 3 1/2 hours late. Hopefully it gets here in time for us to depart on time. I came off the train because the attendant (the lady in the picture) said she would let us back on as long as the trains aren’t being connected. In that case she said we would have to wait until the connection process is complete. She is super nice and friendly. Here are some pics at San Antonio. I am the big guy and the little guy is the one who is an Amtrak fan and wants to join this forum. Now you see why I was concerned about the seats. The seat in the diner was very comfortable!!! My roomette is also very comfortable!! Big guys and gals like me Amtrak is great!!!! The other guy I met in the lounge car. The train is full with very few empty seats !
     

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  6. Jul 9, 2019 #6

    dogbert617

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    Was picture 1 the Land and Sea Combo, for I believe $39? I remember ordering that for dinner when going east(and back home) on the Empire Builder from doing a recent trip to Glacier National Park, and really enjoyed ordering that a LOT. Also, what dessert did you get in picture 2? I'm not sure if that was served(a tart?), on the Empire Builder's dessert menu. Also weird I remember that I couldn't order dessert, except during dinner for whatever odd reason.

    Have fun, on your trip. I still have yet to travel beyond Saint Louis on the Texas Eagle(and ditto with the Lincoln Service Illinois trains to STL), and not yet on the Sunset Limited. But I want to change that, someday! I kinda have considered in my mind at some point down the road doing a trip to Little Rock, and perhaps mildly wonder if I should go to the gathering in either Dallas or Fort Worth later this year(wherever that's being held). It's too bad when I looked up what depots looked like between El Paso and Tucson, that the original train depots/stations were all demolished years ago for blah open shelter buildings. That honestly to me look even worse, than the meh looking shelter buildings that exist in Crawfordsville, IN, and Elyria, OH. At least Alpine and Del Rio still have their original station depot buildings, but too bad Sanderson appears to not have a proper station building anymore due to the deterioration of its former depot. A site where you can look up pics of more Amtrak station depot buildings, if you're curious: http://www.trainweb.org/usarail/
     
  7. Jul 9, 2019 #7

    iliketrains

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    Yes that is the land sea combo for $39. I figured since the meals are included with the roomette I should go for the gusto! The desert is cheesecake. Everything including the wine is very good. The guy sitting across ordered the wine. I then later got a bottle of it in the cafe car and took it my roomette. I also bought a cheese tray from the cafe to go with wine.

    We had a great time off the train waiting for the Sunset Limited. People starting introducing themselves and we quickly somehow we had a large group. Some folks had beer and others had other types of adult beverages. We hung out in an outside area of the station that had chairs and tables. People were super friendly and we all laughed and enjoyed hanging out. The attendant stopped by and stated the thru cars had been detached and powered-up ready to board. People still hung out longer since the Sunset Limited had not arrived.

    The attendant prepped my bed and I am now nice comfy reading and surfing the internet.

    Yes it’s a shame those stations are gone. I looked that up also and saw that. Thanks for the link to the website.
     
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  8. Jul 9, 2019 #8

    dogbert617

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    Ah, I should've guessed that was cheesecake, and not a tart/torte of some sort. Weird I thought that, for whatever bizarre reason. Oh yeah now that I think about it, you can order desserts for BOTH lunch and dinner, and not just during dinner. Funny enough I was hoping the cheesecake would be left for my last lunch on #8/28(eastbound Empire Builder going into Chicago, coming back from a trip to Glacier National Park), but unfortunately the server told me they were out of the cheesecake. And unfortunately for me, also all other desserts during that last lunch eastbound just before hitting Milwaukee. :( On my earlier meals I did order a chocolate caramel torte(IIRC how the server described that to me) and another one the vanilla pudding(for a lighter dessert, to go with the Land and Sea Combo), and I liked both of those desserts. Honestly, all my dining car meals were decent, looking back on my recent Empire Builder trip going west to Glacier National Park(westbound to West Glacier/Belton, east from (East)Glacier Park back to Chicago). It was a little annoying the cost to upgrade to a sleeper was a little too high going west, but at least the fare to upgrade to a roomette wasn't as much going back to Chicago.

    Keep all of us posted, how your trip is going. Soon I will do a trip report, of how my recent Empire Builder trip to Glacier National Park was like. BTW, this site also exists with a lot of photos for Amtrak stations, albeit it doesn't have as many photos and stations as that trainweb site I linked to earlier: http://subwaynut.com/amtrak/
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2019
  9. Jul 9, 2019 #9

    Michigan Mom

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    Sounds like a great time!
     
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  10. Jul 9, 2019 #10

    iliketrains

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    More pics.
     

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  11. Jul 9, 2019 #11

    iliketrains

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    Hey I’ve had a strong Verizon signal for nearly all of this trip including now nowhere near Alpine and nowhere near El Paso. All 4 bars LTE.
     
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  12. Jul 9, 2019 #12

    Rasputin

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    Looks like a great trip and nice to see you got some photos from the High Bridge over the Pecos River. (Unfortunately I slept through it on my last trip). Did you have an extended stop in Alpine or only a short stop? In the past when we were running ahead of schedule we had close to an hour there.
     
  13. Jul 9, 2019 #13

    iliketrains

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    We are running behind schedule;so,the stop at Alpine was short.
     
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  14. Jul 9, 2019 #14

    Dakota 400

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    Interesting reporting and you confirm what I have found on Amtrak trips: it is very easy to meet friendly people and have good conversations with them. Thanks for your efforts in blogging!
     
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  15. Jul 10, 2019 #15

    SarahZ

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    You have an amazing smile. :)

    Tip: You can get your dessert to go! I'm often too full to eat dessert after dinner, so I ask for a cheesecake "to go". They leave it in the plastic container instead of plating it and give me a plastic fork to take with me. It's the perfect midnight snack.
     
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  16. Jul 10, 2019 #16

    dogbert617

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    I'd half expect traveling between Alpine and El Paso, that there'd be a few points where you'd lose phone signal. You really had full signal, the WHOLE trip between those 2 places? Interesting, that slightly surprises me a bit. Enjoyed looking at all those pics you posted above, as well. Were those pics taken east of Alpine, or west of there?

    I actually tried to do the same thing myself(get a slice of cheesecake to go), on the last lunch going east on the Empire Builder through Wisconsin when I had a sleeper on my recent 8/28 trip going east(and back) from Glacier National Park. Sadly they were out of that dessert, and all other desserts as of that late point on the EB trip back towards Chicago. Honestly I should've thought of doing that one night earlier, when I was having dinner going through North Dakota.
     
  17. Jul 10, 2019 #17

    SarahZ

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    You haven't traveled on the SWC yet, correct?

    On the eastbound trip, they are always, ALWAYS trying to get rid of food during lunch on the last day. You can order whatever you want, even kids' stuff.

    So, every time I've taken the SWC back from Albuquerque, I've treated myself to mac & cheese for lunch that day. :) (My ex-boyfriend always got a hot dog.)
     
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  18. Jul 10, 2019 #18

    dogbert617

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    Hadn't yet taken the SWC. And yeah, I suppose I should've tried asking for mac and cheese to go, or something else off of the kid's menu. I did get 2 desserts on previous meals the day before, one during lunch going through Montana(chocolate caramel torte), and dinner through North Dakota(vanilla pudding, where I wanted to a lighter one as I got the Land and Sea Combo w/steak and crab cake). So not the end of the world. Besides of course, getting what was left of my burger to go into a box after that last lunch in Wisconsin.
     
  19. Jul 10, 2019 #19

    iliketrains

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    Thanks I took your advice!
     
  20. Jul 10, 2019 #20

    iliketrains

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    Yes I have had a strong Verizon nearly all of this trip, I am totally surprised!
     
  21. Jul 10, 2019 #21

    iliketrains

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    More pics.....I even caught the Burrito Lady. They announced her presence and a long line formed.
     

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  22. Jul 10, 2019 #22

    iliketrains

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    3B6AB9B7-E3D8-4F95-879E-58DA9F20BCEF.jpeg More pics
     

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  23. Jul 10, 2019 #23

    iliketrains

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    I became very sleepy and slept between Lordsburg NM and Maricopa AZ!!!

    We are now headed to Yuma AZ late by 2 and 1/2 hours!! Ouch!!

    While my mind is on it I need to give a shout out to all the people I met and hung out with who all my made trip very fun!!

    Shout out to John, George, Shawn, Lars and wife, Sylvester and wife, Cyndy my car attendant who is the absolute best in the business, George the dining car attendant who always ensured I had the best of everything. Oh yea who can forget the one passenger everyone on the train got to know Myron.

    I talked to a lot of other folks or ate with others but didn’t get their names. There was a delightful couple from Round Rock; two ladies from Switzerland, couple from Ventura, the 2 college professors are all just sample of folks I met.

    This was a packed train! For example, over 100 folks boarded at Tucson.
     
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  24. Jul 10, 2019 #24

    v v

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    Hello Mr ilt

    Very much enjoy your style, in particular how you interact with fellow travellers. Your pure pleasure of riding the rails and meeting people comes across so well, more power to you. May I ask where the photo with the 2 trucks and a mountain backdrop was taken please?
     
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  25. Jul 10, 2019 #25

    drdumont

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    Since the Eagle pretty much follows the old US Hwy 90 route as well as Interstate 10, Verizon did a pretty thorough build out along the route. But you are right, it is pretty surprising to have that good a signal seemingly out in the middle of nowhere.
    There are a surprising amount of people who live and work out in the seeming wilderness, especially in the petroleum industry. Lotsa moneymaking holes in the ground and pipelines to maintain.
     
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