CHI to ABQ on the Southwest Chief

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Joined
Dec 25, 2019
Messages
6
I'm a longtime rider of the CZ, but never took a trip on the Southwest Chief.

The big thing I really enjoyed about this trip were the big signs along the rails that appear to predate Amtrak. They were pointed directly at the trains and very briefly explained the locale or upcoming sights.

The consist (as of Kansas City) was:

154 (Locomotive)
130 (Locomotive)
61011 - Baggage
39003 - Transition Sleeper - 440 on the panel, 0131
32118 - Superliner II Sleeper - 332
32104 - Superliner II Sleeper - 331
32006 - Superliner I Sleeper - 430
38043 - Dining Car
33003 - Lounge Car
34066 - Coach - 0411
31029 - Coach - 0412
34073 - Coach
31025 - Coach (I think this car was dropped after Kansas City)

I had never experienced Kansas City's Union station, it was an amazing sight. Of course, it's almost entirely a mall now, to get to the actual trains you need to walk outside along a covered walkway.
 

Willbridge

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Mar 30, 2019
Messages
321
Glad you caught the "legacy" signage. The signs are old enough to be historic themselves. I hope you saw Glorieta Pass (the rail line doesn't go through the battlefield, but is close enough to give alerted passengers an idea of what it was like).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glorieta_Pass

Tonight from Twitter there's another good reason to ride the SWC or the CZ: I-70 is closed by snow and wind all the way from the edge of metro Denver to the Kansas border. Raton Pass is reported as icy/snowy/windy.
 

Trollopian

Train Attendant
Joined
Sep 19, 2014
Messages
94
CHI to ABQ on the Chief was my first overnight trip in a sleeper and I was hooked. In fact, I hadn't (and still haven't) slept so well in years. The train's motion is hypnotic. This callow easterner had never crossed the Mississippi before except by air. It was summertime, daylight was long, the less-interesting stretch through the endless flatness of Kansas and eastern Colorado was mostly overnight (though it was kinda romantic to wake up in darkness and wonder what we were passing), then chugging up to the Raton Pass and the fascinating topography of southern Colorado and New Mexico.

I learned various practical skills about packing, tipping, dining, etc., and one lesson: whatever your usual habit at home, shower at night on the train. You don't want to waste daylight by showering (or worse, waiting to shower) in the morning.

Not to be ghoulish, but I'm waiting for my elderly cat to die so that I can make a great loop around the U.S. by train. Motto: "It's not just flyover country."
 

Bob Dylan

Conductor
Joined
May 31, 2009
Messages
19,423
CHI to ABQ on the Chief was my first overnight trip in a sleeper and I was hooked. In fact, I hadn't (and still haven't) slept so well in years. The train's motion is hypnotic. This callow easterner had never crossed the Mississippi before except by air. It was summertime, daylight was long, the less-interesting stretch through the endless flatness of Kansas and eastern Colorado was mostly overnight (though it was kinda romantic to wake up in darkness and wonder what we were passing), then chugging up to the Raton Pass and the fascinating topography of southern Colorado and New Mexico.

I learned various practical skills about packing, tipping, dining, etc., and one lesson: whatever your usual habit at home, shower at night on the train. You don't want to waste daylight by showering (or worse, waiting to shower) in the morning.

Not to be ghoulish, but I'm waiting for my elderly cat to die so that I can make a great loop around the U.S. by train. Motto: "It's not just flyover country."
How many of your cat's 9 Lives have been used up?;)
 

Eric in East County

Train Attendant
AU Supporter
Joined
Jan 20, 2016
Messages
97
Regarding AMTRAK travel plans being disrupted by a senior cat, we had a similar situation. That cat was actually the neighbors’ cat who decided she’d rather live with us after their three big dogs ganged up on her. At first, she lived outside and we were able to have another neighbor come in to feed her whenever we traveled. This went on for several years until, after she got older, we brought her inside. Although she was the best pet we ever had, once she became an full time inside cat, we found it difficult to be away for more than a day or so. Finally, in 2014, we arranged for Eric’s brother and sister-in-law to come in as “cat sitters” so that we could take a two-week train trip back to Ohio. After the cat passed away, we were able to take one and sometimes two train trips back to Ohio every year.

Eric & Pat
 

dogbert617

OBS Chief
Joined
Aug 19, 2016
Messages
792
Sid's a senior cat, in diabetic remission, with kidney disease and other health issues. Any cat actuaries here?! But, he's smart and social. If he were a human he'd lament the demise of the dining car, 'cause there's nothing he likes better than meeting new people.

https://twitter.com/PaulNVandeWater/status/986753054388183041?s=19
I'd gladly ask that cat any questions I had, about financial questions I have lol!

I'm a longtime rider of the CZ, but never took a trip on the Southwest Chief.

The big thing I really enjoyed about this trip were the big signs along the rails that appear to predate Amtrak. They were pointed directly at the trains and very briefly explained the locale or upcoming sights.

The consist (as of Kansas City) was:

154 (Locomotive)
130 (Locomotive)
61011 - Baggage
39003 - Transition Sleeper - 440 on the panel, 0131
32118 - Superliner II Sleeper - 332
32104 - Superliner II Sleeper - 331
32006 - Superliner I Sleeper - 430
38043 - Dining Car
33003 - Lounge Car
34066 - Coach - 0411
31029 - Coach - 0412
34073 - Coach
31025 - Coach (I think this car was dropped after Kansas City)

I had never experienced Kansas City's Union station, it was an amazing sight. Of course, it's almost entirely a mall now, to get to the actual trains you need to walk outside along a covered walkway.
Does the length of the smoke break in KC, allow for enough time to briefly look inside that station? Hopefully it does, since IIRC the break is for something like 20-40 minutes. Was thinking in the future of doing an Albuquerque and Santa Fe SWC trip, myself.
 
Joined
Dec 25, 2019
Messages
6
Does the length of the smoke break in KC, allow for enough time to briefly look inside that station? Hopefully it does, since IIRC the break is for something like 20-40 minutes. Was thinking in the future of doing an Albuquerque and Santa Fe SWC trip, myself.
YES! Looking at the KC station was the highlight of that trip, it is really incredibly remarkable. I would even say it's grander than CUS.
 

Shortline

Conductor
Joined
Mar 13, 2011
Messages
1,086
And if you have time, before boarding there, visit Pierponts steakhouse. Whenever I’m there and boarding a train West, I have dinner there. It’s amazing. I believe it’s in what used to be the old Fred Harvey restarting space. Their bar alone, is impressive. Requires a rolling ladder to access all their high end liquors. Pricey, but well worth it. Great steak and an amazing old fashioned! 4EFD1C66-562C-448E-A331-B55B6D7495BD.jpeg
 
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