Trip Report 8/21/21 – ABQ to DER - Southwest Chief #4 / Wolverine #350

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DetroitDave

Train Attendant
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Jan 10, 2020
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47
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Detroit, MI
I figured I’d document my travel back home to Detorit, MI via SWC.

A bit of backstory: Every couple of years, I like to plan a trip I call “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles” (yes, after to movie…but hopefully with fewer hijinx!). This trip was planned for last year and was bumped. It begand with the 2021 Star Trek Las Vegas convention I was attending 8/10-8/15; then I drove through to Flagstaff and Albuquerque, hiking and visiting National Parks/Scenic Trails/Monuments, and staying at two AirBnBs (one in a yurt along a horse trail!) I visited 14 National parks that were on my list and a few other museums, too. A fantastic journey so far!

I dropped my luggage off at ABQ Alvarado station so I could return my rental and walk back. SWC #4 arrived at 11:24pm. I boarded Car #430, Room #2. My room wasn’t ready yet as the previous passenger just got off. The SCA (Pinky) is wonderful and prepped my roomette while I wandered to the SSL. Oddly, she didn’t have me on her list and thought I just purchased my ticket (in reality, I had re-booked it March 21st)

Amtrak police boarded and checked passengers so we were a bit tardy departing.

I took my lunch reservation for something light even though I brought some food to munch on. Friendly faces (or eyes…behind the masks 😊).

So far, so good!
 

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Cal

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Have a wonderful ride! I was on #3 three weeks ago (Actually got off 3 weeks ago today 😢). I suggest the steak for tonight, it was amazing when I got it.
 

DetroitDave

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Jan 10, 2020
Messages
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Detroit, MI
Have a wonderful ride! I was on #3 three weeks ago (Actually got off 3 weeks ago today 😢). I suggest the steak for tonight, it was amazing when I got it.
Hot dog, I just might! Yes, I saw your reply to lordsigma's trip posts and meant to check when you were riding! 😃
 
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DetroitDave

Train Attendant
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Detroit, MI
Be on the look out for the last handful (I think 4?) semaphores still standing! They won'tbe there for long.
You're reading my mind - I'm a big rail signal nerd (mainly wigwags...I've traveled all over to find them!) And I do remember your posts...they happened to be on my birthday. I liked your travelog as well. So much fun. And ageeed...the trips seem to be over way too soon. 😔
 

DetroitDave

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Detroit, MI
Left Raton a while ago after leg-stretch-stop. Running about...47 min behind.

Now calling first dining. Also...the THIRD time an announcement was made about wearing masks! They actually called out (by outfit description) a woman refusing to wear one in the SSL. The additional announcement this time is pleading for folks to wear shoes. 😳👣

Coach is very full. I didn't have a good spot back in the SSL so watching the view from here and back to reading engrossing book. 📖🤓
 

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Cal

Foamer
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Jan 23, 2021
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You're reading my mind - I'm a big rail signal nerd (mainly wigwags...I've traveled all over to find them!) And I do remember your posts...they happened to be on my birthday. I liked your travelog as well. So much fun. And ageeed...the trips seem to be over way too soon. 😔
Yep. I hope you get to see them! They’re certainly easy to miss
 

PVD

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If that's the same woman I had a few years ago on the SWC she is a delight. I thought she had retired. The bathrooms and showers were clean and fresh, little hotel toiletries in a tray, coffee was great. you rarely saw her, but somehow she was always there if you needed something. Like the Amtrak Radar O'Reilly. I had her Westbound, and she asked when I was returning, and she had that trip. Told me if I wasn't in her car i could come and see her if I needed anything and couldn't get it in my car.
 

DetroitDave

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Joined
Jan 10, 2020
Messages
47
Location
Detroit, MI
I took the 8:30 dinner seating since I had a later lunch.

I was still a bit..."porky" from lunch so even though steak sounded good, I went for the pesto tortellini. No disappoints there! Really filling and almost topped me off. Good seasoning (not to salty), plenty of cheese, moist chicken.

...but not so much to skip dessert: carrot cake. A modest serving, but tasty.

Salad to start...chardonnay to drink.

At some point, a conductor came on and mused that there were going to be "railroad shenanigans" going on between the heavy freight traffic and railside construction at Lamar - don't get off the train or you'll fall in a hole and they won't rescue you!

Off to shower and ride out the rough rails for a bit. 👍🏾😀
 

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DetroitDave

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Jan 10, 2020
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Detroit, MI
Today, slept in to about 6 ish...just as we rolled into Kansas City. It's a bright, beautiful sunny day! Slept great, too!

There was only one thing in my mind for breakfast: Railroad French Toast with a side of bacon and orange juice.

Everyone was spaced out a bit in the dining car, so difficult to two conversation going, but friendly hellos and brief chats have been going on in hallways and lounge.
 

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Dustyroad

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Jul 2, 2020
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163
Today, slept in to about 6 ish...just as we rolled into Kansas City. It's a bright, beautiful sunny day! Slept great, too!

There was only one thing in my mind for breakfast: Railroad French Toast with a side of bacon and orange juice.

Everyone was spaced out a bit in the dining car, so difficult to two conversation going, but friendly hellos and brief chats have been going on in hallways and lounge.
Great report and picture. My friend and I have separate roomettes and will be eating at the same time. But we don't want to be at a table with others. Should we just eat in our rooms or how do we get a table for 2? How do we get a table for 2 ? Any help on this?
 

DetroitDave

Train Attendant
Joined
Jan 10, 2020
Messages
47
Location
Detroit, MI
Great report and picture. My friend and I have separate roomettes and will be eating at the same time. But we don't want to be at a table with others. Should we just eat in our rooms or how do we get a table for 2? How we get a table for 2 ? Any help on this?
Thanks and sure thing! Currently, only those with rooms can eat in the dining car so they are far less crowded than in the past with no coach passengers there. In fact, they're doing the opposite and are trying to keep folks at separate tables. (An odd shift from the past!) There would be no problem with both of you going in and sitting down just the two of you!

(Btw, I like that idea of going in on two roomettes...I was thinking the same thing when taking my mother out on a trip next year.)
 

Barb Stout

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Mar 13, 2019
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931
Location
Albuquerque, NM
Amtrak police boarded and checked passengers so we were a bit tardy departing.
I'm thinking that's unusual, but then I only take Amtrak once or twice a year. I wonder if they did that due to the recent situation where some out-of-towners robbed a high school student who then called the cops who then took fire from 1 of the robbers who had more than one extender for ammunition (sorry, I don't know gun terminology) and 4 cops ended up in the hospital, one of whom is still in critical condition. It was a huge deal for ABQ on account of the recent nationwide upsurge in crime and gun violence has not skipped ABQ and the gun battle endangered a lot of people who were at nearby businesses. It happened Thursday Aug. 19th. When did you leave ABQ?
 

DetroitDave

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Detroit, MI
I'm thinking that's unusual, but then I only take Amtrak once or twice a year. I wonder if they did that due to the recent situation where some out-of-towners robbed a high school student who then called the cops who then took fire from 1 of the robbers who had more than one extender for ammunition (sorry, I don't know gun terminology) and 4 cops ended up in the hospital, one of whom is still in critical condition. It was a huge deal for ABQ on account of the recent nationwide upsurge in crime and gun violence has not skipped ABQ and the gun battle endangered a lot of people who were at nearby businesses. It happened Thursday Aug. 19th. When did you leave ABQ?
Wow, what news!

I left Aug 21st.

You know...that's interesting you mention that. On Thursday or Friday...I was driving back into town from the National Parks and there were a bunch of police racing up the freeway heading north (I'm talking over a dozen easily). But it was north of the city. I didn't find anything on the news but I was curious what was going on. Could very well be unrelated.
 

Barb Stout

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Mar 13, 2019
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931
Location
Albuquerque, NM
Wow, what news!

I left Aug 21st.

You know...that's interesting you mention that. On Thursday or Friday...I was driving back into town from the National Parks and there were a bunch of police racing up the freeway heading north (I'm talking over a dozen easily). But it was north of the city. I didn't find anything on the news but I was curious what was going on. Could very well be unrelated.
Could be. They said it was a complicated crime scene most of which was actually in east ABQ pretty far away from I-25 (goes north and south), but pretty close to I-40 which goes east and west. But nowadays there is something going on almost every day. Friday someone carjacked somebody and again shot at police, but I don't remember if any were injured. The previous week some 13-year-old kid murdered another 13-year-old kid who tried to stop that guy from beating up yet another 13-year-old kid, all occurring on school grounds.
 

DetroitDave

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Messages
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Location
Detroit, MI
Could be. They said it was a complicated crime scene most of which was actually in east ABQ pretty far away from I-25 (goes north and south), but pretty close to I-40 which goes east and west. But nowadays there is something going on almost every day. Friday someone carjacked somebody and again shot at police, but I don't remember if any were injured. The previous week some 13-year-old kid murdered another 13-year-old kid who tried to stop that guy from beating up yet another 13-year-old kid, all occurring on school grounds.
That's very distressing 😔
 
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PaTrainFan

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Pittsburgh, Pa.
As appetizing as these meals appear, that will only be enhanced when (if) upgraded service settings are introduced as promised.

I took the 8:30 dinner seating since I had a later lunch.

I was still a bit..."porky" from lunch so even though steak sounded good, I went for the pesto tortellini. No disappoints there! Really filling and almost topped me off. Good seasoning (not to salty), plenty of cheese, moist chicken.

...but not so much to skip dessert: carrot cake. A modest serving, but tasty.

Salad to start...chardonnay to drink.

At some point, a conductor came on and mused that there were going to be "railroad shenanigans" going on between the heavy freight traffic and railside construction at Lamar - don't get off the train or you'll fall in a hole and they won't rescue you!

Off to shower and ride out the rough rails for a bit. 👍🏾😀
 
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