Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Santa Fe Railroad

Today's picture was taken in 1942, and shows a locomotive that was part of the Santa Fe Railroad line. The picture was taken in Chicago, Illinois.

Interesting comments yesterday . . . it sounds like some people have had pleasant experiences with Amtrak, and some have not. Our experience in going from NM to California was a nightmare. First problem was that when we checked our luggage, they said we could not have any liquids in the luggage, and toothpaste and shaving cream were considered liquids. So, they want to go through the luggage, and made us throw out toiletries. Then, we had purchased reserved seats in order to ensure the three of us could sit together. When we got on the train, and showed our tickets, we were told to "find a seat". There were not three seats together, and they said that adjacent seating was subject to availability, and adjacent seats were not available. So, the extra we paid for reserved seating was a scam . . . we would have gotten then same thing purchasing a regular ticket. Then, a lot of the people on the train appeared to be sort of indigent type people. During the night this drunk guy was stumbling up and down the aisle, and then he fell into our seats. Overall, a very bad experience.


  1. I ride both trains and buses. Never had a bad train ride, but one of my bus rides was a nightmare until I spoke up. A group of guys had brought booze onto the bus and took over the rear area of the bus. They got drunk and were starting to get mouthy and make rude remarks to the women on the bus. When the bus stopped for fueling and cleaning the drunks made a beeline for the nearest bar and got drunker.
    When it came time to reboard the bus, I told the drive that I wasn't about to get back on the bus with those drunks. The results were the searching of them and anyone that had booze on them or was drunk wasn't allowed back on the bus. The rest of the passengers clapped when that happened.
    I really felt that the drive should have taken care of the problem with out me having to speak up. He admitted that when he cleaned the bus he found a lot of empty booze bottles in the back of the bus.
    So I guess drunk ride all forms of transportation.

    But back to the trains, when I was a kid just before they started to go to diesel electric trains, I saw a steam train that had I think was 10 drive wheels on a side. WOW, I was amazed at the size of that train.

  2. I can understand your unhappiness with Amtrak. That's a load of hooey about the "reserved" seats.

    As for your picture, I can't get over what a gorgeous day it looks like then!

  3. When I was a wee lad, we would take the train from Casper to Bozeman for holidays. Great memories. A dear friend of my folks was an engineer for the Milwaukee Road out of Bozeman and I remember him letting me "drive" the switcher. The switcher was steam, whereas the cross country trains were electric. I absolutely LOVE the sound of a steam engine just starting: CHUFF..........CHUFF.......CHUFF....CHUFF...CHUFF..CHUFF..CHUFFCHUFFCHUFFCHUFF...........CHUFF, etc.

  4. I just rode the California Zephyr in June from Denver to Sacramento and then took thru-way Motorcoach north to Garberville, Calfornia. I would definitely travel this again, it was fun, pleasant but I recommend getting a sleeper. You can sleep in coach but it's not real great. My Amtrak experience was much more pleasant than the 20 hour plane trip back. I wound up wishing I'd taken the train. My trip is on my blog with Amtrak photos etc. if anyone is interested.

  5. The times I've taken Amtrak and reserved a private "room" were good, although by the end of both trips the service deteriorated to nil. Riding in the regular cars was almost as bad as riding on Greyhound
    buses as a teenager.

  6. Late comment, I know, but I just found your blog. First off, this is a GREAT read. Second, I noticed the boxcar to the left of the engine reads "GRAND CANYON ROUTE". This was actually a bit of advertisement, because the ATSF was the ONLY railroad to run into the Grand Canyon park, and dropped you off about a quarter of a mile from the south rim. They ran the line from 1901 to 1968 (I think. Not sure on the end date). In 1986, another railroad took over the line and still runs trains to the canyon every day (I should know... I clean those trains after they get back!).


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