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Andy Anderson's Journeys


Andy Anderson's Journeys

Andy's Journeys Through America's Backyard

Welcome to Andy's Journeys. In the coming months (years?) I'll be sharing with you my travels aboard some of Amtrak's finest long-distance trains. Many of these travelogues have been taken from the articles I've written for travel magazines and expanded upon.

If you've never had a chance to see this great country of ours from the window of an Amtrak train, then I sincerely hope that these travelogues will help you to make that move...


Something about the author

Andy Anderson is a professional writer, and photo-journalist, whose articles have appeared in travel magazines both here and abroad.

His expertise is in the fields of graphics art, photography and design. In the past 10 years, Andy has been the author of over 17 books, and been the talent on instructional DVD's and CD's from a company called Infinite Skills. In addition, He is a trained chef, and his first cookbook was released in 2008: Cooking with a Plan. His second cookbook is scheduled to be released later this year, and deals with seasonal recipes for the Fall and Winter. In addition to all the books that Andy has written, he managed to squeeze in a science fiction book titled, The Phoenix Project, which all his family says is just the most fantastic book they've ever read... don't you just love family.

That may seem like a lot of things to put on your plate (pun intended); however, there is one more passion that Andy has... and I think that you just might share it with him.. Andy is an avid train fan. He love riding the rails, and to that end, attempts a major trip once a year.

A Few Thoughts from the author

Before digging into this blog there are a few notes to the readers. After traveling the rails for many years; I've identified several types of train travelers: One type are what Amtrak employees call foamers. These are the train buffs that foam at the mouth when they see a new train engine (Is that an Amtrak P-42 Diesel? WOW!). This type of person demands detailed train logs that give all the facts of the train consist; like the number of cars in the train, the specific names and/or car codes, information about each stop... in other words, a compete logical detailed journal. Another type of train traveler likes to read all about the scenery and weather, and another group likes to know about the actual trip inside the train: the bedrooms, what you had for dinner, and the interesting people that you met.

In truth, I don't consider myself any single type; however, I try to incorporate parts of all of them in my travelogues. So, don't expect explicit mechanical details of the trip every second. I will, when it's available talk about the consist; however, it might take me a bit of time to run up and down the train; counting the cars and getting their specific numbers. In addition, I don't really do a train trip just to see the scenery, or write about what I had for lunch, and I don't travel on the train to get to a specific destination...  I do it for the sheer joy of travel by rail. In other words for me, The Journey is the Reward.

I think these travelogues are a combination of all those views of train travel. At one point I might talk about the scenery and skip the food. I might mention who I ate lunch with, and what I had... or not. I might even talk about the train, the cars, and what engine is pulling us down the track.

What I talk about and what I discuss on day one, may be slightly different to what I talk about on day two. As a professional writer, I want to give you, a very real sense of being with me on the journey.

If I can do that, then I feel that I have accomplished my goal.

With that said... welcome to my journeys.

andy anderson

Travelogues, Tips, & Tricks

Andy Anderson Image

Organizing for a Long-Distance Amtrak Trip

Okay, you have decided to make the plunge, and you're going for the long-distance experience... good choice. However, there's a few things that you should know before getting started on this trip-of-a-lifetime. For example, you should book your trip early, and when I mean early, I mean real early.
So, if you really are going to do this, then let's get started.


andy anderson sacramento bench image

The Zen of Photography... on & off the train

Taking photographs on a train can be a challenge. As a professional photographer, I've put together a list of tips/tricks - dos/do nots that will make you a better and safer photographer... did you know you can be arrested just for taking a photograph?



andy anderson blueprint thumbnail superliner sleeper

How They're Made

I've never been able to find good illustrations, or blueprints of the interior of Amtrak cars... So, being an illustrator, I thought that I would begin generating my own. I will add more cars, as time goes by.



Andy Anderson Los Angeles Union Station

Amtrak Journey - January 4th - 12th 2009

This journey begins on a very cold January 4th, in Newton, Kansas, and ends on the 12th, back in Newton, Kansas. Mother Nature threw a couple of curves at us; including mud slides outside of Portland, Oregon. But, as you will see, Amtrak did everything right.



andy anderson amtrak train thumbnail

Amtrak Journey - October 19th - 29th 2009

This journey began with a plane ride to Chicago. Then the mighty Texas Eagle to Los Angeles (70 hours), Coast Starlight to Seattle (35 hours), and then the Empire Builder Back to Chicago (45 hours). Finally a plane trip back home to Wichita.


train image andy anderson

Amtrak Journey - Sept 29th - Oct 9th - 2010

The journey begins with a trip through the air... then we land in Chicago, and travel around the country. From Chicago to Los Angeles, to Seattle, and then back to Chicago. The fun begins here.



Amtrak Southwest Chef Image

Amtrak Journey - Nov 30th - Dec 9th - 2012

Here we go again...

Details on this trip are in the planning stage. Keep a lookout for more information, as I get it. Right now it looks like Newton to Chicago - Chicago to Los Angeles - Los Angeles to Seattle - Seattle to Chicago - Then Chicago, back home to Newton.