Adventurers in the Appalachia
My First trip on the Southwest Chief going to
the 2018 NRHS Convention in Cumberland, Maryland
Southwest Chief - Los Angeles to
Our First Day on the Chief
July 23, 2018
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morning began with the Southwest Chief stopped at the Flagstaff,
AZ Station. Looking out the window I spotted Chris getting a
fresh air break on the platform.
Then I got ready and dressed
and at 6:30am we went to the Dining Car where we were seated
with couple who were on a Amtrak Vacation Trip and really loving
it. They were sad at the fact that next year this train may be
broken up with a bus between Albuquerque and Dodge City. The
main reason for us to book our trip this way was that although
Chris had made this trip many times, I had never been on this
route. I have done three of four of the transnational Amtrak
routes and was anxious to ride before it became history. We all
had a nice breakfast while enjoying the stunning scenery of
Arizona and New Mexico.
I was really enjoying some our country's extraordinary beauty.
A crossword puzzle pattern ?
We arrived in Albuquerque at 12:35pm. Scheduled 11:42am.
If you are a big customer they will bring the product to you.
Vendors have been on the platform for years and years. A long
We left Albuquerque at 1:10
PM (12:10 PM) and headed to our next stop of Lamy. Chris and I
had a lunch reservation at 1:15 PM. We were seated with two very
interesting people with us having a Beef Angus Burger and chips.
We stopped in the siding to let a southbound New Mexico
Railrunner train to pass by us. Good conversations were had and
time flew and soon we were so we were on final approach for
A former Santa Fe Southern railroad display train.
We left Lamy at 2:38pm.
There was no Train 3 at
Canyoncito so we climbed the rest of the way up Glorieta Pass.
We met Train 3, the Southwest Chief, at Rowe siding and we
continued on our way towards Las Vegas. Chris and I walked to
the rear of the train for a little bit of semaphore hunting.
The Blanchard "S" curves.
The semaphores were from Blanchard to MP 775. We arrived into Las
Vegas and left at 4:45pm (3:03) and headed to our next stop at
Las Vegas, NM
Rehabilitation began in Jan of 2018 with a crew of fifty local
The Castañeda was built in 1898
and was Fred Harvey’s first trackside hotel – the beginning of
America’s first hospitality empire. The hotel is roughly 30,000
sq ft, plus a 500 foot long arcade wrapping the entire east
facade and courtyard. There is also a basement under the north
wing for kitchen supplies, under the south wing for boilers and
mechanical equipment, and a huge attic, which was uninsulated
and never used. The Santa Fe Railway mainline ran directly in
front, connecting Las Vegas New Mexico to Chicago and Los
The Castañeda was designed by
Frederick Roehrig, a prominent Pasadena architect. It was the
only building he designed for the AT&SF Railway. This was
the earliest Harvey House to be built in Mission Revival style,
and became the prototype of nearly all future Harvey properties.
The faint wagon wheel ruts
still visible outside Las Vegas attest to the town's era as a
mercantile center on the Santa Fe Trail. Las Vegas also was a
military post until Fort Union was built. During the 1880s it
was known as one of the roughest towns on the frontier,
frequented by such desperadoes as Billy the Kid Doc. The arrival
of the Santa Fe Railroad in 1879 brought commercial prosperity,
and hundreds of historic buildings still stand.
the afternoon, Chris was feeling under the weather so was
skipping dinner tonight. I think his life had been very busy
lately and he just ran out of steam. So I went solo to the
dining car but had a good chicken dinner with friendly
tablemates. About the best activity you can have on train
travel. After the evening meal I sat in the Sightseer Lounge
till I became sleepy and then returned to the room and the end
of the day on the Southwest Chief."
Text and Photos by Author
The author retains
all rights. No reproductions are allowed without
the author's consent.
appreciated at .... firstname.lastname@example.org