Friday, October 7, 2011

A ride on Amtrak from Boston to El Paso

Passengers stretch their legs during a station stop in Texas
I flew east, but decided to return home by train, just for the experience.  I arrived in Boston with a backpack full of food to last the three plus days it would take to get to El Paso. We got off to a bad start when the train left Boston late, and stayed behind schedule all the way to Chicago.
Union Station, Chicago
Motorized self cleaning toilet seat
I had a couple of hours to kill in Union Station where I saw my first motorized toilet seat. The seat is encased in a continuous plastic sleeve which is advanced to a new, clean section after each use.  Cool!

I was to transfer to the Texas Eagle which would take me to San Antonio, Texas where we would join with another train heading to Los Angeles.  The Texas Eagle was late leaving Chicago, but we had a scheduled 8 hour layover in San Antonio, TX, and we left there on time.
View of a new bridge being constructed along the rail route
 From Boston to San Antonio, most of the views were of trees along the tracks, but from here on we were in desert with expansive views, sometimes allowing us to see into Mexico.
A view of the city (Dallas, I think) from the station platform

We crossed the Pecos River on what we were told was once the highest railroad bridge in the US, and 3rd highest in the world.
The Pecos River as seen from what was at one time the highest railroad bridge in the US
During my time on the train I got little sleep, and developed some saddle sores from spending about 22 hours per day, for more than three days, sitting in a seat. I did do a lot of reading! We arrived in El Paso a little ahead of schedule, and I hustled to the bus terminal to catch the bus to Las Cruces.  Great trip, but good to be home.

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