December 8th, 2015


Chasin' The Chief

I've renewed my efforts to go out and catch the departure of the eastbound Southwest Chief every lunchtime. I use the Amtrak website to make sure that the train is on time, and then I head out to a location about a block away from the office that has an unobstructed view of the tracks. On a good day the whistle blows at precisely 12:10 and off she goes towards Chicago. Hopefully there is something interesting to see like today when there was a private car added to the end.


According to this website the car is for sale. Perhaps it was just purchased. Who knows? There have been a few private cars over the past few weeks; an old Santa Fe observation car and a Pullman sleeper. Other oddities have included a couple of Surfliner cars, perhaps on their way to the shop, as well as a Surfliner engine. There has also been one of the brand new baggage cars tacked on to end once. I've also noticed the change in consist over time. Usually it's 2 engines, a baggage car, 3 sleepers, the diner, the lounge, and 3 coaches. Right before Thanksgiving there was an extra coach. Now there are frequently only 2 coaches as the travel season ends. I am also getting dangerously close to "ultra-train geek" status by keeping track of the locomotive numbers to see how they rotate through the system. *snort*