Around the U.S. by Train #4: Sunset Limited (March 2017)

Amtrak Sunset Limited Los Angeles California

The Sunset Limited starts in New Orleans and takes the most southerly route in the U.S. all the way to Los Angeles, California. Those who stayed awake during high school history class will remember that this southern route was made possible by the Gadsden Purchase of 1854, not to mention the Mexican-America War of 1846-48.  The train left the station at 9:00AM, so we had the whole day to observe its passage through the wet, coastal plains of Louisiana, into the pine forests of eastern Texas, and on to the clenching humidity of Houston, Texas.  Night fell after we left Houston and the light didn’t return until we’d reached Del Rio, Texas and started into the scrub deserts of West Texas.  We made a stop in Alpine, Texas (which I’d last visited a few years ago enroute to Big Bend National Park) and then pressed on to El Paso, Texas.  Beyond El Paso, the tracks run right up to the Mexican border, right up to pieces of the new (but likely futile) border wall, and soon enters New Mexico.  The Amtrak station in Deming, New Mexico stands out for being a lonely little open shelter with two benchs in a gravel parking lot.  Night fell again just as we reached Benson, Arizona and that was it for any more sightseeing on this trip.

 The Sunset Limited arrived in Los Angeles in the dark at 5:30AM, ontime after 1,995 miles of travel.  Impressive!  Then it was a rush to the airport to catch an early flight – which was delayed – followed by a connection in Portland, Oregon and home by 5:00PM.  Overall, this was a magnificant trip with great friends.  It was also a trip that reminded us, once again, of how huge and diverse – by almost any measure you choose – are the United States of America.

Amtrak Sunset Limited Los Angeles California
Union Station, New Orleans, Louisiana
Amtrak Sunset Limited Los Angeles California
Mural detail, Union Station, New Orleans, Louisiana
Amtrak Sunset Limited Los Angeles California
A truck named “Fluffy”, New Orleans, Louisiana
Amtrak Sunset Limited Los Angeles California
The infamous Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana
Amtrak Sunset Limited Los Angeles California
Back across the Mississippi River outside New Orleans, Louisiana
Amtrak Sunset Limited Los Angeles California
Lafayette, Louisiana
Amtrak Sunset Limited Los Angeles California
Morgan City, Louisiana – shrimp and oil
Amtrak Sunset Limited Los Angeles California
Outside Morgan City, Louisiana
Amtrak Sunset Limited Los Angeles California
Outside Morgan City, Louisiana
Amtrak Sunset Limited Los Angeles California
Louisiana sugarcane field
Amtrak Sunset Limited Los Angeles California
Westlake, Louisiana
Amtrak Sunset Limited Los Angeles California
Beaumont, Texas
Amtrak Sunset Limited Los Angeles California
Amtrak station, Beaumont, Texas
Amtrak Sunset Limited Los Angeles California
Graffiti, Beaumont, Texas
Amtrak Sunset Limited Los Angeles California
West of Beaumont, Texas
Amtrak Sunset Limited Los Angeles California
Houston, Texas
Amtrak Sunset Limited Los Angeles California
Midnight in San Antonio, Texas
Amtrak Sunset Limited Los Angeles California
Sanderson, Texas
Amtrak Sunset Limited Los Angeles California
East of Alpine, Texas
Amtrak Sunset Limited Los Angeles California
Alpine, Texas
Amtrak Sunset Limited Los Angeles California
Alpine, Texas
Amtrak Sunset Limited Los Angeles California
East of El Paso, Texas
Amtrak Sunset Limited Los Angeles California
Amtrak station, El Paso, Texas
Amtrak Sunset Limited Los Angeles California
Crossing the Rio Grande at El Paso, Texas
Amtrak Sunset Limited Los Angeles California
The Border Wall at El Paso, Texas
Amtrak Sunset Limited Los Angeles California
Rain in eastern New Mexico
Amtrak Sunset Limited Los Angeles California
Amtrak station shelter, Deming, New Mexico
Amtrak Sunset Limited Los Angeles California
West of Deming, New Mexico
Amtrak Sunset Limited Los Angeles California
The last store open in old Lordsburg, New Mexico
Amtrak Sunset Limited Los Angeles California
On into the night to end of track

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