It all began back in 1959, at the age of 4½. My family and I were heading up to Cape Cod and somewhere along the way I saw this railroad bridge with these huge boxcars on top of it, wondering what they were. A few years later I was at my Nana and Nunu’s summer cottage in Niantic, Connecticut and come to find out that the New Haven Railroad was right down the street. In fact, there was this green house with a back yard that was near the tracks and it made for the perfect place to watch the trains as they rolled by. From that year on, I was hooked.
Fast forward to present day and I am in my hometown of Windsor Locks, Connecticut at Bradley International Airport getting ready to fly out to Chicago, Illinois to begin my trip on the rails.
This trip is unique in that it is being sponsored by Trains Magazine out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Back last June, I received an email from Trains announcing this great trip. It begins aboard the private sleeper car Cimarron River operated by Altiplano Rail out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Our car and 3 other private cars will be attached to the end of Amtrak train #3, the Southwest Chief, out of Union Station in Chicago, Illinois. Traveling on the railway owned by the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF), we will go thru Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and California, arriving in Los Angeles at 8am PDT on Saturday, May 4.
As the trip proceeds, I will post the segments of the trip. And while the journey goes on, here are some useful links:
https://www.amtrak.com/track-your-train.html This link will take you to Amtrak’s website. Just look for the arrow icon along my route and click on it to see where the Southwest Chief is in route.
https://specialinteresttours.com/amfile/file/download/file_id/12/product_id/5/ this link takes you to the itinerary for each day of the trip
So, climb on board and join me for a once-in-a-lifetime trip with other railfans from around the world. It should be a blast.
I’m Philip J Zocco. On The Road. In Windsor Locks, Connecticut.