Note: The writer of this story is a lover of train travel who first rode the Southwest Chief in 1974, when it was called the Southwest Limited.
It is a magical journey. It is a way to experience the panoramic scenery of the Midwest and West without ever turning a key in an ignition. Amtrak’s Southwest Chief, whose origins date back to 1937, is cited as one of the loveliest rail trips in the world. And its future is in jeopardy.
The Southwest Chief, which runs between Los Angeles and Chicago, glides through some of the world’s most magnificent landscapes on a route that carries some 355,000 passengers every year. There is magic all along the route – the train offers easy access to the Grand Canyon at its Flagstaff, Ariz., stop and to arty Santa Fe, N.M., by disembarking at the village of Lamy. Passengers can tour and pick up a later train to continue their journey if they choose.
Amtrak says the track must be improved to handle the speed of modern trains, and it is asking for $200Read More »from The small-town fight to save Amtrak's Southwest Chief