Episode 14 is the fourth part of the Chicago to The Bay Area leg of Tim Davies’ journey. Tim is travelling across the USA on the iconic Amtrak trains. This latest leg of the US Railway Travelogue is on the California Zephyr train, and this episode finds hims kicking off as the shadows are lengthening, and the train travels through some of the most wide open expanses Tim has seen yet.
One of the first stops he comes to in this episode is Rock Springs, Wyoming, through Salt Lake City, Utah, while the last is Reno, Nevada, before heading off again towards California through more rugged country.
These are a selection of images captured from the train en route, and of some of the stops along the way in this episode of the US Railway Travelogue podcast.
The journey continues on the California Zephyr next episode into more rugged country. All aboard!
Episode 13 is the third part of the Chicago to The Bay Area leg of Tim Davies’ journey. Tim is travelling across the USA on the iconic Amtrak trains. This latest leg of the US Railway Travelogue is on the California Zephyr train, and this episode finds hims continuing on, as the train escapes the city of Denver, emerging through the countryside of nurseries, maize fields and assorted agriculture as far as the eye can see.
The route hits Brighton, Greeley, Cheyanne and Laramie, before reaching the stop of Rawlins in this particular episode, in which it also crosses the Colorado/Wyoming state line. It continues on to Salt Lake City, Utah in future episodes.
The images below capture some of the sights seen from the carriages of the train, and aspects covered during this particular episode.
We continue heading on to Salt Lake City in the next episode of the US Railway Travelogue podcast.
Episode 12 is the second part of the Chicago to The Bay Area leg of Tim Davies’ journey. Tim is travelling across the USA on the iconic Amtrak trains. This latest leg of the US Railway Travelogue is on the California Zephyr train, and this episode finds hims continuing from Mount Pleasant, Iowa to Denver Union Station, Colorado, before the train continues on to Salt Lake City, Utah in future episodes.
We follow the journey taken by Tim through this episode with images of some of the points on the route, and some photos taken by Tim himself below on the Sound Vault website.
We leave these outskirts of Denver behind, as we head for Salt Lake City, and the next instalment of US Railway Travelogue in Episode 13 – coming soon.
Episode 11 is the first part of the Chicago to The Bay Area leg of Tim Davies’ journey. Tim is travelling across the USA on the iconic Amtrak trains. This latest leg of the US Railway Travelogue is on the California Zephyr train, and this episode sees him setting off from Chicago Union station, and ends up in Burlington, Iowa.
Part two of the California Zephyr leg of the trip to come in the next episode of US Railway Travelogue.
Episode 10 is the fifth and final part of the Portland to Chicago leg of Tim Davies’ journey. Tim is travelling across the USA on the iconic Amtrak trains. This leg is on the Empire Builder train, and this episode sees him covering ground from Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Chicago, Illinois. The next leg of his journey will be on the California Zephyr in future episodes.
These are some of the sights and images captured along the route covered in this episode of the US Railway Travelogue.
Episode 9 is part four of the Portland to Chicago leg of Tim Davies’ journey across the USA on the iconic Amtrak trains – for the this part of the journey, continuing on the Empire Builder train, from Red Wing, Minnesota, to Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Here are a few of the images that follow the route along with this episode of the US Railway Travelogue podcast.
The next episode – Episode 10 – will see the final part of this stage of the journey on the Empire Builder, taking up the journey from Milwaukee and on to Chicago.
Episode 8 is part 3 of the Portland to Chicago leg of Tim Davies’ journey across the USA on the iconic Amtrak trains – for this part of the journey, continuing on the Empire Builder train.
The episode of his US Railway Travelogue podcast begins at Havre, Montana – a 20 minute service stop – where there is a steam locomotive on display. You’ll recognise some of these images as described in this episode.
From here, the train follows the course of the Milk River to Glasgow.
Next stop is Malta Station.
Next stop is Glasgow Station, Montana.
We next reach Wolf Point.
We next reach Williston Station, North Dakota.
Then onto Stanley, North Dakota.
We now reach Minot, North Dakota, where there is a service stop.
Between Minot and St. Paul, we pass through Rugby, Devil’s Lake and Grand Forks stations.
More stations of the night… passing through Fargo, DetroitLakes, Staples, and St. Cloud.
We arrive in the morning at St Paul, Minnesota Station – the twin city station with Minneapolis.
The train follows the Mississippi for 140 miles.
Next stop is Red Wing Station.
The next episode, Episode 9, takes up part 4 of the Empire Builder leg of Tim’s journey, from Red Wing to Milwaukee. Stay tuned!
Episode 7 is part 2 of the Portland to Chicago leg of Tim Davies’ journey across the USA on the iconic Amtrak trains – for this part of the journey, continuing on the Empire Builder train.
We pick up this episode as the train slows coming into Pasco Station, where passengers can disembark for a few minutes’ fresh air.
Next stop, in three hours time is Spokane.
Passed in the night, next station was Sandpoint. Named the most beautiful small town in 2011 by the newspaper USA Today. Shame Tim missed it!
Another small town passed through in the night was Libby.
Next en route is the seven mile long Flathead Tunnel – the third longest tunnel in the western hemisphere, and second longest in the US.
Tim awoke next day as the train arrived at Whitefish.
Next stop is West Glacier.
The train moves through into a mountainous, fir-forested area, with stunning scenery, which makes the observation car very useful, but Tim still manages to catch a conversation with the odd passenger taking the same trip.
Another small station passed through – Essex – featuring the Izaac Walton Inn.
The train next passes through the Marias Pass.
Next station en route: East Glacier Park.
Next station en-route is Browning.
We start to leave the Rockies behind, as well as passing our next stop, Cut Bank, while talking to some more fellow passengers.
Then on from Cut Bank to Shelby, and on to the open prairies. Canada is only 25 miles away as we leave the station.
Tim returns for part three of the Portland to Chicago leg of his trip on the Empire Builder, emerging from amongst the grain silos outside Shelby in Episode 8, which follows soon.
Episode 4 of US Railway Travelogue finds Tim Davies continuing onto the second part of the San Francisco to Portland leg of his trip on the first of the iconic Amtrak trains he is taking, recording the sights and sounds of ‘The Coast Starlight‘.
With the train running about half an hour late, this episode picks up at a station called Chemult.
As well as the sights and sounds, Tim manages to speak to a few of the passengers to discover why they are using the train, rather than other forms of transport available, such as flying.
After a while, the train crosses through the Cascades mountain range, and eventually some 22 tunnels – as well as some beautiful scenery.
As the train continues to pass through breathtaking views, Tim chats to another passenger, Bob, about what brings him to the train, and about how the scenery compares to back home in Colorado.
The train eventually makes it to Eugene, Oregon – named after the town’s founder. It is the western-most town on the Amtrak system.
Heading out of Eugene, the train passes a significant number of freight yards. Tim steals an opportunity to talk to CJ who looks after the ‘Parlour Car‘ on the Coast Starlight, about what the job entails, and how he got the job.
Onwards, to Albany.
Next stop Salem – an impressive, mansion-like station. The city is famous for being home to Kettle Foods – the people behind the famous Kettle Crisps!
The train then passes through the Oregon City area.
This leg of Tim’s journey came to an end in Portland.
Tim Davies and Sound Vault would like to thank Amtrak who have helped make the recording of this podcast possible, and all of the crew of The Coast Starlight on this trip who made it so memorable.
Episode 3 of US Railway Travelogue finds Tim Davies taking the first part of the San Francisco to Portland leg of his trip on the first of the iconic Amtrak trains he is taking – ‘The Coast Starlight‘.
The episode begins with Tim at the bus stop in San Francisco’s financial district, where he waits to take the bus out to Emeryville Station where the train journey begins. It gives Tim a chance to set the scene on the journeys ahead, and in particular, ‘The Coast Starlight‘.
Some of the interior aspects of the train as described by Tim during the Travelogue:
Tim documents passing through Martinez, Davis Street, Sacremento, Chico, Redding and Dunsmuir stations during the night. While not awake, he takes care not to miss out marking of passing through them.
The following morning, a beautiful sunrise, and a sensational view of wooded hills was awaiting Tim when he awoke.
The train departed Klamath Falls around 8.15am. The town was established in 1867, the station built in 1916.
Soon after, Tim strikes up a conversation with a fellow traveller, hoping it might be someone local who can tell him something about the USA today, only to discover it is a fellow rail enthusiast doing a ten day tour – from Basingstoke in Hampshire in the UK – not far down the road from Tim’s hometown of Wrecclesham.
Part two of this leg of the trip will follow next week in Episode 4 of the US Railway Travelogue.
Tim Davies would like to thank Amtrak with their assistance in making this podcast series possible.
Episode 2 of US Railway Travelogue from Tim Davies brings us the sights and sounds of San Francisco before he embarks of the first leg of his journey by Amtrak trains, on The Coast Starlight from Emeryville Station.
Known as “The City By The Bay“, San Francisco has been the inspiration behind many classic hits, most capturing a particular movement and lifestyle some fifty years ago: Tony Bennett’s “I Left MyHeart In San Francisco;” Scott McKenzie’s “San Francisco;” The Flowerpot Men’s “Let’s Go To San Francisco;” and Eric Burden & The Animals’ “San Franciscan Nights“. (You can see YouTube clips to each at the bottom of this post).
Tim seeks to capture a little of the essence of the city that is known for its steep hills; its large ‘Chinatown’; for Alcatraz; its cable cars; and its diverse and cosmopolitan population. San Francisco is the 13th most populous in US, apparently the fittest in the US, and renowned for its progressive political culture. Small businesses with less than 10 employees are said to make up approx. 85% of all city business establishments.
The photos below follow the audio of the Travelogue on the podcast as it progresses.
After the flight, and train trip documented in Episode 1, Tim headed for his hotel – the Hilton in the financial district of San Francisco, next door to Chinatown. As the view from his room in the photo shows, he was staying on the 25th floor.
On Day 3 of his journey, Tim heads down to Pier 39 for a tour of the bay by boat.
The boat trip passes under the Golden Gate Bridge, out into the Pacific, and then back into the bay, past Alcatraz.
After the boat trip, Tim decided to take a “hop-on, hop-off” bus tour – the blue route as show on the map below, so that he could see the city from double decker bus.
Tim’s final trip of the day had to be on one of the city’s cable cars.
After the cable car trip, Tim was ready to collect himself together, and his baggage from the hotel, ready to catch a coach out to Emeryville Station, where he will board the first of the great Amtrak trains of this journey – in Episode 3!
Episode 1 gets Tim Davies’ US Railway Travelogue underway after the Introductory Episode at the end of 2017. This first episode features the London to San Francisco leg of the trip by air.
The podcast begins with the Tim waiting for his taxi to take him to London Heathrow Terminal 5, before heading off on the eleven hour flight to San Francisco.
Tim endeavours to capture the soundscape of navigating check-in, and picking up his pre-booked currency for the trip, before boarding. His voice, both knowledgeable and inviting, serves to ensure the listener feel like they have a special boarding pass for the trip.
Tim captures take-off, travelling on a British Airways A380 plane, and passing on some additional information about sights and sounds which may have passed you by – or you may not have had an opportunity to sample.
He records what it feels like above the clouds, looking down on the icebergs and mountains covered with snow, before finally landing in San Francisco on a bright sunny Saturday afternoon.
In future weeks, Episode 2 will cover Tim’s adventures in San Francisco; Episodes 3 and 4 the first of Tim’s journeys on the famous Amtrak trains (this one, The Coast Starlight), and Episode 5, Tim’s stop in Portland, Oregon – before the Travelogue continues onwards across the USA in future episodes. We trust you enjoy your journey!
Photos from throughout the trip during subsequent episodes, as well as additional images, will be added to the podcast’s own Pinterest board.
You can listen to the original Intr,oductory Episode of US Railway Travelogue where Tim explained what he hoped to get out of the journey, and the reasons behind the podcast by clicking here.
Tim would like to give his thanks to the crew of BA 287 on 23rd September 2017 who made his journey so enjoyable. He would also like to give his thanks to Amtrak and British Airways for all their assistance in making the production of this podcast possible.
The Introductory Episode of US Railway Travelogue sees Tim Davies of Wrecclesham come into the studio ahead of his trip across the US on such iconic Amtrak trains as’The Coast Starlight’, ‘The Empire Builder’ and ‘The California Zephyr’ to explain his podcast series – and why he is undertaking the journey.
When he returns, Tim will be sharing some of the sounds he has collected en route, and reflecting on his journey across 14 states in subsequent episodes of this podcast series.