US Railway Travelogue – Episode 14: USRAIL014

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.

Map showing Amtrak’s western routes, the California Zephyr through the middle. Credit: Amtrak.
California Zephyr poster. Credit: Loco Steve, CC BY 2.0.
Map showing diversion route of the California Zephyr, through Wyoming. Credit, Loco Steve, CC BY 2.0.

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.

Middle of nowhere in Wyoming. Credit: Tim Davies.
Wyoming, middle of nowhere. Credit: Tim Davies.
Early evening Wyoming, middle of nowhere, as the shadows began to lengthen. Credit: Tim Davies.
Rock Springs. Credit: RSprings123, CC BY 3.0.
Downtown Green River. Credit: Milonica, CC BY-SA 3.0.
Citadel Rock, Green River, Wyoming. Credit: Andrew J. Russell. Public Domain.
Evanston. Credit: Milonica, CC BY-SA 3.0.
Feeding the Zephyr at Salt Lake City. Credit: Loco Steve, CC BY 2.0.
Salt Lake City stop. Credit: Loco Steve, CC BY 2.0.
Salt Lake City stop. Credit: Loco Steve, CC BY 2.0.
Elko Amtrak Station. Credit: Visitor7, CC BY-SA 3.0.
A new day, new desolation – from Elko to Winnemucca. Credit: Tim Davies.
A new day, new desolation – Elko to Winnemucca. Credit: Tim Davies.
A new day, new desolation – Elko to Winnemucca. Credit: Tim Davies.
A new day, new desolation – Elko to Winnemucca. Credit: Tim Davies.
Somewhere small on the way to Winnemucca. Credit: Tim Davies.
Elko to Winnemucca – are we approaching a junction? Credit: Tim Davies.
Elko to Winnemucca – parallel tracks continue. Credit: Tim Davies.
Nearing Winnemucca – and a scrapyard. Credit: Tim Davies.
A beautiful morning in Winnemucca. Credit: Tim Davies.
Stopped! Credit: Tim Davies.
Taking in the Winnemucca air. Credit: Tim Davies.
The train doesn’t fit the station! Credit: Tim Davies.
This is not a place to get stranded! Credit: Tim Davies.
Not a place to get stranded. Credit: Tim Davies.
And then there was a lake! Credit: Tim Davies.
And then, an oasis and a trailer park… Credit: Tim Davies.
More mountains, more heat, and more blue sky. Credit: Tim Davies.
There must be water, as cattle can survive. Credit: Tim Davies.
The river, and some green. Credit: Tim Davies.
Almost a city. Credit: Tim Davies.
Lovelock, Nevada. Credit, Tim Davies.
Ever westwards. Credit: Tim Davies.
Is the white in this photo dried salt, or minerals? Credit: Tim Davies.
Where did that cloud come from? Credit: Tim Davies.
Approaching Reno. Credit: Tim Davies.
California Zephyr, changing crews at Reno. Credit: Loco Steve, CC BY 3.0.
Reno Station. Credit: Davemeistermoab, CC BY-SA 3.0.
The journey continues with more rugged country – come back next episode for more! Credit: Tim Davies.

The journey continues on the California Zephyr next episode into more rugged country. All aboard!

Music credits:

Theme: “Steam Railway”, AK012, Composer: Kimber-McTiffen; Track Number 1, Royalty Free from “The Special Interest Video Selection“; (AKM Music);

 

US Railway Travelogue – Episode 13: USRAIL013

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.

Map showing Amtrak’s western routes, the California Zephyr through the middle. Credit: Amtrak.
California Zephyr poster. Credit: Loco Steve, CC BY 2.0.

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.

Map showing diversion route of the California Zephyr, through Wyoming. Credit, Loco Steve, CC BY 2.0.

The images below capture some of the sights seen from the carriages of the train, and aspects covered during this particular episode.

Nursery garden beside the tracks as the train leaves Denver well behind. Credit: Tim Davies.
A little infuriating as cars drive past, while the train is stopped for more than a short moment. Credit: Tim Davies.
Bringing in the harvest. Credit: Tim Davies.
The brand that is everywhere you go…. Credit: Tim Davies.
Brighton…. although I’m not sure if this is the beach? Credit: Tim Davies.
Having to wait for the slow train to pass! Credit: Tim Davies.
Transporting the parts for wind turbines. Credit: Tim Davies.
On safari, the cheaper version. Prairie dogs. Credit: Tim Davies.
Arable as far as you can see. Credit: Tim Davies.
That arable land just keeps going on as far as the eye can see. Credit: Tim Davies.
Yet more arable as far as the eye can see. Credit: Tim Davies.
More arable as far as the eye can see. Credit: Tim Davies.
You guessed it – more arable as far as the eye can see. Credit: Tim Davies.
The train has stopped again, which gives other modes of transport a chance to make up time. Credit: Tim Davies.
Old Fort Vasquez, between Denver and Cheyanne. Credit, Loco Steve, CC-BY-2.0.
Greeley. Credit: Tim Davies
Greeley Union Pacific Railroad Depot. Credit: Hustvedt, CC-BY-SA-3.0.
Down Town Greeley. Credit: Tim Davies.
Greeley, Colorado. Credit: Loco Steve, CC BY 2.0.
Between Cheyenne and Laramie. Credit: Tim Davies.
Between Cheyenne and Laramie. Credit: Tim Davies.
Wyoming Turbines. Credit: Tim Davies.
Tim saw some buffalo from the train. Credit: Tim Davies.
Big country cattle. Credit: Tim Davies.
Big country cattle. Credit: Tim Davies.
The first snow of this leg of the trip comes into view. Credit: Tim Davies.
The first snow. Credit: Tim Davies.
Big skies, as well as that snow. Credit: Tim Davies.
More of that first snow. Credit: Tim Davies.
I wonder just what they did here? Credit: Tim Davies.
Pity about the phone lines. Credit: Tim Davies.
Snow fences. Credit: Tim Davies.
Rocks and snow. Credit: Tim Davies.
Awesome. Credit: Tim Davies.
Wyoming Big Country. Credit: Tim Davies.
Amazing rocks. Credit: Tim Davies.
Some things are universal – changeable weather! Credit: Tim Davies.
A trek to your neighbour. Credit: Tim Davies.
Cattle. Credit: Tim Davies.
Major civilisation? Credit: Tim Davies.
It gets windy. Credit: Tim Davies.
Very windy. Credit: Tim Davies.
Home is on the Prairie. Credit: Tim Davies.
Too desolate, even for arable! Credit: Tim Davies.
Supplying the oil to keep the trains moving. Credit: Tim Davies.
And some oil leaves by train! Credit: Tim Davies.
Rawlins, Union Pacific Railroad Depot. Credit: Jeffrey Beall, CC BY 3.0.
Down Town Rawlins. Credit: Tim Davies.

We continue heading on to Salt Lake City in the next episode of the US Railway Travelogue podcast.

Music credits:

Theme: “Steam Railway”, AK012, Composer: Kimber-McTiffen; Track Number 1, Royalty Free from “The Special Interest Video Selection“; (AKM Music);

US Railway Travelogue – Episode 12: USRAIL012

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.

Map showing Amtrak’s western routes, the California Zephyr through the middle. Credit: Amtrak.
California Zephyr poster. Credit: Loco Steve, CC BY 2.0.
Map showing diversion route of the California Zephyr, through Wyoming. Credit, Loco Steve, CC BY 2.0.

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.

Mount Pleasant Station. Credit: Loco Steve, CC-BY-2.0.
Members of the local Amish community at Mount Pleasant Station. Credit: Tim Davies.
The setting sun….. Credit: Tim Davies.
Ottumwa – home to the company clerk from M*A*S*H, Radar O’Reilly. Credit: Tim Davies.
Ottumwa. Credit: Loco Steve, CC-BY-2.0.
Ottumwa Station platform. Credit: Tim Davies.
Osceola Station. Credit: Loco Steve, CC-BY-2.0.
Osceola Station. Credit: Loco Steve, CC-BY-2.0.
Osceola Water Tower. Credit: Loco Steve, CC-BY-2.0.
The observation car – home to the interviews. Credit: Tim Davies.
The observation car – home to the interviews. Credit: Tim Davies.
Creston Station. Credit: Augiejv, CC-BY-SA-3.0.
Creston Station. Credit: Loco Steve, CC-BY-2.0.
Trains at Creston Station. Credit: Loco Steve, CC-BY-2.0.
Stanton Coffee Pot. Credit: Jared Winkler, CC-BY-SA-4.0.
Fishermen on the Missouri River in Council Bluffs. Credit: Decumanus, CC-BY-SA-3.0.
Omaha. Credit: Loco Steve, CC-BY-2.0.
Omaha Station. Credit: Augiejv, CC-BY-SA-3.0.
Lincoln, Nebraska Station. Credit: Ammodramus, CC0.
Hastings Station. Credit: samswitzer, CC-BY-2.0.
Holderedge Ironhorse Station. Credit: Ammodramus, Public Domain.
McCook Station, Nebraska. Credit: Ammodramus, CC0.
Fort Morgan Station. Credit: Loco Steve, CC-BY-2.0.
Cattle at Fort Morgan. Credit: Loco Steve, CC-BY-2.0.
California Zephyr at Keenesburg. Credit: Loco Steve, CC-BY-2.0.
Nearing Commerce City in the morning. Credit: Tim Davies.
Commerce City. Credit: Loco Steve, CC-BY-2.0.
Commerce City, near Denver. Credit: Loco Steve, CC-BY-2.0.
Denver outskirts. Credit: Tim Davies.
Denver. Credit: Loco Steve, CC-BY-2.0.
Run in to Denver Station. Credit: Tim Davies.
Denver Union Station. Credit: Darkshark0159, Public Domain.
Denver Station platform. Credit: Tim Davies.
Denver Station platform. Credit: Tim Davies.
Denver Station platform. Credit: Tim Davies.
Denver Station platform. Credit: Tim Davies.
Denver Station platform. Credit: Tim Davies.
Without whom we would not be here….. Credit: Tim Davies.
Overland route from timetable. Copyright. Amtrak.
The Overland Route in 1908. Public Domain.
Denver Stockyards. Credit: Loco Steve, CC-BY-2.0.
Sleepers everywhere. Credit: Tim Davies.
More sleepers, all wood. Credit: Tim Davies.
The picturesque outskirts of Denver on the diversion. Credit: Tim Davies.
More picturesque outskirts of Denver on the diversion. Credit: Tim Davies.
The picturesque outskirts of Denver on the diversion. Credit: Tim Davies.
The picturesque outskirts of Denver on the diversion. Credit: Tim Davies.
The picturesque outskirts of Denver on the diversion. Credit: Tim Davies.
The picturesque outskirts of Denver on the diversion. Credit: Tim Davies.
The picturesque outskirts of Denver on the diversion. Credit: Tim Davies.
The picturesque outskirts of Denver on the diversion. Credit: Tim Davies.
Suncor, Denver. On the diversion. Credit: Loco Steve, CC-BY-2.0.

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.

Music credits:

Theme: “Steam Railway”, AK012, Composer: Kimber-McTiffen; Track Number 1, Royalty Free from “The Special Interest Video Selection“; (AKM Music);

 

US Railway Travelogue – Episode 11: USRAIL011

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.

Map showing Amtrak’s western routes, the California Zephyr through the middle. Credit: Amtrak.
California Zephyr poster. Credit: Loco Steve, CC BY 2.0.
Map showing diversion route (purple line) of the California Zephyr, through Wyoming. Credit, Loco Steve, CC BY 2.0.
Lake Shore Drive and Lake Michigan from the Drake Hotel. Credit: Tim Davies.
Lake Michigan and Lake Shore Drive from the Drake Hotel. Credit: Tim Davies.
Public Area in the Drake Hotel. Credit: Tim Davies.
In a public area in the Drake Hotel. Credit: Tim Davies.
Public Area in the Duke Hotel. Credit: Tim Davies.
The Drake Hotel shopping area, ready for Halloween. Credit: Tim Davies.
Entrance to Union Station, Chicago. Credit: Tim Davies.
Inside Union Station, Chicago. Credit: Tim Davies.
Inside Chicago Union Station. Credit: Tim Davies.
On the Platform at Union Station, Chicago. Credit: Dan Gaken, CC BY 2.0.
Exiting Union Station. Five minutes outside, by the yard. Credit: Tim Davies.
Exiting Union Station. Amtrak stock waiting outside the station. Credit: Tim Davies.
The ‘stunning’ scenery, railside, as we leave Chicago. Credit: Tim Davies.
Cicero Station on a Metra commuter service route. The station is 7 miles from Union Station. Credit: Tim Davies.
Traffic having to wait for the train to pass…. in the suburbs. Credit: Tim Davies.
The Chicago Suburbs. Credit: Tim Davies.
Naperville Station. Credit: Tim Davies.
Naperville Station. Credit: Tim Davies.
Naperville Station. Credit: Tim Davies.
Tracks and platform at Aurora Station, Illinois. Credit: Adam Moss, CC BY-SA 2.0.
California Zephyr at Aurora Station in 1967. Credit: David Wilson, CC BY 2.0.
40 Miles out from Union Station. Credit: Tim Davies.
40 miles out from Union Station. Credit: Tim Davies.
40 miles out from Union Station. Credit: Tim Davies.
Suburban golf course, Chicago style. Credit: Tim Davies.
Golf Course, Bankok Airport style. Credit: Unattributed, in Public Domain.
Semi-rural setting – almost in the country! Credit: Tim Davies.
Back into the world of big farming. Credit: Tim Davies.
Car Dealerships, Plano. Credit: Tim Davies.
Plano. Credit: Tim Davies.
Back into the world of big farming. Credit: Tim Davies.
More big farming. Credit: Tim Davies.
Yet more big farming. Credit: Tim Davies.
More big farming. Credit: Tim Davies.
Princeton, Illinois Railway Station. Credit: Tim Davies.
Princeton Station. Credit: Loco Steve, CC BY 2.0.
Track maintenance work, west of Princeton. Credit: Tim Davies.
Harvesting the wind. Credit: Tim Davies.
Harvesting the wind. Credit: Tim Davies.
The modern station at Kewanee – not a stop for the California Zephyr. Credit: image courtesy of Amtrak.
Galesburg, Illinois station. Credit: Tim Davies.
Historic stock forming part of the exhibition at Galesburg Railroad Museum. Credit: Tim Davies.
More from Galesburg Railroad Museum. Credit: Tim Davies.
Crossing the Mississippi. Credit: Tim Davies.
Nearing Burlington – large area of sidings. Credit: Tim Davies.
Another view of the Mississippi, across the railway sidings approaching Burlington Station. Credit: Tim Davies.
Burlington Station. Credit: Adam Moss, CC BY-SA 2.0.
The picturesque vista of downtown Burlington. Credit: Tim Davies.
More picturesque vistas of downtown Burlington. Credit: Tm Davies.

Part two of the California Zephyr leg of the trip to come in the next episode of US Railway Travelogue.

Music credits:

Theme: “Steam Railway”, AK012, Composer: Kimber-McTiffen; Track Number 1, Royalty Free from “The Special Interest Video Selection“; (AKM Music);

 

US Railway Travelogue – Episode 10: USRAIL010

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.

Map showing Amtrak’s western routes, the Empire Builder along the top. Credit: Amtrak.
Logo of the Empire Builder – as seen on one of the Dining Car Menus. Credit: Tim Davies.
Map showing route of the Empire Builder. Credit: Amtrak.

These are some of the sights and images captured along the route covered in this episode of the US Railway Travelogue.

The Miller Brewery in Milwaukee. Credit: Spaluch1, CC BY 3.0
The Menomonee River in Milwaukee. Credit: Sulfur, CC BY-SA 3.0
The Allen Bradley Clock – the faces are 21 feet in diameter and the building now houses Rockwell Automation. Credit: Tim Davies.
The industrial outskirts of Milwaukee, going east. Credit: Tim Davies.
Thirty minutes west of Glenview – back to the fields and farming. Credit: Tim Davies.
The harvest is in – as we approach Glenview. Credit: Tim Davies.
Glenview Station, opened in 1995. Credit: Tim Davies.
Cars awaiting the returning travellers at Glenview Station. Credit: Tim Davies.

And so, we arrive at Chicago.

The Willis (Sears) Tower. Credit: Daniel Schwen, CC BY-SA 4.0
The Willis (Sears) Tower, looking down from the glass balcony. Credit: Basil D Soufi, CC BY-SA 3.0
Looking back at the way we came – sunset from the Willis Tower. Credit: Hagennos, CC BY-SA 4.0
Wrigley Field – Chicago’s home of baseball. Credit: Jason Hernandez, CC BY-SA 4.0
The Chicago River. Credit: OmidGul, CC BY-SA 4.0
The end of the road – the route between Milwaukee and Chicago is otherwise known as The Milwaukee Road. Credit: Greg L, CC BY-SA 3.0
The end of the road for this leg – Chicago Union Station. Credit: Tim Davies.
Chicago Union Station. Credit: Tim Davies.
The stairs at Chicago Union station. Credit: Tim Davies.
The lamps at Chicago Union station. Credit: Tim Davies.
The Great Hall at Chicago Union station – very grand for a waiting room. Credit: Tim Davies.

Music credits:

Theme: “Steam Railway”, AK012, Composer: Kimber-McTiffen; Track Number 1, Royalty Free from “The Special Interest Video Selection“; (AKM Music);

US Railway Travelogue – Episode 9: USRAIL009

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.

Map showing Amtrak’s western routes, the Empire Builder along the top. Credit: Amtrak.
Logo of the Empire Builder – as seen on one of the Dining Car Menus. Credit: Tim Davies.
Map showing route of the Empire Builder. Credit: Amtrak.

Here are a few of the images that follow the route along with this episode of the US Railway Travelogue podcast.

Departing Red Wing along the Mississippi. Credit: Tim Davies.
Leisure craft and house boats along the Mississippi. Credit: Tim Davies.
Mississippi cross, Red Wing to Winona. Credit: Tim Davies.
On the banks of the Mississippi. Credit: Tim Davies.
Frontenac, Minnesota – a 19th Century Resort. Credit Molandfreak, CC BY-SA 3.0
Frontenac, a 19th Century Resort Town. Credit: Elkman, CC BY-SA 4.0
Mississippi River, with Lake Pepin, at Frontenac state Park. Credit: USDA, National Resources Conservation Service, in Public Domain.
Lake Pepin/Mississippi River. Credit: Jonathunder, CC BY-SA 3.0.
Ralph Samuelson – the inventor of water-skiing. Credit: Scinauticando.com, CC BY-SA 2.5.
So close… Credit: Tim Davies.
Passing farms whilst approach Winona. Credit: Tim Davies.
Passing more farms whilst approach Winona. Credit: Tim Davies.
The Mississippi again. It is amazing. Credit: Tim Davies.
And the Mississippi again. Credit: Tim Davies.
Winona Station, Minnesota. Credit: Tim Davies.
Winona Station building. Credit Tim Davies.
Winona, Minnesota. Credit: Tim Davies.
Crossing the river into Wisconsin. Credit: Tim Davies.
La Crosse Station, Wisconsin. Credit: Tim Davies.
La Crosse station, Credit Jonathunder, CC BY-SA 3.0.
Tomah Station, Wisconsin. Credit: Tim Davies
Amtrak Empire Builder at Tomah, Wisconsin. Credit: Mulad, in Public Domain.
Traffic waiting for the train to pass at Tomah. Credit: Tim Davies.
Tomah. Credit: Tim Davies.
Tomah. Credit: Tim Davies.
Approaching Wisconsin Dells. Credit: Tim Davies.
Wisconsin Dells, by the station. Credit: Tim Davies.
Wisconsin Dells from the station. Credit: Tim Davies.
Wisconsin Dells from the station. Credit: Tim Davies.
Wisconsin Dells. Credit: Tim Davies.
Wisconsin Dells station. Credit: Loco Steve, CC BY 2.0.
Farming in Wisconsin. Credit: Tim Davies.
Farming in Wisconsin. Credit Tim Davies.
Nearing Portage. Credit Tim Davies.
At Portage. Credit: Tim Davies.
Portage Station, Wisconsin. Credit: Tim Davies.
Portage Amtrak Station. Credit: Mr. Granger, CC 0.
Columbus Station. Credit: charlie vinz, CC BY 2.0. (originally posted to Flickr by Mackensen.
Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, Columbus, Wisconsin. Credit, Loco Steve, CC BY 2.0.
Wisconsin Farm. Credit: Loco Steve, CC BY 2.0.
Dustcarts and recycling just outside Milwaukee. Credit: Tim Davies.
Recycling outside Milwaukee. Credit: Tim Davies.
Inner City, near Milwaukee Station. Credit: Tim Davies.
Historic Iowa Pacific rail car at Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Credit: Tim Davies.
Empire Builder at Milwaukee Station. Credit: Tim Davies.
Milwaukee Intermodal Station, Credit: Payton Chung, CC BY 2.0.

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.

Music credits:

Theme: “Steam Railway”, AK012, Composer: Kimber-McTiffen; Track Number 1, Royalty Free from “The Special Interest Video Selection“; (AKM Music);

US Railway Travelogue – Episode 8: USRAIL008

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.

Map showing Amtrak’s western routes, the Empire Builder along the top. Credit: Amtrak.
Logo of the Empire Builder – as seen on one of the Dining Car Menus. Credit: Tim Davies.
Map showing route of the Empire Builder.

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.

Havre, Montana. Credit: Tim Davies.
Havre Station. Credit: Mitchazenia, available through CC BY-SA 4.0
Great Northern Locomotive 2584, a 4 8 4, type S-2, at Havre. Credit: Tim Davies.
Great Northern locomotive 2584, a 4 8 4 type S-2 at Havre, with the Empire Builder in the background. Credit: Tim Davies.
Watching a goods train rumble through, said to be over a mile long. Credit: Tim Davies.

From here, the train follows the course of the Milk River to Glasgow.

Agriculture, as far as the eyes can see. Credit: Tim Davies.
Prairie, big sky and hills in the far distance. Credit: Tim Davies.
Farmstead, near Havre, Montana. Credit: Tim Davies.
Big grain and big sky in Montana. Credit: Tim Davies.
Big grain and big sky in Montana. Credit: Tim Davies.
Yet more grain, more open space and a cluster of storage silos in the distance. Credit: Tim Davies.
Changing scenery: approaching and travelling along the Milk River, with the Autumn colours starting to show in the trees. Credit: Tim Davies.
Following the Milk River. Credit: Tim Davies.
Following the Milk River. Credit: Tim Davies.

Next stop is Malta Station.

Malta Station, Montana. Credit: Hikki Nagasaki, through Public Domain.
Malta Station, Montana. Credit: Loco Steve, through CC BY 2.0
View from the train, between Malta and Glasgow, Montana. Credit Tim Davies.
View from the train between Malta and Glasgow, Montana. Credit: Tim Davies.
Long term parking, nearing Glasgow! There are abandoned vehicles across Montana wherever you see signs of life! Credit: Loco Steve, through CC BY 2.0
Pulling into Glasgow Station, Montana. Credit: Tim Davies.

Next stop is Glasgow Station, Montana.

Glasgow Station, Montana. Credit: Tim Davies.
Glasglow Station, Montana. Credit: Hikki Nagasaki, under Public Domain.
Freight train at Glasgow, Montana, waiting for a clear ‘road’ westbound. Grain silo in background. Credit: Tim Davies.
The Empire Builder resting for a few minutes at Glasgow Station, Montana. Credit: Loco Steve, under CC BY 2.0.
Grain silos by the tracks. Credit: Tim Davies.
About 30 minutes west of Wolf Point, but we could be miles from anywhere. Credit: Tim Davies.

We next reach Wolf Point.

Wolf Point Station, Montana. Credit: Hikki Nagasaki, through Public Domain.
Wolf Point Station, Montana. Credit: Tim Davies.
Downtown Wolf Point. Credit: Tim Davies.
Everywhere you go, old cars are dumped at the bottom of the garden. Credit: Loco Steve, under CC BY 2.0
Culbertson Town View. Credit: Culbertson community website, and permission given by Kt Northington (Photographer and Town Clerk).
Fort Union Trading Post. Credit: Xerxes2004, under CC BY-SA 3.0
Around the Montana/North Dakota state line. Credit: Loco Steve, under CC BY 2.0
Around the Montana/North Dakota state line. Credit: Loco Steve, under CC BY 2.0
Rock faces 45 minutes west of Williston, North Dakota. Credit: Tim Davies.
Passing a small community in North Dakota – big sky country. Credit: Tim Davies.

We next reach Williston Station, North Dakota.

Williston Station, North Dakota. Credit: Tim Davies.
Williston Station. Credit: Prasenberg, under CC BY 3.0
Checking tickets prior to boarding at Williston Station. Credit: Tim Davies.
Dusk on 1st October 2017 from the Empire Builder train, across North Dakota. Credit: Tim Davies.
Dusk on 1st October 2017 from the Empire Builder train across North Dakota. Credit: Tim Davies.

Then onto Stanley, North Dakota.

Stanley Station, North Dakota. Credit: Mitchazenia, under CC BY-SA 4.0
Empire Builder crossing the Gassman Coulee Trestle near Minot, North Dakota. Credit: Amtrak/Jason Berg, courtesy of Amtrak Media Relations.

We now reach Minot, North Dakota, where there is a service stop.

Minot Station, North Dakota. Credit: Loco Steve, under CC BY 2.0
Feeding the Empire Builder, at Minot, North Dakota. Credit: Loco Steve, under CC BY 2.0

Between Minot and St. Paul, we pass through Rugby, Devil’s Lake and Grand Forks stations.

Rugby Station, North Dakota. Credit: Mitchazenia, under CC BY-SA 4.0
Devil’s Lake Station, North Dakota. Credit: Mitchazenia, under CC BY-SA 4.0
Grand Forks Station, North Dakota. Credit: Mitchazenia, under CC BY-SA 4.0
A wintery scene with the eastbound Empire Builder in the ‘wye’ at Grand Forks, North Dakota. Credit: Mackensen, under CC BY-SA 3.0

More stations of the night… passing through Fargo, Detroit Lakes, Staples, and St. Cloud.

Fargo Station, North Dakota. Credit: Adam Moss, under CC BY-SA 2.0
Detroit Lakes Station, North Dakota. Credit: McGhiever, under CC BY-SA 3.0
Staples Station, North Dakota. Credit: McGhiever, under CC BY-SA 4.0
St Cloud Station. Credit: Adam Moss, under CC BY-SA 2.0

We arrive in the morning at St Paul, Minnesota Station – the twin city station with Minneapolis.

St Paul Station, Minnesota. Credit: Tim Davies.
Early morning at St Paul Station. Credit: Tim Davies.
The revitalised St Paul Station, Minnesota. Credit: Tim Davies.
The revitalised St Paul Station, Minnesota. Credit: Tim Davies.
The Empire Builder waiting to leave St Paul Station. Credit: Tim Davies.

The train follows the Mississippi for 140 miles.

Messing around in boats along the mighty Mississippi near Red Wing. Credit: Tim Davies
The mighty Mississippi in Red Wing. Credit: Tim Davies.

Next stop is Red Wing Station.

Red Wing Station. Credit. Tim Davies.
Red Wing Station, Minnesota. Cars have to wait at the crossing until the train leaves. Credit: Tim Davies.

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!

Music credits:

Theme: “Steam Railway”, AK012, Composer: Kimber-McTiffen; Track Number 1, Royalty Free from “The Special Interest Video Selection“; (AKM Music);

US Railway Travelogue – Episode 7: USRAIL007

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.

Map showing Amtrak’s western routes, the Empire Builder along the top. Credit: Amtrak.
Logo of the Empire Builder – as seen on one of the Dining Car Menus. Credit: Tim Davies.
Map showing route of the Empire Builder.

We pick up this episode as the train slows coming into Pasco Station, where passengers can disembark for a few minutes’ fresh air.

City of Pasco Transportation Depot. Credit: Allen4names under CC-BY-SA 3.0

Next stop, in three hours time is Spokane.

Spokane Station. Credit. Hikki Nagasaki. Under Public Domain.

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!

Sandpoint Station. Credit: Mitchazenia. Under CC BY-SA 4.0

Another small town passed through in the night was Libby.

Libby Station. Credit: Mitchazenia. Under CC-BY-SA 4.0
Libby, Montana. Credit USEPA. Environmental Protection Agency. Under Public Domain.

Next en route is the seven mile long Flathead Tunnel – the third longest tunnel in the western hemisphere, and second longest in the US.

Empire Builder entering Flathead Tunnel, from the west. Credit: Loco Steve. Under CC BY 2.0
Empire Builder leaving Flathead Tunnel. Credit: Loco Steve. Under CC BY 2.0

Tim awoke next day as the train arrived at Whitefish.

Whitefish Depot. Credit: Elkman. Under CC BY-SA 3.0
Whitefish train station. Credit: Rajesh Dhawan. Under Public Domain.
Whitefish Mountain Resort (Aerial View). Credit: Donnie Clapp. Under CC BY-SA 4.0

Next stop is West Glacier.

West Glacier station. Credit: Kgrr. Under CC BY-SA 3.0.

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.

The Observation Car on The Empire Builder. Credit: Tim Davies
Mountains, forests and rivers in Montana. Credit: Tim Davies.
Mountain, forests and rivers in Montana. Credit: Tim Davies
Mountains, forests and rivers in Montana. Credit: Tim Davies.
Mountains, forests and rivers in Montana. Credit: Tim Davies.
Mountains, forests and rivers in Montana. Credit: Tim Davies.
Clinging to a mountain in Montana. Credit: Loco Steve. Under CC BY-SA 2.0

Another small station passed through – Essex – featuring the Izaac Walton Inn.

Essex Station facing west. Credit: Adam Moss. Under CC BY-SA 2.0
Izaac Walton Inn. Credit: Loco Steve. Under CC BY 3.0.
Marias Pass monument. Credit: Kjmoss1. Under CC BY 3.0

The train next passes through the Marias Pass.

Eastbound Empire Builder at Marias Pass. Credit: Loco Steve. Under CC BY 2.0
Empire Builder, crossing Two Medicine Trestle, East Glacier. Credit: Steve Wilson. Under CC BY-SA 2.0
General view. Credit: Tim Davies.
General view. Credit: Tim Davies.

Next station en route: East Glacier Park.

East Glacier Park Station. Credit: Tim Davies.
East Glacier Park Station. Credit: Tim Davies.
Train Station at Glacier. Credit: Matt Beldyk. Under CC BY-SA 2.0

Next station en-route is Browning.

Browning Station. Credit: Mitchazenia. Under CC BY-SA 4.0

We start to leave the Rockies behind, as well as passing our next stop, Cut Bank, while talking to some more fellow passengers.

Leaving the Rockies behind. Credit: Tim Davies.
Between the mountains and the plains. Credit: Tim Davies.
Final view of the Rockies. Credit: Tim Davies.
Out onto the plains. Credit: Tim Davies.
Farmstead, near Cut Bank. Credit: Tim Davies.
Cut Bank. Credit: Tim Davies
Cut Bank station. Credit: Mitchazenia. Under CC BY-SA 4.0

Then on from Cut Bank to Shelby, and on to the open prairies.  Canada is only 25 miles away as we leave the station.

Cut Bank to Shelby. Credit: Tim Davies.
The open prairie, East of Cut Bank. Credit: Tim Davies
Between Cut Bank and Shelby. Credit: Tim Davies.
Between Cut Bank and Shelby. Credit: Tim Davies.
Shelby Station. Credit: Tim Davies.
Air break at Shelby station. Credit: Tim Davies.
The tracks at Shelby station. Credit: Tim Davies.
Looking west at Shelby Station. Credit: Tim Davies.

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.

Music credits:

Theme: “Steam Railway”, AK012, Composer: Kimber-McTiffen; Track Number 1, Royalty Free from “The Special Interest Video Selection“; (AKM Music);

 

US Railway Travelogue – Episode 6: USRAIL006

Episode 6 is part 1 of the Portland to Chicago leg of Tim Davies’ journey across the USA on the iconic Amtrak trains – for this part of the journey using the Empire Builder train.

Map to show the Amtrak western long distance routes – Red lines indicate daytime travel, Blue lines night time. Credit: Amtrak website.
Logo of Empire Builder train. Credit: Amtrak website.
Route of the Empire Builder train. Credit: Amtrak website.

This episode of the USA Railway Travelogue begins with Tim arriving at Portland station by taxi.

Name and address plate on the side of Portland’s Union Station. Credit: Tim Davies.
Union Station Portland. Credit: Cachophony. (via CC BY-SA-2.5).
Union Station Portland. Credit: Tim Davies.
Union Station Tower. Credit: Tim Davies.
Portland Station in 1913: not much has changed, apart from the cars. Credit: unknown (Public Domain).
Main concourse, Portland Union Station. Credit: Tim Davies.
Main Concourse, Portland Union Station. Credit: Tim Davies.
Ceiling detail, from the concourse at Portland Union Station. Credit: Tim Davies.

Tim waits for the portion of Empire Builder train to be ready, before boarding to find his luxury ‘roomette’.

Empire Builder – waiting for passengers at Portland. Credit: Tim Davies.
Empire Builder locomotive at Portland. Credit: Tim Davies.
Empire Builder – waiting for passengers at Portland. Credit: Tim Davies.
The seat in Tim’s Superliner Roomette. This, with the seat opposite, converts into the lower bed. The grey coloured shelf (lower left) is just big enough to stand a cabin bag on. Credit: Tim Davies.

The first stage of the this leg is between Portland and Vancouver (Washington), and a fairly industrial area.

Between Portland and Vancouver (Washington). Credit: Tim Davies.
Crossing the Willamette River. Credit: Tim Davies.
Across the Willamette. Credit: Tim Davies.
Oil tanker trucks in the siding between Portland and Vancouver, Washington. Credit: Tim Davies.
Crossing BNSF Bridge 9.6 – opened in 1908. Credit: Tim Davies.
Looking forwards from the front carriage of the train, over the locomotive. The seal wasn’t perfect, and there was a smell of diesel. Credit: Tim Davies.
The historic Arndt Prune Dryer (built around 1898) near Ridgefield in Washington State. Listed on the US National Register of Historic Places. Credit: Ian Poellet. (Creative Commons CC-BY-SA 4.0)

The first stop of this leg of the journey is Vancouver, in Washington State.

Vancouver (Washington) railway station. The unique two sided station feature a ‘wye’ – see map section. Credit: jill, jellidonut… whatever (Creative Commons CC-BY-SA 2.0)
Map of Vancouver (Washington) Station, by OpenStreetMap, under Open Database License (ODbL) under Creative Commons CC BY-SA 2.0.

The train passes along the Columbia River for much of this stage of the trip, and through the Columbia Gorge.

Columbia River in the rain – clouds hiding the mountain. Raindrops on the train window, and sadly, the reflection from the upper windows. Credit: Tim Davies.
Columbia River in the rain – clouds hiding the mountains. Credit: Tim Davies.
Columbia River. Rain stopped, clouds breaking. Credit: Tim Davies.
Columbia Gorge east towards the Dalles. Credit: Spenmac. Public Domain.
Columbia Gorge from the Cape Horn trail facing East towards Beacon Rock. Credit: etliebe. Public Domain.

As with other stages of the trip, Tim talks to fellow passengers to find out why they are taking the train, rather than other forms of transport.

En route, the train passes a number of water falls, and the Bonneville Dam.

Multnomah Falls, showing both the upper and lower falls. This is Oregon’s tallest waterfall. Credit: John Fowler (Creative Commons CC BY 2.0)
Bonneville Dam spillway. Credit: Walter Siegmund. (Creative Commons CC BY-SA 3.0)
Fish ladder at Bonneville Dam. Credit: Eric Guinther (Creative Commons CC BY-SA 3.0).

The mountains en route are stunning.

Mount Hood. Credit: JoJoes123 at English Wikipedia (Creative Commons CC BY 3.0).
Mount Adams. Credit: Walter Siegmund (Creative Commons CC BY-SA 3.0)

The next stop on the line is a non-staffed station – Bingen White Salmon Station – 60 miles East of Portland.

Bingen White Salmon Amtrak Station. Credit: Hikki Nagasaki (Public Domain).

Continuing on, the train passes a cargo vessel on the Columbia River with a difference – one with a stern paddle wheel.

Stern paddle wheel boat on the Columbia River. Credit: Tim Davies.
Memaloose Island from Highway 84. Credit: NS.Nature.Pictures (Creative Commons CC BY-SA 4.0)
Dalles Dam with Lake Celilo. Credit: Unknown. Public Domain.

The train stops at Wishram Station.

Passenger leaving the Empire Builder at Wishram – this conductor was on Tim’s train! Credit: Williamborg (Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons).
Mary Hill Museum. Credit: Cacophony. (Creative Commons CC BY 3.0)
John Day Dam – the ‘lift’ from the lock is the largest in the US at 110 feet. Credit: USACE, via Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain)

Next stop is Pasco Railway Station, opened in 1998.

Pasco Railway Station. Credit: Allen4names, Creative Commons CC BY-SA 3.0.

The rain has gone, as the sun sets – from the Empire Builder over the Columbia River – at the end of part one of the Portland to Chicago leg of Tim’s journey.

Sunset over the Columbia River. Credit: Tim Davies.

Music credits:

Theme: “Steam Railway”, AK012, Composer: Kimber-McTiffen; Track Number 1, Royalty Free from “The Special Interest Video Selection“; (AKM Music);

“The Chrysanthemum”, composed by Scott Joplin, performed by Gerluz, from MusOpen, (available via Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 )

US Railway Travelogue – Episode 5: USRAIL005

Episode 5 of US Railway Travelogue finds Tim Davies in and around Portland, Oregon, after the Coast Starlight leg of his iconic Amtrak trains tour across the USA, and ahead of the Empire Builder leg.

The Pink ‘Gray Line’ Ticket Booth, a few minutes from Tim’s hotel.
The Pink ‘Gray Line’ Trolleys.
Inside the Gray Line Trolley.

Tim ‘hops’ on board one of the trolleys, heading for the stunning, mixed scenery Washington Park.

Portland Parks.
Portland Parks.
The view of areas of prime housing.
Towards Washington Park.
Towards Washington Park.
Washington Park.
Washington Park.
Washington Park.
Discovery Centre in Washington Park.
Washington Park.

The journey brings Tim to a steel bridge which just happens to be the most inter-modal bridge anywhere in the world!

Steel bridge.

Moving along the river brings Tim to the cable car system, and the Tilikum Crossing Bridge.

Cable Car System.
Airborne.
Tilikum Crossing Bridge.

Tim has a chat to one of the Gray Line drivers, and discovers why Portland is called the ‘city of roses‘.

Riverside in Portland.

The next episode – Episode 6 – takes Tim from Portland to Chicago on another of the iconic Amtrak trains – the Empire Builder.

Music credits:

Theme: “Steam Railway”, AK012, Composer: Kimber-McTiffen; Track Number 1, Royalty Free from “The Special Interest Video Selection“; (AKM Music);

Additional music: from Archive.org is Pink Martini in Concert Episode 868 from La Otra Orilla  (via CC BY-NC-ND 3.0) and Louie Louie by the Troggs (via CC BY 2.5) both with Creative Commons licences.

US Railway Travelogue – Episode 4: USRAIL004

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‘.

Route of The Coast Starlight.

With the train running about half an hour late, this episode picks up at a station called Chemult.

Chemult Station. Credit: Eubene.
Chemult Station. Credit: Tim Davies.
Chemult Station. Credit: Tim Davies.

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.

The Cascades. Credit: Tim Davies.
The Cascades. Credit: Tim Davies.
Hamlet in the Cascades. Credit: Tim Davies.
Town in the Cascades. Credit: Tim Davies.
Town in the Cascades. Credit: Tim Davies.

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.

Willamette River. Credit: Tim Davies.
Lookout Point Lake. Credit: Tim Davies.
Lookout Point Lake dam. Credit: Tim Davies.
Agriculture along the Willamette Valley. Credit: Tim Davies.
Agriculture along the Willamette Valley – even a road with painted markings! Credit: Tim Davies.
Agriculture along the Willamette Valley. Credit: Tim Davies.

The train eventually makes it to Eugene, Oregon – named after the town’s founder.  It is the western-most town on the Amtrak system.

Eugene Station South.
Eugene Station sign. Credit: Tim Davies.
Stopped at Eugene for air. Credit: Tim Davies.
Stopped at Eugene for air. Credit: Tim Davies.

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.

North of Eugene. Credit: Tim Davies.

Onwards, to Albany.

Albany Station sign. Credit: Tim Davies.
Albany Station. Credit: Loco Steve.
Albany Station. Credit: Tim Davies.

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!

Salem Station. Credit: Ron Reiring.

The train then passes through the Oregon City area.

Logs on the move, south of Oregon City. Credit: Tim Davies.
Oregon City paper mills. Credit: Tim Davies.
Oregon City paper mills. Credit: Tim Davies.

This leg of Tim’s journey came to an end in Portland.

Union Station, Portland. Credit: Tim Davies.
At Union Station, Portland. Credit: Tim Davies.

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.

Music credits:

Theme: “Steam Railway”, AK012, Composer: Kimber-McTiffen; Track Number 1, Royalty Free from “The Special Interest Video Selection“; (AKM Music);

US Railway Travelogue – Episode 3: USRAIL003

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 Amtrak logo. Photo credit: Tim Davies.

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‘.

Waiting at the bus stop in San Francisco.
The Coast Starlight – the train for this leg of Tim’s journey.
A Coast Starlight train from August 1985.
Emeryville Station. Credit: Tim Davies.

Some of the interior aspects of the train as described by Tim during the Travelogue:

Pacific Parlour Car, Coast Starlight. Credit: Tim Davies.
Inside the Pacific Parlour Car. Credit: Tim Davies.
Cinema, Lower Level, Pacific Parlour Car. Credit: Tim Davies.

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.

Martinez Station.
Davis Street Station.
Sacramento Station. Credit: Randwick.
Chico Station. Credit: Greg Bard.
Redding Station: Credit: Oakshade.
Dunsmuir Station. Credit: Kasuga Huang

The following morning, a beautiful sunrise, and a sensational view of wooded hills was awaiting Tim when he awoke.

Hills in the early morning, Dunsmuir-Klamath. Credit: Tim Davies.
Hills in the early morning, Dunsmuir-Klamath. Credit: Tim Davies.
Travelling through the hills at breakfast time. Credit: Tim Davies.

The train departed Klamath Falls around 8.15am. The town was established in 1867, the station built in 1916.

Klamath Falls. Credit: Tim Davies.
Klamath Falls Station: Credit: Steve Wilson.
Klamath Falls back in 1930.
Klamath Lake. Credit: Tim Davies.

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.

Mount Mcloughlin.
Map of the area around Klamath Falls – courtesy of Google Maps.

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.

Music credits:

Theme: “Steam Railway”, AK012, Composer: Kimber-McTiffen; Track Number 1, Royalty Free from “The Special Interest Video Selection“; (AKM Music);

US Railway Travelogue – Episode 2: USRAIL002

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’sI Left MyHeart In San Francisco;”  Scott McKenzie’sSan Francisco;” The Flowerpot Men’sLet’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.

View from the 25th floor of the Hilton Hotel. Credit: Tim Davies.

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.

Pulling away from Pier 39. Credit: Tim Davies.
View of the city from the Bay. Credit: Tim Davies.
On the Bay, with the Oakland Bay Bridge behind. Credit: Tim Davies.
View of the Golden Gate Bridge. Credit: Tim Davies.
The Golden Gate Bridge. Credit: Tim Davies.

The boat trip passes under the Golden Gate Bridge, out into the Pacific, and then back into the bay, past Alcatraz.

The Golden Gate Bridge close-up. Credit: Tim Davies.
Beneath the Golden Gate Bridge. Credit: Tim Davies.
The Pacific beyond the Golden Gate Bridge. Credit: Tim Davies.
Alcatraz. Credit: Tim Davies.
Alcatraz. Credit: Tim Davies.
The Golden Gate from Alcatraz. Credit: Tim Davies.
Alcatraz from afar. Credit: Tim Davies.
Alcatraz. Credit: Tim Davies.

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.

Bus Tour Map of the city. Credit: Tim Davies.

Tim’s final trip of the day had to be on one of the city’s cable cars.

At the cable car terminal. Credit: Tim Davies.

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!

Music credits:

Theme: “Steam Railway”, AK012, Composer: Kimber-McTiffen; Track Number 1, Royalty Free from “The Special Interest Video Selection“; (AKM Music);

Maple Leaf Rag, composed by Scott Joplin, performed by Stefano Ligoratti, (available via CC BY 3.0) from MusOpen.

 

Music inspired by San Francisco:-

 

US Railway Travelogue – Episode 1: USRAIL001

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.

Photos from BA Terminal 5. Credit: British Airways library.

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.

Inside Heathrow Terminal 5. Credit: Tim Davies.
Inside Heathrow Terminal 5. Credit: Tim Davies.
Inside Heathrow Terminal 5. Credit: Tim Davies.
Inside Heathrow Terminal 5. Credit: Tim Davies.
Inside Heathrow Terminal 5, looking out. Credit: Tim Davies.

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.

The view from inside Terminal 5: Credit: Tim Davies.
The view from inside Terminal 5: Credit: Tim Davies.
The seat for the eleven hour journey – BA’s World Traveller Plus seating: Credit: British Airways library.

Once on board, you can hear part of British Airways In flight safety video – produced in association with Comic Relief.  You can find the full video which you can hear in the podcast here:-

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.

A BA A380 prepares for take-off. Credit: British Airways library.
A BA A380 flying high. Credit: British Airways library:

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.

Mountains of Greenland. Credit: Tim Davies.
Mountains of Greenland. Credit: Tim Davies.
San Francisco on arrival. Credit: Tim Davies.

Tim gets his first whiff of a train – the BART system – the Bay Area Rapid Transport system in this episode.  In future episodes, Tim will travel on such iconic Amtrak trains as ‘The Coast Starlight‘, ‘The Empire Builder‘ and ‘The California Zephyr‘.

Outside San Francisco Terminal building. Credit: Tim Davies.
San Francisco Airport BART Station. Credit: Tim Davies.

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.

Music credits:

Theme: “Steam Railway”, AK012, Composer: Kimber-McTiffen; Track Number 1, Royalty Free from “The Special Interest Video Selection“; (AKM Music);

British Airways theme: “Flower Duet” from Opera Lakme; Composer, Leo Delibes; Performed by Mosaica; (available via CC BY-NC-ND 3.0) from MusOpen.

Artwork credit for main logo:

Loco Steve (Attribution-ShareAlikefreesf 2.0 Generic, CC BY-SA 2.0 Licence – see here)

US Railway Travelogue – Introductory Episode: USRAILINTRO

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.

For more details about the show, click here.

To see the Pinterest board accompanying the series, click here.

Artwork Credit:  Loco Steve (Attribution-ShareAlikefreesf 2.0 Generic, CC BY-SA 2.0 Licence – see here)

Sound Effects Credit:  http://www.freesfx.co.uk