Thu Oct 21st, 2010 at 12:22:04 PM EST
Never mind the recession, the fiscal unsustainability of the social democracies, or rehabilitation of a broken arm. Summer is a good season to ride trains (the other good seasons are autumn, winter, and spring) which for this summer meant a swing around the western United States on Amtrak's Empire Builder, Chicago to Vancouver, Washington in late June; the Cascades Talgo and Coast Starlight, Vancouver to Sacramento; the Capitol Corridor (perhaps the best example of relatively inexpensive yet successful regional rail in North America) Sacramento to Santa Clara; and the Capitol Corridor and California Zephyr, Santa Clara to Chicago, over the Independence Day weekend.
Links to detailed, illustrated reports of sections of the journey below the fold.
Amtrak Empire Builder
, Chicago to Vancouver, Washington, 25 - 27 June 2010:
Chicago to Winona, Minnesota, 25 June;
Detroit Lakes, Minnesota to Shelby, Montana, 26 June;
Sandpoint, Idaho to Vancouver, Washington, 27 June.
, Vancouver to Portland, Oregon, and Coast Starlight
, Portland to Sacramento, 29 - 30 June
, includes additional photographs of Cascades
and Portland's well-cared for Union Station.
Amtrak California's Capitol Corridor
, 30 June
,includes a behind-the-scenes look at the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento.Capitol Corridor
, Santa Clara to Emeryville and California Zephyr
, Emeryville to Chicago, 3 - 5 July 2010:
Santa Clara to Elko, Nevada, 3 July
Helper, Utah to Fort Morgan, Colorado, 4 July
Council Bluffs, Iowa to Chicago, 5 July.