As our train approached the station in New Orleans last night it took us right past the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, I was lucky to get this blurry shot of it with my iPhone.
No sleeping on the train, as it was being cleaned and prepped for its return trip to New York, so we had to get a hotel for the night. In the morning we made our way to the Union Passenger Terminal of New Orleans. This is where Amtrak and Greyhound Bus routes begin. You can see a bit of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome to the right.
As Sleeping Car Passengers we have access to a special lounge, the Magnolia Room, while we wait to board the train. We got a pass-code number to punch into the keypad to unlock the door. Nice comfortable upholstered chairs. Along with that comes priority boarding.
There is a special car attached to the back of our train today. Nobody knows much about it, but we did hear that it was empty and being pulled to Los Angeles for an exhibit. Darn, I had hoped there was a celebrity on board.
Our train, 1 Sunset Limited, left promptly at 9:00 a.m. But no sooner had it left the gate then it had some mechanical difficulties, stopped, and set us back about an hour behind schedule. Our route through New Orleans was very interesting. It is a fascinating city.
This train is exactly like the Texas Eagle, the train we began our train adventure with. There are two engines, followed by two sleeper cars (we are in the 2nd one), then the dining car, a really cool observation lounge, followed by three coach cars and then that special car. This is a double-deck train and there is noticeably more elbow room on this train than there was on the single level 1 Crescent. Among other differences, the bedrooms are slightly larger and the dining room booths have more “belly room.” The menu has been identical on all of the trains we have been on.
We stopped at Lafayette, Louisiana, to pick up passengers and a few minutes allowed for a “smoke break.” We don’t smoke, but can’t pass up an opportunity for a bit of fresh air. The chef in the door of the dining car, waved at me.
We passed many flooded rice fields. The rice fields also have rows and rows of crawfish traps, so they do double-duty.
Another “smoke break” was set at Beaumont, Texas. I loved the tiny little train station there.
Between chatting in the observation lounge and the community-style seating in the dining car we have met many very nice people. Everyone has a story. It’s fun. The sun usually goes down about dinner time, so there’s not much to see or photograph after that. I was pleased I was able to get this shot of Houston, Texas, in the dark from a moving train, with the iPhone. Not too bad.
We arrived at the Houston station 50 minutes late. The small waiting room at the Houston terminal was packed with people wanting to get on this train. The crew did a good job of moving people along and managed to depart only 39 minutes behind schedule.
We are traveling west. Yesterday, when we crossed into the Central Time Zone at the Georgia/Alabama border we turned our clock back an hour. Daylight Saving Time begins tomorrow so we will move our clocks ahead an hour. Spring forward, right? Later tomorrow when we cross into Mountain time at the Texas/New Mexico border we move our clocks back an hour. Until we get to Arizona which does not participate in Daylight Saving Time so then we will turn our clocks back an hour. GOT THAT??? If we were to continue on to California which is in Pacific Time Zone we would need to set our clock back an hour for the time zone change and then ahead an hour to return to Daylight Saving Time…….I think. My head hurts.