This is the longest Amtrak passenger train I’ve seen in years!
Four P42DC locomotives (172, 189, 10 and 163) are pulling sixteenth cars (sleepers 32059 and 32025, diner 38031, lounge 33038, coach 34059, coach/baggage 31046, sleepers 32018 and 32021, diner 38019, lounge 33006, coach 34102, coach/baggage 31044, baggage cars 61064 and 61017, and, bringing up the rear, private cars "Stampede Pass" and "Pacific Home" are approaching Metrolink’s West Corona commuter station. So, how’d this train get so long? It is yet another hard-luck Amtrak long distance train, and this next bit gets a little complicated:
The AMTK 3 that departed Chicago on Sunday, June 13, got delayed by a fiery wreck just west of Dalies NM on the Monday, June 14. This wreck delayed the first Southwest Chief so long, that the next day’s Southwest Chief (AMTK 3 that departed Chicago on Monday, June 14) caught up to the first train in Albuquerque. A decision was made, perhaps to save money on a second engine crew, or perhaps to get the combined train over the road more quickly – or both – both westbound trains were combined into one long train. 6/14’s power (172 and 189) were placed up front, with 6/13’s power behind (10 and 163) them. Then, 6/13’s Superliners, followed by 6/14’s Superliners and baggage, then 6/13’s baggage and, finally, the two private cars that were on 6/13’s train.
Confused? I’m not surprised! The end result is that AMTK 3 (13) was 34 hours 34 minutes late and AMTK 3 (14) was 10 hours 34 minutes late arriving in Los Angeles. Although the passengers were greatly inconvenienced, this was an awesome looking train! Amtrak 3, the Southwest Chief, has just met eastbound Metrolink train 808, heading to San Bernardino, with this train still visible in the distance. (Corona, California – June 16, 2021)
California-bound rail travelers from the east have three choices to reach the Golden State: California Zephyr, Southwest Chief, Sunset Limited/Texas Eagle. A look back through the years including the now-defunct Desert Wind