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The Sunset Limited is quite the daunting trip, and I only took half of it:  NOL to Alpine TX.  On the map below, Alpine is about halfway across the route.  It’s the jumping off point for Big Bend NP, my reason to debark there, but that’s another post . . . another blog even.  Click on the map below to get the link to the Sunset Limited.  Had I continued on to LA, I’d have spent a whole 24 more hours on the train that I’d spent 26 hours on.

In these traxter posts, I’m sticking as much as possible to focus on water, infrastructure, and agriculture.  At least, that’s what’s in my head;  I’m not sure that’s getting across.   The challenge here is that most of these photos are shot through the train windows, as I’ve mentioned before.  If the term “snapshot” ever fits, it’s certainly fits here.

The train takes the Huey P Long Bridge over the Mississippi.

Amtrak takes the Berwick Bay Bridge over the Atchafalaya at Morgan City.  We had quick views of this floating dry dock with a Miss Madeline in foreground and rig museum Mr. Charlie with the tall vertical structure in the distance. 

A cemetery in New Iberia, where I spent a lot of time last year.

Know what you’re seeing here?



From New Iberia to the Texas border, it’s not so much sugar cane as rice farming. Again, that’s a whole different post and blog.

I believe the wheel marks in the field here are post-harvesting by big combines.


Beaumont on the Neches River is a significant port, significant but relatively unknown city, at least to me.  Skim at this link.

In the Houston train yard, four-wheelers are used to inspect/repair trains, it seems.  This one was loaded with heavy tools.

Unlike passenger train cars in the NE, elsewhere in the US, these have higher clearance . . .  because of no low, old bridges.

Maybe of interest to folks in ship/boat preservation, I’ve seen lots of historic locomotives in stations. More on 794 here

Del Rio TX deserves more time.  The tracks here run near the international border.

A surprise for me was Amistad National recreation area.  This is one aspect of the US/MX border you just don’t hear about.  So many things are more complicated than we even imagine…  a Rio Grande reservoir 

A lot of these are found along the rails and I understand.

Even more of these “deer blinds” (I know that’s NOT what they are, but they remind me of them.), and I don’t know what they are.

And finally I approach my destination . . .  Big Bend National Park is beyond those hills.

Dan Blocker went to college in Alpine and is memorialized on this mural in town, as is

this . . . just a block from the station.

All photos, any errors, WVD, whose parameters I mentioned at the start of this post.  Obviously, this is just a series of impressions gleaned during a 25-hour train trip over many rivers and through many watersheds, much of which was in darkness.  

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March 2023