Riding the Rails

Interesting Rail Videos

Magellan_Railcar - Alexf at English Wiki

Ferdinand Magellan Railcar

(Alex F, English Wikipedia, Creative Commons license 3.0

via Wikimedia Commons)

Have you seen this video? It's from five years ago. When the recently restored Norfolk and Western locomotive 611 paid a visit to the Manassas Rail Day celebration, who should arrive, but Amtrak! Judging from the Amfleet 1 cars, this must have been a Northeast Regional train returning from Roanoke or Lynchburg. Enjoy!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fV-vGIsxjmk

Lake Shore Limited

Part 1 – NYC to Croton Harmon. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uf3CblelbyI

Part 2 – Croton Harmon to Albany. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ceD2mHNuhDE

Part 3 – Albany to Chicago. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RdqKJYJq9Ro


The highlight of this presentation is the ride along the Hudson Division; that is, the river-level route, seen in Parts 1 and 2. The scenery is glorious; the small villages endearing.


California Zephyr

Part 1 – Chicago to Denver. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVTpI0uRrdM

Part 2 – Denver through Rockies. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aa2CJ0j7RnA

Part 3 – Salt Lake City to Emeryville. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vi-ZG1NsSV8

My favorite is Part 2. West of Denver, we make a slow rise into the Rocky Mountains, then enter Glenwood Canyon, where we follow the Colorado River. Who could ask for anything more?


Empire Builder

Part 1 – Seattle to Sandpoint. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VL6LNWjTO98

Part 2 – Sandpoint to East Glacier Park. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nml2TZkEAa4

Part 3 – East Glacier Park to Grand Forks.


Part 4 – Grand Forks to Chicago. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=977aF-LuOxo&index=5&list=PL6Klh4JxvvvWko8M9cq55Yno3IPP4lS5K

The entire trip is wonderful! The ride through the Cascades leads to Essex, Montana, and the Isaak Walton Inn. There, the inn is rustic, and vintage rail cars provide additional rooms. The train won’t wait for you, if you decide to get off, but you can always catch the next train through. Just be sure to arrange it with the ticket agent or conductor before you start your trip. Then, the journey continues through the Big Sky Country.

Private Varnish on the Southwest Chief



The Southwest Chief, which runs between Chicago and Los Angeles, is seen pulling a number of privately owned Streamliner cars, both Budd (scalloped tops and sides) and Pullman (flat tops and sides). Also seen are some of the newer Horizon fleet coaches and the New Mexico Rail Runner Express commuter train.

Along the Hudson Division

This splendid video takes us on a cab ride aboard an Electromotive Division FL-9 locomotive. The FL-9 was used by the New Haven Railroad and, later, by Metro-North and Amtrak in areas of the northeast where electricity was required in some areas but was not available in all areas. Thus, it was a diesel locomotive that had a shoe for making third-rail contact. 

Although there is a brief scene from this video on YouTube, you will need to order the video in order to capture the true gems offered by this journey; e.g., the sound of the throttles changing gears while the train leaves Penn Station and the gorgeous scenery along the water-level route as the train makes its way up the Hudson River to Albany. Here's where you can find your copy: https://www.pentrex.com/DVD-Along-the-Hudson-Division-Combo-DVD_HUD-DVD.

Montana Private Car Trip on Amtrak’s Lake Shore Limited



On this trip between Buffalo and Albany in New York, the Lake Shore Limited pulls two Budd baggage cars, a Budd baggage / dorm car, several Budd Amfleet II coaches, a Budd dining car, and a private car with rear deck built by the Milwaukee Road Shops. Not only is the train’s consist interesting, so is its speed. In places, it reaches 100 miles per hour, kicking up dust as it goes.

The US President’s Bulletproof Railcar



The US Car #1, Ferdinand Magellan, transported Presidents Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman as they traveled around the country, delivering speeches, in the days before television and Air Force One. The tour guide shares some fascinating facts. It can be seen at the Gold Coast Railroad Museum in Miami-Dade County, Florida.


VIA Rail Canadian


Travel aboard VIA Rail Canada’s The Canadian from Toronto to Vancouver. You’ll ride in beautifully restored Budd Corporation stainless steel coaches, which were constructed in the late-1940s to the mid-1950s. The scenery is gorgeous! The music takes you back to a time, forty to fifty years ago, when music was still music.

All credit goes to the people who created these videos. I own no interest in any of them.