USRJ S3 Ep 21 From the suburbs of Tucson to Lordsburg

From the suburbs of Tucson to Lordsburg – US Rail Journeys Series 3 Episode 21

In ‘From the suburbs of Tucson to Lordsburg‘ I travel through the unhospitable countryside of Arizona and New Mexico.

To view the photographs for this podcast:

Please click on a thumbnail to open the gallery:

Out into the desert:

There are lots of cacti along our route as we travel away from the Tucson area whilst the dining car serves the last breakfasts.

One of the first sights that we see is the El Paso and Southwestern railway bridge at Cienega Creek built in 1912.  The line splits into two tracks a few miles before the bridge, the result of two railways competing in the area.

One line goes over the bridge whilst the other passes under it. We pass under the bridge. They then follow slightly different routes until a few miles after the bridge where they join together again.

The link above has a map that explains it.

A fellow traveller:

I get to talk with Michael who is going all the way to New Orleans on the Sunset Limited portion of the train. Michael is using Amtrak’s long distance trains to see the US. He is lucky as he lives in Portland, Oregon, served by the Coast Starlight and the Empire Builder.


The station is a flag stop and is served by three trains in each direction each week. The facilities are basic, consisting of a metal shelter. As some passengers join the train at Benson the conductor broadcasts a ‘Do’s and Don’ts for travelling by train.

Soon after leaving Benson we see a very long freight train requiring 4 locomotives to pull it.


US deserts are not boring – I find them fascinating with an everchanging panorama of sand, scrubby green, hilly, flat, occasional settlements and, of course, the ever present cacti. I wouldn’t like to be abandoned in a desert, but from the airconditioned train they are stunning.

Our route:

We pass about 15 miles from the famed city of Tombstone, home to Boothill Graveyard and the OK Corral. The mountains around us were the final homeland of the Apaches.

Listen to the podcast to hear the rest of the story of the journey to Lordsburg.

Next up:

If you enjoy these podcasts please join me in a couple of weeks as we continue our journey on the Texas Eagle.


To visit the Amtrak website please follow this link.

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Author: Tim D

In the early 1970s Mr Timothy & his Phonograph was a popular mobile disco around Leeds University and Tim was known as MrT. Tim also spent 9 years broadcasting a weekly programme on Hospital Radio in Wakefield. He worked for more than 40 years for large industrial organisations and spent his last 15 years in global commercial management roles. Following retirement he started making podcasts in 2017.