USRJ S3 Ep 23 El Paso and a very wet desert

El Paso and a very wet desert  –  US Rail Journeys Series 3 Episode 23

‘El Paso and a very wet desert’ describes our time in El Paso and the first part of our journey to Alpine, Texas.

The photographs that accompany this podcast:

Please click on a thumbnail to open the gallery:

El Paso:

Apparently it is 95oF (35oC) as I step from the train onto the platform. It really is hot and I keep in the shade as I walk down the platform. It really is pleasant to re-board the train with its air-conditioning.

As we get ready to leave we hear that the next stop is Alpine, about four hours away – although it all depends on freight traffic! The Restaurant car team are taking reservations for dinner.

Into the desert:

The roads are quiet as we leave town, of course it is the July 4th holiday. We are soon into rural areas passing irrigated farmland and then into the desert passing fly-tipped rubbish along the way.

The desert is magnificently rugged and we pass fascinating rock formations. More rubbish, this time a large pile of tyres.

We start seeing some pools of water alongside the tracks. Has there been rain?

There is no sign of any humanity on this stretch although we do pass some cows, an abandoned rusty car and I get another Texas Alert call on my ‘phone.

We are close to the border with Mexico on this stretch and we pass a Homeland Security checkpoint on the road.


As we travel the skies are getting darker although it is a July afternoon. Some of the cloud formations are amazing, they promise rain.

We start passing muddy areas, then areas with standing water. In a week or so the seeds of the desert flowers will germinate and go through their rapid lifecycle. Those travelling then will have very different scenery.

It gets darker, the wind is buffets the train and the rain is pours down. The desert is covered in water and a small tornado races by.

Listen to the podcast to hear the full story of the journey into the very wet desert.

Next up:

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


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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.