The Classic Southwest Chief Takes On The Santa Fe Trail!

The Classic Southwest Chief Takes On The Santa Fe Trail! | Train Fanatics Videos

The Amtrak “Southwest Chief” is the modern day version of the old “Santa Fe Superchief” which originates daily from Los Angeles to Chicago. This video is shot both inside and outside of the train while making its way eastward to Chicago. Take a moment and put yourself in the dome car and enjoy the puffy white clouds against a blue sky all the while speeding along through spectacular southwest scenery!


The scene from the rear the train (about 7 minutes into the clip) is not to be missed. She passes a slow moving freight on the track next to her at about 70 mph all filmed from the back platform!

The 2265 mile route covers what was known as the old “Santa Fe Trail” that the pioneers forged with their wagon trains and stage coaches trying to reach California for its gold!

Amtrak assumed passenger service from The Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe Railway in 1971 and still follows the same basic route as the Santa Fe Trail. In 1995, the Santa Fe Railway merged with Burlington Northern and became the BNSF Railway Company. BNSF owns the tracks that the Amtrak traverses.

When Santa Fe Railways first started passenger service on the this route, the train was known as the Santa Fe Superchief. Plenty of 1950’s era photos show this old silver beauty with her red engines highballing across the deserts of the Southwest. Once Amtrak assumed the passenger service, they renamed the train the “South West Chief” and kept the same popular route.

The Southwest Chief travels an average of 55 mph on its voyage from Los Angeles to Chicago!

Today, the route incudes awesome natural wonders including the Grand Canyon, Sedona Red Cliffs, and the Continental Divide. The trip taking 43 hours to complete is made by two P42DC Locomotives.

Quick Facts

  • Rail Line: Amtrak
  • Train Name: Amtrak’s Southwest Chief
  • Power type: Diesel/electric
  • Builder: General Electric-Genesis series
  • Train type: Passenger
  • Location: Los Angeles to Chicago
  • Horsepower: 3,550 to 4,250 hp

If you’€™ve ever taken a ride on Amtrak’s Southwest Chief or a train like this let us know in the comments below! Would love to hear your experience on this classic piece of history!


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