ARM Trip Report

New Orleans Trip (9/29-10/7, 2003)

The American Association of Private Railcar Owners held their annual convention In New Orleans October 2 – 4. Our museum was represented by 14 members and 2 cars. The VISTA CANYON and the JANE MARIE departed Tucson on the rear of the Sunset Limited Saturday morning September 29th. The Sunset route is not the most scenic of the Amtrak system but on this day the train ran on the low level track through Davidson Canyon east of Tucson. The ride to New Orleans was a pleasant and relaxing journey. Meals were served in the dining room of the Jane Marie while lounging took place in both cars. I will tell you there was some serious lounging going on. Arrival in New Orleans was late but did not hinder our planned activities. Folks visited such places as the ‘D’ Day museum, Aquarium, The Garden District, Plantation tours, Confederate Museum, Rode the St. Charles street car line, The French Quarter and Bourbon Street. Finding a place to eat is easy, the hard part is deciding which one. Mother’s, Ugly Dog BBQ, Emeril’s, Mulates, Commanders Club, Court of 2 Sisters were sampled to name a few.

Our group arrived 3 days before the convention started to give us plenty of time to do some sightseeing. The cars were parked at Union Station. There are cabs available at anytime and the streetcar line is only a 3 block walk. The convention included seminars, tour of the Streetcar shops, a train ride over the New Orleans Public Belt, cocktail parties on the cars, (where we showed off the VISTA CANYON) and a wonderful dinner cruise on the Steamboat ‘Natchez’ with an opportunity to visit the engine room. The convention ended with Saturday evening’s dinner cruise and most of the private cars left on Sunday morning. Watching the special train with 20 of those beautiful cars depart was a great sight. We stayed on for an extra day of fun departing on Monday October 6. Departure was on time but near Marfa Texas we were held up when an 8000 foot freight train tripped a detector. This means the crew has to walk the train and check for defects. Arrival in Tucson was only about 5 hours late. A great time was had by all. If you would like to participate in one of these trips contact Bart Barton.

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