Chicago to Los Angeles with a stop over at Flagstaff

30 Nov

For the first time we were visiting my sister. She has been living in US for over 20 years (Between US and Canada) and we were visiting her for the first time. Our itinerary was neatly planned by me almost 6 months in advance and it was as follows

US Trip itinerary

  • 15/06/2016 : 1500hrs to 2045hrs DXB to New York, EK207, Booking reference LEIE82 AED 8,625

Emirates Flight A380 Dubai to New York 

I wanted to take the train from New York to Boston but we were discouraged as getting out of the airport late in the night was not considered safe. Coming from Dubai, where you feel safe 24X7, it took some time to understand that night time might not be safe for travel. Were forced to take the flight by my sister.

  • 16/06/2016 : 0700hrs to 0810hrs New York to Boston, Jet Blue flight 318 departure 0700hrs, AED 1,246.92
    • 17/06/2016 : Boston
    • 18/06/2016 : Boston
  • 19/06/2016 : 0800hrs to 0942hrs Boston to Chicago, Jet Blue B6 111, AED 2,184.05

Once again wanted to take the train from Boston to Chicago but lack of proper connections ensured we had to abandon this plan.

  • 19/06/2016 : 1500hrs Departure Chicago by 3 South West Chief, AED 11,633.64


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  • 20/06/2016 : Arrival at Williams at 2133hrs, stay at Grand Canyon Railway Hotel, AED 6,314.72
  • 21/06/2016 : 0930hrs to 1230hrs, Grand Canyon Railway

Our Sleeper accommodation for the trip from Chicago to Williams

Grand Canyon Railway

  • 21/06/2016 : 0930hrs to 1230hrs, Grand Canyon Railway
  • 20/06/2016 : Arrival at Williams at 2133hrs, stay at Grand Canyon Railway Hotel, AED 6,314.72
  • 21/06/2016 : Stay at Maswik Lodge at Grand Canyon South Rim
  • 22/06/2016 : 1530hrs to 1830hrs Grand Canyon Railway return to Williams
  • 22/06/2016 : 2133hrs departure from Williams by 3 South West Chief, Ticket Number 1210689531899,Reservation Number-8F42B1, AED 2,378.4
  • 23/06/2016 : Arrival at Los Angeles at 0815hrs : Los Angeles, Check into Hilton Universal, Confirmation #3246544397

Hilton Universal Studios

  • 24/06/2016 : Los Angeles
  • 25/06/2016 : Depart Los Angeles at 2240hrs by American Airlines 696 LAX to CLT, AA Record Locator OBJDJR,  AED 6,477.057
  • 26/06/2016 : Arrive Charlotte at 0635hrs
  • 27/06/2016 : With Narmadha and Family to Chimney Rock / Biltmore Estates Asheville / Tiger world
  • 28/06/2016 : Drive to Smokey Mountain and cabin stay
  • 29/06/2016 : Drive back to Charlotte
  • 30/06/2016 : Depart at 1300hrs to Washington DC, Night in Washington DC
  • 01/07/2017 : Washington DC
  • 02/07/2017 : Washington DC
  • 03/07/2016 : Washington DC
  • 04/07/2016 : New York
  • 05/07/2016 : New York
  • 06/07/2016 : 2300hrs to 1945hrs New York to Dubai

BBC Documentary on Samjauhta Express

28 Apr

I only wish that both India and Pakistan could make this a pleasant journey. I dont think it is possible in my lifetime atleast. Given the current right wing government in India and absolute lack of sensitivity from Pakistan towards India’s core interests, I only see a bleak future in India-Pak ties.

Train Journeys in 2016

11 Sep

It was a great year for me this year.

My travels in 2016 were : Switzerland, Germany, US, France

My first trip in 2016 were travels in Switzerland – traveled in and around Zurich and mostly German part of Switzerland. Zurich – Thun, Zurich – Basel, Zurich – Munich, Munich – Dachau.

The second trip was in USA – Chicago to Williams by South West Chief. Williams to Grand Canyon and back to Williams by The Grand Canyon Express, Williams to Los Angeles by South West Chief.

Third Trip was back in Switzerland – Zurich – Thun, Zurich – Paris, Zurich – Wollerau.

I think I still have some more travel to do this year. Maybe will round it off by railfanning in India in November.

Travelled by train in US – The South West Chief – Chicago to Grand Canyon, then Grand Canyon Express and then continued by South West Chief to Los Angeles

(photos from my journeys to be uploaded soon)

My Indian Railways shunter work in progress

10 Apr

Stefan Bürki of Hermann Models is helping me convert a DB shunter to an Indian WDS4 shunter. 

Some pictures of the shunter – half way through the conversion 

 IR numbering and shed logo to be painted on the shunter to give it an authentic IR look.

Traveling by train in Switzerland

26 Mar

It is such a pleasure traveling by trains in Switzerland. The variety of rolling stocks, locos and the comfort of traveling makes it interesting and fun to take the trains and explore Switzerland.

Today I am going to Mount Titlis from Zurich. Took the IC to Lezern and the IR to Engleberg.

I am writing this sitting in the IR to Engleberg.

 Am on a similar train to Engleberg.

Some different rolling stock and locos which I came across today



Addition to my Collection

20 Nov

Recent acquisition of a German Tank Loco from Switzerland. Smooth running and awesomely cute loco.

Awesome Steam Loco event in Germany – 2014

11 Sep

This is a must watch for all steam lovers. Can’t get enough of it.

I wish I could have been there.