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On the Tracks of the Iron Horse (V).

By John Pitt
Copyright. All Rights Reserved.


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"After descending snow-dusted mountains to the desolate uranium country of Utah, the Zephyr paused at Salt Lake City during the night
then whisked us to Reno by the following morning. From Reno we crossed the Sierra Nevada, keeping our eyes open for atmospheric remains of old gold mines. At Donner Lake we saw the place where in 1846 a party of settlers were trapped for several agonising weeks after being caught in tremendous blizzards. Half the settlers died or were forced into cannibalism to survive before they could be rescued.

Cameras flashed furiously as the train inched along overgrown cliffs<**br>above the North Fork of the American River, easing down the western side of the Sierra Nevada through drifts of lupins and poppies. The Golden Gate Bridge appeared casually to the right as we travelled along the bay towards our final destination, San Francisco. We might have made the journey across country by air in a fraction of the time but trains are so much more fun You have time to relax, stay close to the landscape and you move at a pace that is perfect for sightseeing. North American trains possess abundant style and old-world charm but they may not be around for ever, so climb aboard soon while you have the chance.

About the Author:

John Pitt is the author of USA by Rail and writes on travel for newspapers and magazines throughout the world. He has travelled
more than 60,000 miles by train in the U.S and Canada. For more
information, and the chance to win FREE rail passes or a copy of the latest Railroad Tycoon II computer game, visit the web site at http://website.lineone.net/~johnpitt/."

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