The route runs from Chicago starting in approximately diagonally in a southwesterly direction through the states of Illinois and Iowa to Kansas City, and continue parallel to the former Santa Fe Trail through Missouri, Kansas and Colorado in the state of New Mexico. Arizona is running in an east-west direction through it. Finally, the route passes through the Mojave Desert and over Cajon Pass, before which lies along the Pacific coast of California Los Angeles is achieved. The total ( standard gauge ) track is owned by the BNSF Railway, and is not electrified. The famous Route 66 was built in large part parallel to the railway line.
Today's train emerged from the express train Super Chief of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway which traveled on the same route. After 1971, passenger services were taken over by Amtrak, in 1974, first renaming the train in South West Limited and in 1984 finally in Southwest Chief.
The train today
The train is now operated by Amtrak and travel on the route daily in both directions. The westbound train carrying the train number 3, the eastward moving the train number 4 The travel time for the total distance is more than 43.5 hours. The Southwest Chief is it the fastest transcontinental train in North America.
For use Superliner bi-level cars come as sleeping and sitting cars. There is also a dining car, an observation car and a baggage car be carried. Pulling the train usually from two to four diesel locomotives P42 Amtrak.
In Williams ( Arizona) is connected to the tourist attractions Grand Canyon Railway, which forms the local branch line to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.
In Los Angeles, there is, among others, following the Coast Starlight to San Francisco / Oakland and Seattle to San Diego. Chicago as the hub of the North American rail transport offers a variety of connectivity options. More branch lines with passenger run from Kansas City to St. Louis, from Lamy to Santa Fe and Albuquerque towards Belen and Sandoval. Furthermore, there are a variety of bus connections along the route. All connections will be marketed under the name Amtrak Thruway Connections. The train also stops in Las Vegas ( New Mexico) (not to be confused with the Las Vegas (Nevada ) to which bus connections from the station Kingman (Arizona ) consist of ).