You never know what you have till it’s gone and there is no telling how long Amtrak’s long haul routes will survive. Experience this mobile Americana before it’s too late. The Empire Builder route, from Seattle to Chicago, is especially rewarding because as you will notice, the landscape is rarely tainted by man-made distractions; just mile after mile of mighty mighty mother nature.

Life on the train for 45 straight hours, without a sleeping car, has its challenges, but those fade and the magic remains.

This video started with quick cuts in the mountains, but to convey space, I will let the Northern Great Plains footage ride. Not to go all David Lynch on you, but the tracks unspooling behind us is what resonates most with me. It captures the fourth dimension that a long haul train trip provides; the essence of train travel. The view out the back window of the rear car captures it.