Diane was dozing, on and off, waking up at every lurch forward at a somewhat rough patch. Amtrak’s Cardinal train was penetrating further into the rugged terrain of West Virginia. A very long cargo convoy overtook us near Hinton, going in the opposite direction. It was a CSX line train.
Some cars bore the motto of the company: “How Tomorrow Moves.” Others were marked with a large round logo on the side, illustrated with a corn, two sharp leaves bent and pointing to the west, coming out of the circle. It was the CSXT Grain Express, moving at a grueling pace, like a huge and tired reptile, through a narrow track amid the looming mountains.
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This is the seventh part of The Trans-American Railroad: New York to Los Angeles at the Speed of Iron, a travel diary. Please see the previous stories below: