Friday, March 7, 2014

Conductor Gary Norris: "Once it's gone..."

Conductor Gary Norris shares the area's historical significance
from the Chief's lounge car.  
Conductor Gary Norris is based in Albuquerque and helps maintain the train all the way to La Junta and back. Although he plans to retire from Amtrak next year, he feels strongly about the future of the Southwest Chief on the current route.

"I believe they need to keep this route; it's really important. Once it's gone, it's gone forever. We can never get it back. As technology improves, train travel is going to become more energy efficient, it's going to become more desired, more needed in lots of ways. This helps transport people of all cultures and you can make a little money or a lot of money and still travel on Amtrak. It's an inexpensive way to travel, and so important. You just can't get rid of this; like I said, once it's gone, it's gone forever."

Norris is a self-proclaimed history buff; like most riders, he finds the route aesthetically pleasing, but knows more about the area than the average passenger can see from the lounge car today.

"Loving history as I do, it's just a constant, and knowing that we are following that same train ... you can just imagine those wagons coming through that area."

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