NOL to SAS

Sunset Limited

Podcast Description

Amtrak, the National Park Service's Trails and Rails Program, and the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University have created podcasts to enhance your travel on the Sunset Limited train between New Orleans and Los Angeles.

Instructions For Downloading and Listening to Amtrak Audio Podcasts

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Once you have downloaded the podcast file, you can navigate to the folder where you saved the podcast and use one of many suitable MP3 programs to open the audio podcast.

Podcast Intro

An Introduction to the Trails & Rails Podcast Presentation.

Summary This audio track introduces the podcast and gives the listener information about the partnership between Amtrak, the National Park Service and the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas.
Author
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 1:24

Train Intro

An Introduction to your Train.

Summary This audio track gives the listener important information about the amenities provided on Amtrak trains and general precautions regarding movement around the train and between cars. The listener should also be sure to listen to all announcements given by Amtrak officials.
Author
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 2:20

Jazz - Jean Lafitte and Jazz National Parks

Showcases of History and Culture.

Summary Two National Parks celebrate New Orleans cultural history, the creation of jazz, and the natural beauty of Louisiana. These two National Parks are Jean Lafitte National Historical Preserve and New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park.
Author Written by Jillian Rodgers (Undergraduate Student) and edited by James E. Miculka with the National Park Service based with the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 3:13

New Orleans

Birthplace of Jazz.

Summary As you travel through New Orleans you are experiencing a city of unique culture and traditions. A French Canadian named Sieur de Bienville started building New Orleans in 1718. Since he knew there were problems with flooding due to the low elevation, he had levees built to protect his new town.
Author Written by Delaney Costello and Alyssa Probst (Undergraduate Students) and edited by James E. Miculka with the National Park Service based with the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 5:01

Creole Culture

Born in the New World.

Summary In Louisiana the food and music are defining experiences for any visitor to this great state. They are much like the culture of New Orleans -a great mixture of ingredients brought together by the contributions of various ethnic groups creating exciting spicy and flavorful foods and new sounds.
Author Written by James E. Miculka with the National Park Service based with the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 3:16

Louisiana Overview

The Pelican State.

Summary Welcome to Louisiana, a place of rich culture and heritage. Louisiana's striking history, along with its Spanish, French, and Cajun heritage, offers you a vast array of sights, sounds, and exciting culture to learn about as you travel through the Pelican State.
Author Written by Brianna Shelton, Undergraduate Student in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 2:59

Huey P. Long Bridge

In Honor of The Kingfish.

Summary As you look out your window, think of the fascinating construction holding this bridge up, the historical icon it is named after, and the motorists on the bridge having a speeding train pass only a few feet away.
Author Written by Vanessa Rodriguez (Undergraduate Student) and edited by Susan G. Scott (Lecturer) in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak,
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 3:10

Mississippi River Flooding

A Unpredictable River.

Summary When you get a glimpse of the Mississippi River as the train crosses the Huey Long Bridge on the west side of New Orleans, try to picture the MS river valley just 400 years ago, before the French, Spanish and Acadian settlers began to build permanent settlements on its banks.
Author Written by Susan G. Scott, Lecturer in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 2:32

Sugarcane

A Bittersweet History.

Summary Throughout southern Louisiana, you can see many sugarcane fields along the tracks - the cane looks like huge tufts of grass, growing as tall as ten feet! Sugar cane is grown in 15 of Louisiana's parishes, mainly in the Mississippi Delta region, where the riverbank soils are especially well-suited for it.
Author Written by James E. Miculka with the National Park Service based with the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 2:31

The Thibodaux Massacre

The Breaking Point.

Summary Schriever, LA witnessed brutal labor disputes between black sugar cane workers and the powerful Louisiana Sugar Producers Association. The demands for change by the distraught workers caused a racial divide amongst the locals within the community and resulted in a catastrophe, known today as the Thibodaux Massacre of 1887.
Author Written by Ray Person (Undergraduate Student) and edited by Susan G. Scott (Lecturer) in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 2:43

Bayou Boeuf

Swamps, Alligators and Nutria.

Summary Between the station stops at Schriever and New Iberia, you can see marshes and wetlands that have been collectively called Bayou Boeuf. This bayou provides resources for both humans and animals, and has for centuries.
Author Written by Andrew Rollwitz (Undergraduate Student) and edited by Andria N. Godfrey (Graduate Student) in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 2:41

Morgan City, LA

Tiger Island.

Summary Morgan City, Louisiana has its roots in the Civil War, and embraces its past in order to shape the future. As the train passes through Morgan City, you might be able to catch a glimpse of the Atchafalaya River. This river is the heart and soul of Morgan City; every aspect of the its past stems from the flowing waters of the Atchafalaya.
Author Written by Stephanie Holton, Undergraduate Student in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 2:38

Atchafalaya River

A Wandering River.

Summary While the Mississippi River maybe the largest river here in Louisiana, another major river, the Atchafalaya, has threatened its pre-eminence. The Atchafalaya River is a major distributary of the Mississippi, meaning water from the Mississippi River flows into the Atchafalaya, and then downstream to the Gulf of Mexico.
Author Written by James E. Miculka with the National Park Service based with the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 2:57

Avery Island & Tabasco

The Sweetest, Spiciest, and Saltiest Place on Earth!

Summary Do you smell that? No? Well take a bigger whiff! The small city of New Iberia, LA is known as the sweetest, spiciest, and saltiest place on earth! As you look out the window, enjoy the semi-tropic view of its towering live oak trees, miles and miles of Spanish moss, and the rich agricultural land that has historically been a trademark for this town.
Author Written by Ashley Jasmine Tayebi, Undergraduate Student in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 2:39

New Iberia Cemeteries

Cities of the Dead.

Summary Most of us have passed some solemn time in a burial ground, but the cemeteries in your home town may look different than those in southern Louisiana. On the south side of the tracks in New Iberia, you may be able to see numerous white structures that sit above ground.
Author Written by Jessica Barnes (Undergraduate Student) and edited by Susan G. Scott (Lecturer) in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 200
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 2:39

Lafayette, LA

Refuge From the Acadian Expulsion.

Summary Lafayette Louisiana is a culture-rich metropolis with a population of around 110,000 located in the southwestern corner of Louisiana. With a rich blend of French heritage combined with Spanish, American, Indian and African influences, the city represents a colorful combination of diverse lifestyles that create an excellent tourist destination.
Author Written by Aaron Boles, Undergraduate Student in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 3:09

Cajun Culture

The Acadians.

Summary The Acadians, or Cajuns as they are referred to today, immigrated to Louisiana in the late 1700's. They are descendants of French who migrated first to a region of Canada known as Acadie, or Acadia (most of which is now known as Nova Scotia). Many were exiled by the British beginning in 1755, and eventually found their way to colonial Louisiana, which already had a strong French heritage.
Author Written by James E. Miculka with the National Park Service based with the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 2:34

Crawfish & Rice

Mudbugs, Crayfish and Crawdads.

Summary If you spend any time in south Louisiana you'll soon encounter crawfish, a small and tasty relative of the lobster, also called mudbugs, crayfish or crawdads in certain parts of the country. Surprisingly, crawfish are not just popular in the United States.
Author Written by Susan G. Scott, Lecturer in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 2:58

Mermentau & Skull Island

An Eerie History.

Summary As the train crosses the Mermentau River, an island out there among the reeds is as shrouded in mystery as it is shrouded from your view. Imagine yourself in the shoes of John Sweeny in 1867 as he explored the swampy island. Legend has it that he had become separated from a party of men and was alone, disoriented in the fog, when he came across hard, brittle objects underfoot. A closer look revealed numerous human skeletons and lengths of heavy chain.
Author Written by David Willis (Undergraduate Student) and edited by Susan G. Scott (Lecturer) in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 2:43

Jennings Agriculture & Oil

A Town Changed by Fire.

Summary As you travel toward Jennings, imagine yourself as one of the first settlers from the Midwestern wheat belt, riding the stagecoach to Louisiana in the 1890's. The anticipation that you feel is overwhelming when you gaze through the window of your railroad car - the beauty and magnitude of the country landscape in Louisiana is completely new and foreign to you.
Author Written by Toan Nguyen (Undergraduate Student) and edited by Andria N. Godfrey (Graduate Student) in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 3:19

Lake Charles

The Festival Capital of Louisiana.

Summary Situated on the banks of the Calcasieu River and bordering both Lake Charles and Prien Lake, Lake Charles is a major petrochemical processing area and a deep water port. As you travel through the Lake Charles area, you can see these large industrial plants along with many railroad tank cars.
Author Written by James E. Miculka with the National Park Service based with the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 2:42

Sabine River

The Division between the Old and New Southwest.

Summary Flowing for 555 miles, the Sabine River serves as the border between Texas and Louisiana. The Sabine River begins in Northeast Texas as three river branches, where the Cowleech Fork, the Caddo Fork, and South Fork, come together.
Author Written by Lindsey Way, Undergraduate Student in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 2:54

Welcome to Texas

The Lone Star State.

Summary Howdy, and welcome to Texas! Together we will discover the various landscapes and cultures across the Texas plains. We will dive deep into the heart of Texas to find exactly what makes Texas worthy of pride! So hold old on to your hats 'cus it's gunna be a yeehaw kinda ride!
Author Written by Michelle Dew (Undergraduate Student) and edited by Susan G. Scott (Lecturer) in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 2:41

Vidor KKK

A Town Marked by Racial Tension

Summary The town of Vidor, Texas in western Orange County is typical of East Texas towns with its long history of racism. Even today, Vidor still struggles with racial tensions.
Author Written by Jordan Hoffman (Undergraduate Student) and Susan G. Scott (Lecturer) in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 2:10

Big Thicket National Preserve

Outlaws and Mystery.

Summary In the 1820's the settlers who stumbled upon this overgrown area quickly discovered that the woods were so thick with vegetation that they would be unable to pass and therefore they had to divert their routes to the south or north of the woods. Fittingly they called this area the The Big Thicket.
Author Written by Andria N. Godfrey (Graduate Student) in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 3:54

Beaumont and Oil Industry

The Home of Spindletop.

Summary As we make our way into Beaumont, imagine a small town with only five buildings including a saloon, school building, and a two-story jail. The city has come a long way since these humble beginnings in the late 1800s. That improvement has a lot to do with a seasoning that we use on our dinner table today - salt.
Author Written by Marcus Mann (Undergraduate Student) and edited by Andria N. Godfrey (Graduate Student) in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 2:02

Liberty, TX

An Important Shipping Port.

Summary Liberty, the third oldest city in the state of Texas, was established along the Trinity River in 1831 by Anglo settlers. In 1836 when Texas became an independent republic, Liberty's importance as a shipping port increased.
Author Written by Ruth A. Cooper (Undergraduate Student) and Susan G. Scott (Lecturer) in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 2:04

San Jacinto

A Battle that Shaped Texas.

Summary The Battle of San Jacinto lasted approximately twenty minutes, but shaped the future of Texas and the United States. A surprise attack on April 21, 1836, led by General Sam Houston, completely caught the Mexican army off-guard.
Author Written by Tallon Reddout, Undergraduate Student in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 2:57

Sour Lake, TX

A Resort and Oil Field.

Summary Now one of the smallest towns in the area, Sour Lake, Texas, located in The Big Thicket National Preserve, once used its natural resources as a resort town but soon turned into a forest of oil derricks pumping oil day and night.
Author Written by Amy Duffel, Undergraduate Student in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 2:02

Lake Houston

A Wildlife Refuge and Water Source.

Summary About 15 miles northeast of Houston, Texas, the train passes over an enormous lake. Lake Houston is a reservoir on the west fork of the San Jacinto River. Though not very deep, at the lowest point reaching 45 feet, the lake covers an astonishing 11,854 acres.
Author Written by Donna J. Godfrey for a project within the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 2:36

Houston Tourist Attractions

A Wealth of Culture and Diversity.

Summary Houston is known as a center of business, but the fourth largest city in the United States has a fun side, too. No matter what your interests, Houston probably has something for you. Enjoy shopping, the arts, six professional sports teams, parks, museums and dining. To see it all you'll want a car - this city of 2.2 million people is spread out over 600 square miles.
Author Written by Susan G. Scott, Lecturer in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 2:10

Houston History

Home of the Astrodome.

Summary Looking at this sprawling urban area, now the fourth largest city in the U.S, it's hard to believe that Houston was once a mosquito-infested village overshadowed by the thriving cities of Beaumont and Galveston.
Author Written by Kelli Gilmore, Undergraduate Student in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 2:25

Brazos and Colorado Rivers

Los Brazos de Dios

Summary As you catch a glimpse of a wide river in east-central Texas, imagine the things that old river has seen throughout time. People have relied on the Brazos and Colorado rivers for transportation, irrigation and other uses, and we continue to enjoy them today.
Author Written by Trinity Otto, Undergraduate Student in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 2:49

Czech German Texas Communities

Cultural Impact.

Summary If you look at a map of the region between San Antonio and Houston, you will find town names that reflect the diversity and culture of this changing landscape. Names like Weimar, La Grange, Praha, Dubina, Schulenburg and Seguin reveal the tapestry of various cultures that have settled here.
Author Written by James E. Miculka with the National Park Service based with the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 2:49

Cibolo, TX

Spanish for Buffalo.

Summary The town of Cibolo has long been tied to the natural resources of Texas and the Cibolo Creek itself. As the train enters the town of Cibolo you will see for a brief moment the small yet historical community that has cherished the land it depends on.
Author Written by Phillip McGuigan, Undergraduate Student in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 2:13

Randolph Air Force Base

The Showplace of the Air Force

Summary Every day the skies around San Antonio are filled with military planes that take off from Randolph Air Force Base, which is situated to the north of San Antonio. Named after Captain William Millican Randolph, the base is often referred to as the Showplace of the Air Force.
Author Written by Andria N. Godfrey (Graduate Student) and John Mayers (Undergraduate Student) in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2010.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 2:31

The Alamo

Remember the Alamo!

Summary The Mision San Antonio de Valero, now known as the Alamo, was constructed in 1724 and served as a residence for missionaries and Native American converts for almost seventy years...until Spanish officials took over the property and parceled out the land in 1793. By the early 1800's, the Alamo was a station for the Spanish cavalry unit and remained a military base until the Texas Revolution...but by this time it had fallen into disrepair.
Author Written by Brittany Williams (Undergraduate Student) and edited by Andria N. Godfrey (Graduate Student) in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 3:28

San Antonio Attractions

Home of the Alamo.

Summary San Antonio is known for its remarkable history, thriving culture, eclectic art community, and vibrant tourism opportunities. Featuring such areas as the Tower of the Americas, River Walk, Alamo Dome, and many award winning restaurants and resorts, the city has become one of the top tourism destinations in the country, drawing visitors from all over the world.
Author Written by Andria N. Godfrey (Graduate Student) and Kimberly Rank (Undergraduate Student) in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 1:35

San Antonio Missions National Historical Park

Fort-like Missions.

Summary Missions San Jose, San Juan, Concepcion, Espada and San Antonio de Valero were all built in the early 1700's, and are now managed by the National Park Service. In the center of San Antonio today is the most famous of the five missions, San Antonio de Valero, more widely known as The Alamo.
Author Written by John Deaso, Undergraduate Student in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 3:01

With Gratitude

Close

The podcast team wishes to thank Eva Hoffman. Eva invited us to use information from her book, "A Guide to Amtrak's Sunset Limited," which provided invaluable background material (published by Flashing Yellow Guidebooks, 2009).

We are very grateful for to the following entities for generously allowing us to use their music and sound effects free of charge for this educational project: