Welcome to Episode 8, where we take a ride on Amtrak’s Sunset Limited.
Watching Episode 8
This episode has us riding the Sunset Limited Eastbound, leaving from Los Angeles. Watch the entire episode ad-free and available for download at archive.org. Click here to see Episode 8.
Episode 8 In Segments
Episode 8 Summary
In this program, we work with idioms that have to do with railroad terminology. We also begin a journey Eastward on Amtrak’s Sunset Limited. We also describe the function of passenger rail cars.
Understand non-literal expressions having to do with trains. Recognize that idioms have a meaning distinct from their literal meanings. Use the phrase “is where passengers can..” to describe the function of an object (railroad car).
Academic Content Objectives
History: Trace the route on the Second Transcontinental Railroad in the United States. Relate the history of the second Transcontinental Railroad and the role of the “Big Four” in it’s construction. Transportation: Trace the history of the Southern Pacific Railroad. Relate the development of the Sunset Limited Route and its impact on passenger rail transportation in the United States. Geography: Describe the geography of the western section of the Sunset Limited route (California to El Paso). Name 3 cities served by the Sunset Limited.
Learning Materials Used
Here are slides that were used in Episode 8 of Ramping Up your English. They contain the idioms connected to railroads that are commonly used in English.
My Help in This Episode
Videos Used In This Episode
Videos Used in this program:
Here’s the Sunset Limited Eastbound part one.
Here’s the Sunset Limited Eastbound part two
The You Tube hosted video Sunset Limited Eastbound part one
Here’s the Sunset Limited Eastbound part two.
Feel free to watch these clips as often as you desire.
The Sunset Limited was the first train I could name. It passed right through my hometown of Crowley, Louisiana and right at the border of my great uncle’s farm. When I was working out in the fields near the railroad, I’d give the train a big wave from the tractor I was driving. When my uncle was around during the train’s passing, he would always say, “There goes the Sunset Limited.”
Awareness of the Sunset Limited
Working on the farm during my high school years, I always thought of the Sunset Limited as being part of Southern Pacific Railroad. By then, the train from Midland to Gueydan and the Missouri Pacific branch lines had disappeared and Southern Pacificwas the only railroad in my experience. While I was on the farm during those years, Amtrak took over passenger rail service, including that of the Sunset Limited. However, I had no knowledge of Amtrak in those days. I just knew that the passenger train I saw from that tractor was the Sunset Limited, a name that was spoken with a certain element of awe, reminding me that I was seeing something special.
The Sunset Limited WAS special, I’m happy to feature it as a way of reinforcing our theme of Trains and Railroads.
Write 5 sentences using idioms from the slides above. Example: I was going to finish the assignment last night, but I ran out of steam.
I’m happy to say that we continue featuring this notable train in our next episode, Episode 9!