Information published on 4 September 2012 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr 307.

USA: Free audio tour educates passengers about route’s history, stops and other highlights between Chicago and San Antonio

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Passengers riding on Amtrak Texas Eagle trains between Chicago and San Antonio now can begin their trips by downloading a podcast that provides an interpretive tour of the route’s history, stops and highlights. Amtrak, the National Park Service and the Texas A&M University Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences worked together on the podcast project. It is available for download at no charge from

Covering 27 station stops on the 1,300-mile Texas Eagle route, the podcast includes 103 points of interest on history, attractions and natural features. Each item runs for up to three minutes and topics range from the farmlands of Illinois to the history of St. Louis in Missouri to the Chisholm Trail of Central Texas. Interested passengers should download the podcast prior to boarding the train.

“We are excited to be providing our passengers with another tool to enhance their travel experience,” said Harris M. Cohen, Project Manager of Customer Solutions for Amtrak.

“With this second addition to what will become a library of podcasts, passengers can now experience a self-guided tour of two of America’s most historic railroad journeys, the Texas Eagle and Sunset Limited.”

The Texas Eagle podcast is the result of a desire to enhance the Trails & Rails program – an innovative partnership between Amtrak and the National Park Service through which National Park Service Rangers and volunteers board trains and give interactive presentations on the history, cultural background and current attractions of the regions seen from the train.

The Texas Eagle podcast is an MP3 file and is also available by RSS feed or through iTunes®.

About the Trails & Rails Program, National Park Service

Trails & Rails is an innovative partnership program between the National Park Service and Amtrak. This program provides rail passengers with educational opportunities that foster an appreciation of a selected region’s natural and cultural heritage. It promotes National Park Service areas and provides a value-added service to encourage train ridership. It also renews the long tradition of associating railroads with National Parks.

For more detailed information on the various Trails & Rails programs, please visit