Day Two of the Sunset Limited experience really got started with Brad. This in your face dude with his teeth out, roaming around looking for denture cream so he could talk straight...


The placelessness of the train while moving through vast and shifting landscapes for 36 hours also creates a strange, metal-wrapped place all of its own. A home on the move. Cosy and secure and endlessly stimulating. Makes me think of what Richard Grant says in American Nomads: “a nomad is someone who doesn’t feel stable when stationary. A nomad feels stable when experiencing velocity”. I hear that. We pass through Louisiana swamps, young cypress thickets, past petro-chemical plants that fringe the Mississippi, tiny clapboard filled towns, into Texas and its glut of oil refineries, trucks alongside us, to New Mexico’s biscuity landscape and giant tumbleweed. Arizona and big pink purple skies, mountains in the distance…The Wall…checking off places as we view them from the viewing car…

The gyration, the solid rhythm, the slow, seductive horn that fills the air for miles around – mapping imagined journeys of an imaginary time on the here and now. The roll of a dice, the cackle of passengers with drink in their cups, the slew of accents, the rumble, the heat, the airlessness. All low to the ground. Hugging the shifting terrain with those metal tracks – and a couple of hundred passengers with time on our hands to sink into it all.

Shout out to everyone who spent time chatting with me on the Sunset Limited: Jackie in the cafeteria, the King brothers (Lee, Lenny, Bobby, Matt and the other two), Meredith, Brad, Konnor, Maria-Luisa, Dwayne the conductor, the burrito queen and saviour on the platform in El Paso, the drunk guy with the vodka in his cup – and all the other people who aren’t featured.

To tune into more of Bobby King’s pipes head to YouTube

36 hours, a pure scrapbook of moments, endless stops, hot platforms, hot vinyl seats, dusty air vents, disinfectant and metal…the randomness of the encounter, the joy of strangers, all belonging to this route on these days…