At 3:15, just outside of Sparks, we stop to obtain a permit to use a UP track not normally used by Amtrak. We receive permit No. 973, which is good until 4 p.m.

When we finally arrive in Sparks, it is 3:24 p.m. and we are 6:29 behind schedule. We change the crew in Reno and leave at 3:38 p.m., which puts us 6:24 behind.

Since my last trip on the Zephyr, Reno’s station has changed. Instead of stopping above ground with a view of the city and casinos, we now stop below ground. You have to give Reno officials credit on two accounts: The Zephyr no longer blocks the streets near the casinos and passengers don’t get to see just how outdated and rundown the hotels are in the downtown area. How is that for a sleight of hand?

As far as the near collision, nothing new to report. When asked, the engineer said he didn’t get the license plate of the tractor trailer. During the crew change in Reno, he was seen shaking his head while leaving with the conductor, obviously discussing the incident. My hat goes off to him for being quick on the brakes.