Amtrak to Salt Lake City

Old Dec 28th, 2022, 06:51 AM
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Amtrak to Salt Lake City

We are traveling by Amtrak to Salt Lake City this summer. The train arrives at 11 pm - what kind of safe transportation to hotels is available at that time of night? Or is it better to get off the train in Provo at 9:26 pm or Helper at 7:20 pm. Which offers the best options for a family of 5 to get a rental car or to a hotel safely? Thanks for the help.
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Old Dec 28th, 2022, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by mirohele3
We are traveling by Amtrak to Salt Lake City this summer. The train arrives at 11 pm - what kind of safe transportation to hotels is available at that time of night? Or is it better to get off the train in Provo at 9:26 pm or Helper at 7:20 pm. Which offers the best options for a family of 5 to get a rental car or to a hotel safely? Thanks for the help.
Are you on the eastbound or westbound California Zephyr? The arrival time in SLC is not ideal in either direction. Call a taxi company or Uber/Lyft an hour or so before you will be arriving to make sure there is a ride waiting for you. There are usually 2 or 3 taxis waiting when the trains arrive, but they may be snapped up before you get to the taxi stand. In that case the station staffer will call for one and you will be waiting in the cramped station until they arrive (this happened to me). Sometimes the train arrives late (westbound) so wait until you are within an hour of the station to make your call. The car rentals are at the airport and usually do not open until 7 or 8AM. There is a 24 hour Denny's where you can kill a few hours if you don't want a short hotel night.
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Old Dec 28th, 2022, 07:53 AM
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We are coming in on the Westbound Amtrak.
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Old Dec 28th, 2022, 08:20 AM
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They're going westbound if the earlier stops are Helper and Provo.

mirohele3, what are your travel plans outside of the train journey? Is your final destination SLC, or is this the point from which you will travel onwards by car... to where? Getting off at Provo won't help much, and I don't even know if there is any lodging or direct car rental in Helper. FWIW, I doubt the westbound Zephyr ever arrives in SLC on time. According to the Amtrak website, the SLC station closes at midnight. There are car rental offices in downtown SLC, although you may find that renting the car at the airport is cheaper.
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Old Dec 28th, 2022, 08:41 AM
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Do they not have Uber in Salt Lake City?




Last edited by mlgb; Dec 28th, 2022 at 08:43 AM.
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Old Dec 28th, 2022, 08:42 AM
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Salt Lake City is our destination. Just trying to figure out what to do when arriving that late for transportation to our hotel for the night. Taxi, public transit, uber, hotel shuttle?? Plan on renting a car the next day. Looking for SAFE options at 11 pm or later.
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Old Dec 28th, 2022, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by mirohele3
Salt Lake City is our destination. Just trying to figure out what to do when arriving that late for transportation to our hotel for the night. Taxi, public transit, uber, hotel shuttle?? Plan on renting a car the next day. Looking for SAFE options at 11 pm or later.
Calling for a taxi or Uber 30 minutes before you arrive is your safest bet. The Traxx public transit shuts down by 11PM. Today's westbound California Zephyr arrived in Denver 17 minutes early and left on time. Amtrak is predicting an on time arrival in SLC tonight. If your train is delayed, you can usually call 1 800 USA RAIL for train status. Just know your train number and arrival station. I have gotten information from Julie many times.
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Old Dec 28th, 2022, 09:07 AM
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I had a friend who hated to fly. She would often take the California Zephyr back from DC. It was NEVER on time. Once they spent the entire night on a siding outside of Chicago.

I might not even reserve a hotel room for your first night, unless it is fully refundable.

I'd be very surprised if any hotel ran a shuttle to the train station. I also don't think you will find public transit late at night. I might pick a hotel with a free airport shuttle , call and ask about the options.

I had no idea that downtown Salt Lake City could be dangerous but haven't spent any time there. It sounds like everything shuts down early, as expected. Do you have a smartphone? Be sure you have the Uber/Lyft aps loaded and know how to use them, travel with a reliable back up battery so your phone is charged when you arrive.

If you call Uber that early and don't have your luggage out at the pickup spot ready to go, you will be charged or the driver can bill you as a no-show.

Last edited by mlgb; Dec 28th, 2022 at 09:14 AM.
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Old Dec 28th, 2022, 09:40 AM
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The CA Zephyr almost certainly will not arrive at 11PM (unless you are very lucky). It often doesn't arrive until 4-6 AM.

However there is a Homewood Suites less than .5 mile from the Amtrak station, so IF you are actually lucky and the train is quite late and arrives in the morning, I'd feel safe walking to that hotel. But by that time of day - who needs a hotel There is a Residence Inn maybe .25 mile farther.
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Old Dec 28th, 2022, 01:19 PM
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Ive been to SLC before and I'm pretty sure I used Uber past 11PM
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Old Dec 29th, 2022, 04:28 AM
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It is not true that the Zephyr never arrives at SLC on time. When I took it from Chicago to San Francisco it was only half an hour late into San Francisco. But that is just one data point, as are the anecdotes above. You can track the current performance of the Zephyr by following the instructions here: https://www.amtrak.com/how-to-check-a-train-status (It was late into SLC on Monday, early on Tuesday and canceled yesterday...)

That said, I would not book anything that relied on an Amtrak train arriving on time.

Last edited by thursdaysd; Dec 29th, 2022 at 04:34 AM.
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Old Dec 29th, 2022, 04:46 PM
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That area of town is not good--I live here. But, an Uber or taxi is available if you call. It was many years ago when I took that train and it was never onetime anywhere. But, I would totally book a hotel. The Homewood Suites is very close. I'm still not sure I would walk there at 1 am in that neighborhood. By morning, it's ok.

Do NOT get off in Helper, that is 2 hours from SLC and there is NOTHING there. Provo might be ok. But then you still have to get to SLC. Just come straight here.
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Old Dec 31st, 2022, 04:43 PM
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It was nearly 5 hours late last night into SLC (arrived a bit before 4 am) and estimated 8 hours late to Emeryville. Do you feel lucky?.
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