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Train from San Francisco to Los Angeles

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Jun 7th, 2014, 06:06 PM
  #1
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Train from San Francisco to Los Angeles

My DS is currently in the USA and will be in San Francisco and is thinking of catching a train to Los Angeles rather than renting a car. But I've had a quick look on line and I don't believe the journey is all the way on the train and part of it is on a bus. Would that be correct? Or is there a train from start to finish?

Your help would be appreciated thanks.
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Jun 7th, 2014, 07:00 PM
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She'd have to take an Amtrak bus just from SF across the bay to Emeryville but from there on to downtown LA is all on the train.

The only issue being -- is she on any sort of deadline/schedule? If not, fine. But if she must be in LA by a set time - the train is often late and seldom sticks to its timetable.
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Jun 7th, 2014, 07:51 PM
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Janisj is absolutely correct. Last time I took that trip (northbound) the train was 9 hours late into Emeryville so be prepared.
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Jun 7th, 2014, 07:55 PM
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The bus goes from the Ferry Building just over to Emeryville as Janis stated, and then the train ride south is along the coast...Monterey, Santa Barbara....a nice journey. You might have just chosen a time of departure that is closer to a bus/train combo . I know the early morning departure is all train so try plugging in 7am.

Depending on where she is headed in the Los Angeles area, she may want to depart at Van Nuys Station or Burbank Airport Station instead of riding into Los Angeles Union Station.
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Jun 7th, 2014, 08:15 PM
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For people who want to get to and from SF and LA quickly, flying is the most frequent choice, I'm sure. Done it many times before I retired.
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Jun 9th, 2014, 07:29 AM
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My friend who hates flying takes the train all the time. She enjoys it. I've picked her up a few times and it is often an hour or two late, but hasn't been more than that recently.
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Jun 9th, 2014, 01:42 PM
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ONE time being late can be a memory which lasts forever, believe me.
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Jun 9th, 2014, 02:27 PM
  #8
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Thanks for the info he is definitely going to catch the train. Should he get himself anywhere in particular to catch it? Any station better than the other?
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Jun 9th, 2014, 04:07 PM
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Make sure you son gets the Coast Starlight to LA. Otherwise, he will end up on the line going thru the San .Joaquin Valley thru Bakersfield. Then bus to LA. Ick!

He could also look into taking Cal Train to San Jose then getting the Coast Starlight to LA.
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Jun 9th, 2014, 04:08 PM
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As clarkgriswold said, if he is in San Francisco the Ferry Building has bus service to connect to one of the train options.

I'd recommend taking the Coast Starlight which gives him the most train time.

Dukey, are flights never cancelled or delayed in your experience?
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Jun 9th, 2014, 08:39 PM
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We once had an overnight delay on the Coast Starlight. We were supposed to arrive at 8pm and got in at 6am! Actually both times we've taken it, there have been delays. That said our friends recently took it from Salinas and actually arrived an hour early at Union Station. I have to say it was a lot of fun until we got stuck overnight. Then all of the staff vanished and we had to fend for ourselves. My husband and I went into the galley and got water and started passing it out. At least we were in a cabin so had bunks. First class also included wine tasting and meals in the dining car. I would opt for getting on the train wherever it would provide the longest ride.
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Jul 1st, 2014, 12:29 AM
  #12
 
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The major cross-state trains don't go to San Francisco; they'd get stuck at the end of the peninsula. They stop in San Jose, then go up the east bay to Emeryville.

So, you have to take CalTrain from SF to San Jose OR the bus or BART over to Emeryville. Either will work.

Some of the trains go all the way to LA/SD. Others go part way, and bus the rest of the way.

It's easy to take CalTrain from SF to SanJose then take the train south. My high school aged son used to do it often to visit friends after we moved.
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Jul 1st, 2014, 09:15 AM
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For an all Amtrak ride, you get on bus 6011 at 7:25AM at Fisherman's Wharf. You get to Oakland Jack London station at about 8:25. You have at least a 25 minute wait for the Coast Starlight. The CS is scheduled to leave OKJ at 8:50AM and is usually close to being on time to LAX at 9PM.
The adult fare (coach) is $81 if you buy early enough.
The other methods to get from San Francisco involve 2 buses.
The San Joaquin route takes you to Bakersfield with a bus to Los Angeles
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Jul 1st, 2014, 10:16 AM
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OK I don't know where you are getting your info but
We have taken the Coast Starlight several times int he past few years from SF.
We get on at the stop marked "SF Shopping Center" which is right on Market ST. There is a dedicated AMTRAK bus that stops there, around 7:30 am? Takes you to Jack London sq where you wait for the train. It's the came bus that goes from the Ferry Building - no need to take 2 buses.
You don't need to deal with BART or Caltrain or two buses or anything else.
Make sure you book the COAST STARLIGHT as others have said.
DO not book if you absolutely need to be somewhere at a certain time. We have had delays ranging from 1 hour to 8 hours routinely - only one train of the past 8 has been on time.
And sleeper car/first class is definitely worth it - includes all your meals and wine tasting with snacks.
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Jul 1st, 2014, 12:07 PM
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took the train once from San Francisco to Pasadena with my young granddaughter and it was a long long ride with an antsy girl who could not sit still. Luckily there were enough children on the train to keep her amused. It took us 12 hours. Nice observation car if you could get a seat. Most of the people just stayed up there most of the way and didn't "share" the seats at all.....I took the bus from the Ferry Building over to Oakland train station. Very easy to do. Good to do if you are not in a hurry.....
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