Train travel>>> CA

Old May 29th, 2002, 04:46 PM
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Train travel>>> CA

Has anyone taken the Amtrak train between San Francisco and LA?? How was the trip? Were you glad you did it?
Old May 29th, 2002, 04:50 PM
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I've done the trip on a number of occasions and find it to be very scenic. But it does take a long time to make it down the coast.
Old May 30th, 2002, 05:40 PM
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How long is the trip and is it really worthwhile, or should we just take a plane?
Old May 30th, 2002, 06:31 PM
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Are you talking about the Coast Starlight train? We took it from LA north up the coast, in which case you are traveling in the mid morning hours along the ocean. I'm not sure what the timetable is as the train wends south from SF to LA, but we found ours to be a wonderful trip - you are riding right above the waves, seagulls flying below you. Can't be beat for scenic. In fact, our PBS station ran a train special last nite, inclduding a segment on the Coast Starlight, and we found ourselves wanting to go again.
Old May 30th, 2002, 06:35 PM
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Re: How long....the northbound journey leaves LA about 930 in the morning and hits Oakland that evening - 8ish, I think. The train invariably seems to run late and lose time as it goes along, so not sure how long your southbound journey would take, but I would add at least an hour to your ETA to be safe. If you decide to do this, buy first class accommodations - def worth it. Gives you access to the plush observation car and includes (quite good) meals, with priority seating. Non-lst class tix make the whole experience a lot less worthwhile.
Old May 30th, 2002, 07:06 PM
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First of all there is no"first class" on the Coast Starlight...There is coach OR "sleeper class"..
Coach gives you an assigned seat,(which I found very comfortable ) access to dinning car (you pay for each meal) and access to the Vista Dome car. Sleeper class, a room of your own with very comfortable seats that make into a bed or beds at night(meals are included in fare).for a short trip I don'tthink it is worth the extra money.
We went from Martinez (9AM) to San Luis Obispo (2:30Pm) Then on to LA the next day. The costal views were great, food was O.K.
The train does not go into SF--maybe they bus you to Oakland--Jack London Square---- Lots of info on
We hear rumors that Amtrak may cut a LOT of routes Oct.2002 or March 2003 ,especially on the weat coast-CS may be in this category..
I may ride it magain for old times sake!!!
Old May 30th, 2002, 07:17 PM
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Thanks for the clarification, Kelly. We did 'pop' the extra for a sleeping compartment (even tho we only went as far as Santa Barbara on that first day - part of a hop-on, hop-off itinerary). But, when we boarded, got settled and then walked into the observation car that is open only to sleeping class passengers, and found a spread of coffee, fresh fruit and pastries, white tablecloth ambience, fresh flowers and comfy upholstered seating (as well as comp evening wine or champagne tastings), we were glad we'd made the upgrade.
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