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Old Feb 14, 06, 1:11 am   #1
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Transferring from BART to Amtrak in Richmond....

Tell me about the BART to Amtrak transfer at the Richmond station.

I need to go from SFO on BART and pick up one of the Capitols heading eastbound. I understand that the Oakland and Richmond stations are the only stations that are co-located with Amtrak. Going to Oakland seems way out of the way.

Is the transfer from BART to Amtrak (or vice versa, coming back) easy? Obvious as to how?

As a Bay Area refugee, I am very familiar with riding BART, but have never done the BART ---> Amtrak transfer. Any tips/thoughts welcome
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Old Feb 14, 06, 10:33 am   #2
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I don't have a very specific answer, but they seem to be right next to each other, and you buy your ticket right there - i.e., exit BART and then you walk right to Amtrak. My only concern is that you not dawdle around looking for how to buy the Amtrak ticket (maybe you can buy in advance) and look "lost" as this is really not the best area to be lost in, or appear that way.

There are also Amtrak buses that stop in downtown SF that take you over to the Emeryville station. This would be my first choice of safe options, although I have no idea how frequently they run.
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Old Feb 14, 06, 11:58 am   #3
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Thanks, I can buy in advance so that will help.

I had thought about the Emeryville option, but although I'm no stranger to BART, I am a novice at public transportation in the City and so wasn't sure how a) to use BART from SFO to whatever stop it would be to get the Amtrak bus somewhere in downtown, b) don't know what that stop would/should be and how to get to it from the nearest BART station, c) it adds a leg into an already convoluted trip (BART from SFO ----> Amtrak at Richmond to Martinez ---> Amtrak bus Martinez to Santa Rosa.)

Any further thoughts or suggestions very appreciated!
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Old Feb 14, 06, 12:45 pm   #4
 
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congratulations on the planes trains & automobiles trifecta

Amtrak advises using the Richmond station at this link:
http://www.amtrakcapitols.com/schedu...onnections.php
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Old Feb 14, 06, 12:53 pm   #5
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Thanks. But I'm wondering if the info there is out of date about which BART train to take, given what a lookup on the BART scheduler says......

Looking at the BART schedule (and the fact that the Amtrak bus from Martinez to Santa Rosa leaves at 3:30pm) maybe it might make more sense to travel to the Oakland Colliseum station and get the Amtrak there. The BART planner at www.bart.gov shows that as a single train ride on the Dublin-Pleasanton line where the SFO-Richmond BART requires two transfers for a total of three trains.
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Old Feb 14, 06, 12:56 pm   #6
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I forwarded your post to a rail-rider buddy of mine and here is his response (FWIW):

Quote:
BART and Amtrak share the same station in Richmond. Don't bother with Oakland - not near each other.

I have done the transfer at Richmond several times. You have to go downstairs from BART (elevated station) and then back up a walkway to get to the Amtrak platform. Takes about 5 minutes max.
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Old Feb 14, 06, 1:13 pm   #7
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Mahalo!

Edit: It also looks like the Financial District stop for the Amtrak Bus to Emeryville is near the Embarcadero BART station? But as one who has never not gotten lost while driving or walking in the City, I think simpler is better. (And the schedule, I have discovered, is terrible for that connection, where either the Richmond or Oakland/Colliseum connections are just about perfect)
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Old Feb 14, 06, 1:21 pm   #8
 
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I'd agree that a transfer at Richmond is probably your best bet. The transfer at Richmond is very easy--the platforms are almost adjacent; as FlyinHawaiian's buddy indicated, its a simple matter of heading downstairs from the BART station into an underground concourse and then back up a ramp or set of stairs to the Amtrak platform. The Oakland Coliseum Amtrak station is new, and apparently there is a pedestrian bridge that links the two platforms, but (a) you'd be backtracking and (b) more Amtrak trains serve Richmond than Oakland Coliseum. At the same time, though, if the schedule works for you, it may not be a bad option.

If you wanted to hook up with the Amtrak bus to Emeryville, the easiest places to do it would be either at the SF Shopping Center--an on-street bus stop that is directly above Powell station on BART--or at the Financial District stop at the Hyatt Regency, adjacent to the Embarcadero station at BART. It is also a relatively short walk to the Ferry Building stop from Embarcadero, but since there are better options, I wouldn't do this unless you needed to buy an Amtrak ticket.

Also, remember that on the Capitol Corridor trains you can buy discounted BART tickets--$10 tickets for only $8.
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Old Feb 14, 06, 2:19 pm   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cblaisd
c) it adds a leg into an already convoluted trip (BART from SFO ----> Amtrak at Richmond to Martinez ---> Amtrak bus Martinez to Santa Rosa.)

Any further thoughts or suggestions very appreciated!
Just curious why you are making this a convoluted trip, vs. taking a Santa Rosa airporter bus (such as Sonoma Co. Airport Express)? Or seeing if you can take BART to SF and then see if Golden Gate Transit will let you bring luggage aboard?
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Old Feb 14, 06, 2:27 pm   #10
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Let's get to the important stuff: cblaisd, should we be scheduing an SF do for whenever it is you are here?
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Old Feb 14, 06, 2:29 pm   #11
 
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Transferring from BART to Amtrak is easy as others have mentioned. Depending on the time of day, you may have to transfer up to two times.

The are around the station is decent, but I wouldn't venture more than a few blocks out. If you are going to Santa Rosa, consider taking Golden Gate Transit from SF. (use 511.org to plan your trip).
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Old Feb 14, 06, 4:58 pm   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eastbay1K
Just curious why you are making this a convoluted trip, vs. taking a Santa Rosa airporter bus (such as Sonoma Co. Airport Express)? Or seeing if you can take BART to SF and then see if Golden Gate Transit will let you bring luggage aboard?
Excellent question

The SR Airporter is about $30. The Amtrak and BART fare is ~$18. More importantly for FlyerTalker-inspiried-mileage-obsessed-purposes , Amtrak Guest Rewards has announced the possibility of forfeiting points if you don't actually take an Amtrak train ride once a year. Since I'm not too far from another 5K Amtrak ---> HHonors transfer, I didn't want to risk it. (Not mention the 150 AS miles you can get for any ride on one of the Amtrak Capitols. Woo!)

Thanks to all for all your help. Sounds like Richmond is indeed an easy option (even with three separate BART trains) and I won't be venturing out of the station.
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Old Feb 17, 06, 5:20 am   #13
 
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Do note that the Richmond Amtrak station is unstaffed. And yesterday (2/16), the sole QuikTrak kiosk was out of order. So unless you buy your tickets in advance, you'll need cash to buy on board.
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Old Feb 17, 06, 1:08 pm   #14
 
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RIC vs SFC

This really beings on the Amtrak Guest Rewards Forum, where plenty of actual users of this connection would also have had ready answers.

Richmond works fine and is an easy transfer opportunity (self-explanatory when you get there), but there are few amenities. The BART fare will be higher and the Amtrak fare slightly lower than SF.

Another option is to take BART to the Embarcadero station in San Francisco, and to walk down about 1 to 2 blocks to the Ferry Building at the foot of Market. There, in an adjoining building on the south side is the staffed Amtrak station for San Francisco (SFC), with waiting room and restrooms.

Amtrak buses also pick up at the Hyatt Regency (Financial District stop), but there you would wait on the street; there is a sign on a post saying "Amtrak bus"). If there is a bit of transfer time, wandering over to the Ferry Building makes sense, and there are all the gourmet items for purchase in the marketplace there.

The disadvantage with SF is the intermediate bus ride to Emeryville.

But, both concepts are workable.
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Old Feb 17, 06, 1:42 pm   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reindeerflame
This really beings on the Amtrak Guest Rewards Forum, where plenty of actual users of this connection would also have had ready answers.
Thanks. I have also put a note in the Amtrak forum pointing to this thread. It seemed to me that since it was both an Amtrak and a BART question, that it might fit here

Quote:
Richmond works fine and is an easy transfer opportunity (self-explanatory when you get there), but there are few amenities. The BART fare will be higher and the Amtrak fare slightly lower than SF.

Another option is to take BART to the Embarcadero station in San Francisco, and to walk down about 1 to 2 blocks to the Ferry Building at the foot of Market. There, in an adjoining building on the south side is the staffed Amtrak station for San Francisco (SFC), with waiting room and restrooms.

Amtrak buses also pick up at the Hyatt Regency (Financial District stop), but there you would wait on the street; there is a sign on a post saying "Amtrak bus"). If there is a bit of transfer time, wandering over to the Ferry Building makes sense, and there are all the gourmet items for purchase in the marketplace there.

The disadvantage with SF is the intermediate bus ride to Emeryville.

But, both concepts are workable.
Thanks to you and everyone. Looks like I'm good to go.
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