California Zephyr - Any Recent Experiences

Old May 12, 17, 2:16 pm
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California Zephyr - Any Recent Experiences

For several years I have been riding those long distance trains, that I haven't taken previously.

I will be travelling on the CZ, in a roomette, from Emeryville to Denver in several days. (I have already taken it from Denver to Chicago, so no need to repeat the mileage.)

Has anyone had any recent experiences with this train, that they would like to share? If so, I will be appreciative.
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Old May 12, 17, 4:43 pm
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Originally Posted by SCEflyer View Post
For several years I have been riding those long distance trains, that I haven't taken previously.

I will be travelling on the CZ, in a roomette, from Emeryville to Denver in several days. (I have already taken it from Denver to Chicago, so no need to repeat the mileage.)

Has anyone had any recent experiences with this train, that they would like to share? If so, I will be appreciative.
How recent are you looking for, and what information are you seeking?

I took the train from DEN to SAC last June and also took it from CHI to EMY a year ago November.

Service-wise, it's just about identical to any other Amtrak long-distance train--not upgraded service like the Coast Starlight but just like most other, normal Superliner trains (Sightseer lounge, which is very popular through the Rockies, Dining car, coaches and sleepers, etc.).

Scenery-wise...well, it's the same since the D&RGW tracks were laid in 1934.

All cheekiness aside, it's a great ride, probably my favorite in the system (well, the DEN-SAC portion, anyway). I prefer heading westbound (for the best scenery during daylight and to avoid the risk of missing the spectacular view over Denver from the front range of the Rockies if the train is delayed). I don't know how contentious the lounge car seating space is heading west; the scenery is great rising out of SAC, but it takes awhile to get to the good stuff, so there may not be the mad rush to get to the lounge car that there is coming out of DEN (where you almost need to board east of DEN and claim your seat before the train arrives in DEN if you want to see the Rockies from the lounge car).

The best stretches are Donner Pass and then the section from Glenwood Springs to Denver.

Much more about this route is available in several threads, and the information therein is still accurate and current:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/amtra...alifornia.html
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/amtra...d-lax-sfo.html
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/amtra...er-advice.html

(Some of the other, older threads have outdated information about award redemptions from back when Amtrak was using the zone-based award system--just FYI.)
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Old May 13, 17, 2:31 pm
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Here's my DEN/SAC/PDX westbound report from Last June 2016. http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/amtra...-roomette.html

I agree with jackal that DEN/Glenwood Springs offers outstanding views. You won't need reading material for those 5 hours, or the 5 hours prior.

Let me know if you have any questions. As a matter of fact, I'm riding CHI/WAS/NRO this coming week.

dh
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