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Rail Travel in and Around California by Wizzle- San Joaquin trains
San Joaquin Maps and Links

The San Joaquin trains run from Oakland to Bakersfield through California's central San Joaquin Valley. These trains are sponsored by the State of California and run by Amtrak.  Connecting service from the trains is provided to

Get detailed connection information from Caltrans by requesting the California System Timetable.  It's free but be sure to double check schedules by calling Amtrak or using their website.  Fall 1998 schedules are not yet published.

These pages will focus on the destinations both along the route as well as those which can be easily reached by Amtrak's connecting services to supplement the

San Joaquin Travelogues
Traveler Link Comments
Steve Grande Steve Grande's US Travelogue Page Great travelogues with detailed information about the trains and their equipment plus hints for a satisfying trip
Steve Reynolds Steve is a railfan who lives right on the Coast Starlight/San Diegan route in Santa Barbara and has lots of good trips to share
Wizzle Coming Soon! Trip from LAX to Sacramento planned for Thansgiving weekend

Stop by Stop Information (North to south along the route - stations served by trains in bold with connection destinations in plain text)
Oakland Jack London Square Where the trains come right up the street! 
Other Attractions Commercial site
Emeryville Emeryville Online Emeryville is the station Amtrak uses to connect passengers with San Francisco via the Amtrak buses. 
Emeryville Shuttle Free and it goes near both the Amtrak and BART stations. The website has an excellent routemap and schedules
Emeryville Net Additional information and pictures of Emeryville - well organized and complete website
Berkeley Bay Area Transportation Terrific Website for transportation information about the WHOLE BAY AREA!!!! Applicable to Oakland, Emeryville, Berkley, Richmond and San Francisco.  Also has information for transportation in Wine Country (Sonoma, Napa, etc.). If you want public transportation in the Bay Area, look here first. 
Visitor's Bureau Berkeley is home to a beautiful UC campus and has fabulous views of San Francisco from up in the hills. 
Richmond City Website Not muc information available
Chamber of Commerce
Martinez Contra Costa Net Commercial website - about the best I could do for Martinez proper whose main function is to serve as an Amtrak hub in Northern California. Only our brethern to the north could figure out such a drecky place to use for a hub, but I guess it will have to do until Sacramento gets hooked to the San Joaquins. By careful planning you can avoid this place.  Note that the Amtrak reservation system will often route you through Martinez rather than through a more interesting (and possibly cheaper) destination in which to wait for a connection. Ask your travel agent or study the schedules and maybe you can wait in Sacramento, Berkely or Oakland instead. Martinez provides connecting bus service to the Redwood Empire daily. Martinez is a stop for the Coast Starlight, the California Zephyr, and the Capitols.
Sacramento Tour Vision At this time Sacrmento is served on this route only by Amtrak buses (blech). But there are discussions underway between Amtrak and UP to allow Amtrak to use UP's tracks and complete this section by train. Sacramento is capitol of California and  the place where the 1848 gold rush started. It  has one of the great rail museums in the country and a charming Old Town district.  Sacramento is a stop for the Coast Starlight, Capitols and the California Zephyr so it is possible to get here by train from the San Joaquins, but it takes longer than the buses at this time. (Blech again). Write to UP!!!!  Sacramento has extensive connecting Amtrak bus service to Gold Rush Country and the Sierras (including fabulous Lake Tahoe).
Placer County Right in the heart of the gold rush area
Nevada County More great destinations in the gold rush area. Keep in mind that Gold Rush country is in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The scenery is spectacular and there are many places to camp and hike between visits to the Gold Rush towns. The fall colors in the Sierras are awesome.A reminder.......while days in spring and fall may be warm, night temperature in the mountains is likely to get cool quickly.  Bring appropriate clothing.
Old Sacramento Detailed information about the Old Town area
Antioch-Pittsburg TBD No general travel links
Stockton Stockton Net Stockton is an inland port and probably the capital of agribusiness in California.  At present, there is a bus connection from Stockton to Sacramento which is the most direct route. Hopefully Amtrak will have access to UP's tracks in the near future.
San Joaquin County Area information
Riverbank-Modesto City of Modesto City website - includes local transportaion information.  The Amtrak station is in Riverbank. 
Visitor's Bureau Has some nice photos 
Regional Transportation Bus service between Riverbank and Modesto
Denair- Turlock Turlock How does one get to Turlock from Denair?
Merced Visitor's Bureau Amtrak provides connecting buses from Merced to Yosemite daily 
Yosemite National Park Not the NPS site....but has lots of good info.....if you ever only visit ONE national park in your life it ought to be Yosemite.  It honestly looks like a Kodak picture spot.  Avoid the summer tourist season, if at all possible when the Valley is overcrowded. The Amtrak bus goes into the heart of the Valley to Yosemite Lodge which is practically next door to the Ahwhanee Lodge.  If you can afford to stay at the Awhanee, by all means do so.  If not, try to get there for Sunday brunch, which is great. The Ahwahnee is one of those fabulous lodges built during the depression.  The Ahwahnee and Timberline in Oregon are my two favorites. 
NPS Yosemite Page The NPS has outstanding information on Yosemite and all their properties.  The NPS is the best way to spend my tax dollar that I know of! (your tax dollar too). 
Madera City of Madera Commercial website
Fresno Fresno On-Line Gateway to Sequoia National Forest which has the largest tree in the world. Also the place to get off for rafting along the Kern and San Joaquin Rivers. 
FresNet Homepage More visitor information with maps of the area, including the Amtrak station which is right in downtown.  My impression of Fresno (from a car on highway 99) has been that it is a giant strip mall.....but there are lots of interesting things in downtown! So much for "seeing the country by car." (Humpf) From the map it looks like there is a variety of lodging only two blocks from the station. 
Hanford Chamber of Commerce Has a famous Chinese/French restaurant. I've been wanting to go here for years (last time I tried I got stuck in Visalia instead). Amtrak has connecting buses from Hanford to San Luis Obispo on the coast. 
Bakersfield Visitor's Bureau Great place for Basque food and picking your own fruit.  Amtrak provides bus connections from Bakersfield to practically everywhere in Southern California and to Las Vegas, NV as well. 
Los Angeles Union Station Wizzlog Currently the trip from Bakersfield to LA is via one of the many Amtrak buses which meet the San Joaquin trains.  Since connecting this section by train will require a major investment to get through the Tehachapi Mountains, we will have to wait for high speed rail. Check the link for photos and detailed station information plus maps of the area and local transportation information

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Updated: Wednesday, September 2, 1998