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Rail Travel in and Around California by Wizzle - California Zephyr
California Zephyr Maps and Links

Amtrak's  California Zephyr page has a route map and information about the train. The links here will provide additional information so that you can plan an outting to one or more of the cities along the route.  More information will be added periodically as I travel along this route or find interesting websites, so check back.

California Zephyr 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 Truckee, Dunsmuir and Sacramento planned between Christmas and New Years.  The emphasis will be on the railroad's influence on these historic towns.  Should be fun for either railfans, history buffs or (like me) armchair travelers.

Stop by Stop Information (West to east along the route)
Stop Links Comments/Recommendations
Oakland, CA The Zephyr no longer stops at Oakland, but it is only a 15 minute bus ride via Amtrak's service. 
Emeryville Connections to San Francisco are made from this stop.
Richmond BART station connection available.
Martinez A hub for connections to both Amtrak's trains (Coast Starlight, Capitols, San Joaquins) and buses for many destinations in Northern California.  Otherwise this appears to be an entirely forgettable place. Clever routing will allow you to wait for your connecting bus or train in Oakland, Davis or Sacramento. But you will need to study the California System Timetable carefully or consult with a travel agent. The Amtrak reservation system will usually give you a connection at Martinez because that may have the shortest lay-over time.  However, that doesn't mean you get anywhere faster or cheaper......Sacramento can be better and it's certainly more interesting if you end up having to wait for a delayed train. 
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. 
Davis Home of a UC campus.  See all that hay in everyone's hair? This is UC's aggie school .........UC Davis is actually pretty cool and who can quibble with a town that is willing to build a tunnel so the local froggies stay happy and don't have to cross a highway? No kidding! The good people of Davis had a tunnel built under a highway just for the frogs (ribbit).  Personally I'd worry about wearing my mink coat here. But hey.......hug a tree and be happy! Is Davis in the PAC 10? 
Sacramento Tour Vision Capitol of California and  the place where the 1848 gold rush started.  Sacramento has one of the great rail museums in the country and a charming Old Town district.  There are also excellent connections for Amtrak's Capitol, San Joaquin and California Zephyr trains. I'm planning a trip over the Thanksgiving week end so check back for photos.
Old Sacramento Detailed information about the Old Town area
Reno, NV
Salt Lake City, UT
Green River
Grand Junction, CO
Glenwood Springs
Fraser-Winter Park
Fort Morgan
McCook, NE
Creston, IA
Mt. Pleasant
Galesburg, IL
Princeton, IL

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Updated: Wednesday, September 2, 1998