Amtrak California Zephyr - You're traveling on board Amtrak's Superliner train
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Amtrak California Zephyr

Amtrak's Route Guide - Train #5 & Train #6

San Francisco * Salt Lake City * Chicago


You are traveling on board the California Zephyr, an Amtrak® Superliner® train. While on board, you will be experiencing the utmost comfort and service in train travel and witness some of the West's most spectacular scenery.

(Steve's Note: I suggest you click here now to read the older version of the California Zephyr Route Guide. The new vesion has hardly any information about the sights that you will see on this train. I don't know why Amtrak has done away with their wonderfully detailed route guide for this route and replaced it with a truncated version, but I have preserved the old version for you at this web site.

All of us at Amtrak are proud to have you aboard today, and want to ensure your trip is everything you want it to be in train travel. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask one of your friendly on-board service staff


There is a lot to see and do aboard the California Zephyr, from relaxing, socializing with family and friends, or enjoying a wonderful meal. Please listen for announcements of the specific times and locations of these activities, and most of all -- have fun!

Movies and other videos in the Sightseer Lounge. During summer months, features for children will also be shown.

Hospitality Hour. Join fellow passengers in the Lounge Car for drinks and complimentary snacks, and don't forget to ask about regional specialties.

On-Board Car Guides from the California State Railroad Museum will provide highlights between Sacramento and Reno. This is a seasonal program and may not be available on all trains.

Games are also on the agenda in the Dining Car. Just listen for the announcements and join in the fun.

Stretch Your Legs in Denver. Take some time to shop for unique crafts and souveneirs at the station. Time is limited, so be sure not to leave the station platform area. Also, it is very important to return to the train when you hear the announcement to ensure a timely departure for the continuation of your trip.

THE CALIFORNIA ZEPHYR is a non-smoking train. Smoking passengers may take advantage of scheduled smoke stops. Please listen for on-board announcements of these stops.

San Francisco... Alcatraz... the Golden Gate Bridge... San Pueblo Bay and the Carquinez Strait... The "Mothball Fleet" at Suisun Bay... Cape Horn... America River Valley... Soda Springs... Donner Lake... Stanford Curve... Reno... Ruby Canyon... Glenwood Canyon... Red Canyon... Gore Canyon... Byers Canyon... South Boulder Canyon... Plainview... Rocky... Missouri River... Mississippi River... Chicago.


The Conductor is in charge of all crew members aboard, and is responsible for the collection of tickets and the safe operation of the train. The Chief supervises the on-board service people, and is responsible for the service you receive while you are on the train.


Roomy Coach Seats with a Coach Attendant ensures that you are comfortable and well taken care of during your travels. Please keep in mind that seats are assigned for the duration of the trip. If you wish to change seats consult your Attendant first. Please do not re-seat yourself.

First Class Service is provided to you by your Sleeping Car Attendant. Your Attendant will prepare your room for daytime or nighttime travel, provide wake-up service and bring your morning paper and beverages to your room. Meals and other amenities are included with your First Class accommodations. Individual speakers bring you recorded music (Channels 2 and 3) and train announcements (Channels 1 and 2). The channel selector is located near the reading light in your room.

Private Sleeping Accommodations are available based on your needs. Deluxe Rooms can accommodate two adults and have a private restroom and shower. Family Rooms can accommodate up to two adults and three children, and also have a private restroom and shower. (Steve's note: This is not correct. The Family Room does not have its own private restroom and shower. However, don't be too concerned. There are 3 restrooms and a shower on the same level with the Family Room. I have never found all 3 restrooms in use at once and it isn't difficult for everyone to get their turn in the shower). Economy Rooms can accommodate one or two people. Ample public restrooms and showers are conveniently located in the lower level of the Sleeping Car. Sleeping Accommodations may be purchased on board from the Conductor (subject to availability).

Dining Car Service offers a delicious dining experience that is truly pleasing to the palate with its unique regional flair. A crew member will contact you if dinner reservations are necessary. Major credit cards are accepted.

Meal Service for a in-room dining is available to First Class passengers if desired. Please make arrangements with your Attendant in advance. Station arrival times during meal service may delay in-room dining. This delay is due to the necessity to assist passengers boarding and de-boarding the train.

Sightseer Lounge Car on the California Zephyr allows you to view the spectacular scenery along the route through the panoramic windows on the upper level of the car. The lower level offers light dining where sandwiches, snacks and beverages, in addition to various sundry items, can be purchased. The Lounge Car also features first-run movies, a Hospitality Hour with specialty drinks, and complimentary snacks during the evening.



Experienced travelers say it's the most beautiful train trip in all of North America ... and as you climb to the sky through the heart of the Rocky Mountains -- and further west, the High Sierra -- you'll find it hard to disagree. Certainly, it's the most comfortable way to travel between Chicago and the great cities of the West. But as you twist past the narrow canyons and towering peaks of the Rockies, following the Colorado River through breathtakingly beautiful mountain wilderness -- and climb through the famous mile-high Donner Pass in the heart of the Sierra Nevada, you won't be thinking of how glad you are you took the California Zephyr to get there.

This guide details some of the attractions at major points along the route. Directional copy is written from west to east, so you'll know whether to look to the right or the left.

San Francisco XXX














Scenic Photo Tips

SCENIC SPOTS: Your train passes many beautiful and interesting sights. The "camera" symbol on your Route Guide Map marks the best spots, so have your camera ready!

OUTSIDE SHOTS: Medium-speed films (ASA 200 or higher) are recommended for shooting scenery through the train windows. If your shutter speed is adjustable and light conditions permit, set it at a higher speed (1/125 or 1/250 sec.) for the clearest results. Hold your lens close to the window to eliminate glare and reflections.

INSIDE SHOTS: Flash is recommended. To avoid glare and reflections, do not point the flash directly at the windows.

Natural beauty so spectacular
it takes your breath away --
on a dazzling ride
that touches the sky!

Website content provided as an educational volunteer effort of the American Passenger Rail Heritage Foundation (APRHF), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Please help support the preservation and promotion of passenger rail heritage. Join the APRHF today! Website hosting made possible by TrainWeb, LLC and our sponsors.
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