Whether you are traveling a short distance or the entire route, I would like to thank you for choosing first class accommodations aboard The California Zephyr/Desert Wind. The train that you are riding is the product of over 127 years of passenger rail travel. Since the golden spike was driven in 1869 to signify the completion of America's first transcontinental railroad, the train has played a significant role in the building of our nation. It brought the settlers that came to this land with nothing more than a dream, their families, and supplies to the western shores. It was the railroad that planted the seeds that would become towns, cities, and great industrial centers. The rail industry kept America strong through two world wars and brought people to jobs, as well as jobs to people, during the Great Depression. One could say that the railroads truly are the backbone of America.
Much has changed since the California Zephyr made its journey westward in 1949. The romance of the rails, however, is still as strong as ever. The view from your window is as awe inspiring as it was for the people who built this land. Dinner in the diner is still something to look forward to and leisurely afternoons in the lounge car are still very much a part of the Amtrak tradition.
The employees of Amtrak are working hard to create the renaissance of the Zephyr and Desert Wind by adding their own chapter to the already rich history of railroading. They are incorporating some of the time honored traditions of an exciting past with some of the newest passenger equipment and service ideas of the present to create an experience that is the culmination of almost 150 years of railroading.
As you embark on your journey, I invite you to settle in and make yourself at home aboard our train. Please take full advantage of the experiences that await you as your train whisks you across the county. Let the beauty of America inspire you as you savor the history of transcontinental rail travel ... a history that you now share.
Product Line Manager
California Zephyr/Desert Wind