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SF to Denver or Denver to SF?


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#1 Guest_Bernadou_*

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 09:01 AM

My wife and I are planning a long weekend just to experience train travel together for the first time.  We live in Colorado are planning to ride the Zephyr and fly either to the starting point or home after we are done and plan to reserve a sleeper cabin.

 

Is the trip from SF to Denver, or Denver to SF, a better choice for a one way trip on the train?

 

Thanks!



#2 Bob Dylan

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 09:14 AM

While both are great, the West bound Zephyr is best since you get to climb the Front Range into the Rockies and go through the Sierras from Reno to Sacramento in Daylight.

The Eastbound sometimes runs through the Rockies and down the front Range into Denver in the Dark when running Late !
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#3 the_traveler

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 12:57 PM

It's actually 6 of one, 1/2 a dozen of the other.

The crossing of the Sierras between Reno and Sacramento is done in daylight in both directions. Yes, the CZ could be late and get into Denver in darkness. (Although it never happened to me.) But also, if you go West to east, you see parts in daylight that would be in darkness if going east to west.

That said, I'd give a little to east to west.
Take it easy .......

Take the train instead and enjoy the ride!

The view is much better at 3 feet than it is at 30,000 feet!

#4 Philly Amtrak Fan

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 04:14 AM

Here's the Zephyr schedule: https://www.amtrak.c...le-011116,0.pdf

 

If you are leaving from Denver westbound it's a really early wake up call to get there by 8:05am (on the other hand you'd have to leave Emeryville (EMY) by 9:10am eastbound and that's away from home so six of one and half dozen of the other as the traveler said). I remember on my last Amtrak trip a delayed return trip and missed connection after a long vacation which was tiring so if you are flying one direction you might want to fly home on the return trip because the last thing you want is a potential delay after a long trip (although you won't have to deal with a missed connection assuming you are flying directly from SFO or SJC to DEN). Going westbound on the CZ also allows you to arrive in EMY pretty early in the afternoon and assuming the train is early (big assumption) you will make it before sunset, even in the winter (although in the winter you would have to be on time to make it before sunset). I have only taken the Zephyr westbound, not eastbound, and I split the trip up, getting off at Salt Lake City in between.


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#5 CCC1007

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 09:37 AM

I noticed that there is a hotel that has reasonably priced rooms almost all the time in Oakland, it's called the jack London inn, and it is only two blocks from the Oakland Jack London Square train station, an 8 minute ride from the emeryville train station.

#6 Bob Dylan

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 09:44 AM

JackLondonInn/Oakland:

I suggest one read the reviews of this place before booking!

Let's just say it's not a good place to stay unless you don't care where you sleep at night!🤔

Edited by Bob Dylan, 30 August 2017 - 09:50 AM.

"There's Something About a Train! It's Magic!"-- 1970s Amtrak Ad
 
".. I ride on a Mail Train Baby, can't buy a thrill.."--I said that!
 
"..My heart is warm with the friends I make,and better friends I'll not be knowing,
Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,No matter where its going!.." -Edna St. Vincent Millay

#7 RSG

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Posted 31 August 2017 - 03:43 PM

The Jack London Square station is a pretty sketchy area, particularly at night. A couple of years ago, when the California Zephyr was running a number of hours late into EMY, I deboarded the Thruway Bus at that station, planning to catch a cab to my hotel nearby. I used an online app to request a cab and the assigned driver canceled my ride. I then started calling cab companies, the first one of which also failed to show. Finally the second one called actually showed up, after I waved when I saw it coming down the street.

All the while, there was an alternately-housed woman with a number of possessions standing near the bench outside the station (across the street from the bus bay), talking loudly to one or more invisible acquaintances. Occasionally she would look over at me and I kept hoping that she would not come over and insist on introducing me to her friends.

The only hotels I would stay at in downtown Oakland are the Marriott City Center, the nearby Courtyard, and a couple others slightly further out, all in the Lake Merritt area. The Marriott has 24 hour security and has the advantage of being a half-block away from the 12th Street BART station.  All the other reviews of hotels in central Oakland come with warnings about random gunfire, parking lots which provide free air conditioning via broken windows, and buildings in a state of disrepair reminiscent of another Ghost Ship (also in Oakland) waiting to happen.


Edited by RSG, 31 August 2017 - 03:48 PM.


#8 the_traveler

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Posted 31 August 2017 - 04:10 PM

If the OP was going to stay in Oakland, how would they get there?:huh: The CZ terminates in Emeryville - prior to Oakland! You would need to take another train to reach Jack London Square.

Edited by the_traveler, 31 August 2017 - 04:12 PM.

Take it easy .......

Take the train instead and enjoy the ride!

The view is much better at 3 feet than it is at 30,000 feet!

#9 RSG

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Posted 31 August 2017 - 04:41 PM

If the OP was going to stay in Oakland, how would they get there? :huh: The CZ terminates in Emeryville - prior to Oakland! You would need to take another train to reach Jack London Square.

 

Or do what I did, which is to catch one of the three Thruway Buses outside the station going to various locations when the CZ arrives (whenever that may be). I don't remember what my original plans were, but when the CZ was six hours or so late I decided that the best course of action was to go to Jack London Square station, which, as an inner-city station surely must be bustling most hours of the day (pro tip: it is not). I inquired at the station window how to get there and they pointed me in the direction of one of the buses---no prior reservation required. After a couple other stops, I was the single passenger dropped off at this location, only a few blocks from my hotel, but it may as well have been San Jose for all the trouble I had in going that final short distance.


Edited by RSG, 31 August 2017 - 04:46 PM.


#10 RSG

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Posted 31 August 2017 - 04:43 PM

JackLondonInn/Oakland:

I suggest one read the reviews of this place before booking!

Let's just say it's not a good place to stay unless you don't care where you sleep at night!

 
For a few giggles, I definitely recommend reading the reviews of the JLI. My favorite comment: "a one step upgrade from Hell". :giggle:



#11 kellyhwilliams

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Posted 31 August 2017 - 05:09 PM

of course the warnings about oakland from outsiders are a tad ridiculous. you're not going to get shot at in jack london square, especially near the jack london inn. if you really need to not go to oakland there are two hotels in emeryville within walking distance from the station, one is literally on the other side of the tracks over the footbridge. you can also disembark in richmond and get on BART and go to berkeley or wherever else would be "safer"


Edited by kellyhwilliams, 31 August 2017 - 05:09 PM.


#12 BCL

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Posted 31 August 2017 - 05:34 PM

of course the warnings about oakland from outsiders are a tad ridiculous. you're not going to get shot at in jack london square, especially near the jack london inn. if you really need to not go to oakland there are two hotels in emeryville within walking distance from the station, one is literally on the other side of the tracks over the footbridge. you can also disembark in richmond and get on BART and go to berkeley or wherever else would be "safer"

 

Well - I was walking down the street about a block away from Jack London Inn when I saw someone pull out a gun.  It wasn't displayed in anger or anything.  I think it was just someone showing it off to his buddies.  I just put my head down and walked away.

 

However, it's not as if it would be easy to keep dangerous people out of a public place without some sort of perimeter and security checks (like I saw at one of the Super Bowl 50 events).  The movie theater there always has an armed security guard now, although I see that at a lot of movie theaters now.  I remember when there was a shooting outside of the theater.  For several months Oakland PD would station an officer in a patrol car while the theater was open.

 

For the most part the kind of violence around there is targeted gang activity.  I've never felt particularly unsafe around the train station.

 

As far as Jack London Inn goes, it's not known for being so great.

 

http://www.mercuryne...ack-london-inn/

https://www.eastbaye...owFullText=true

 

Maybe the Waterfront Hotel?

 

http://www.jdvhotels...terfront-hotel/



#13 CCC1007

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Posted 31 August 2017 - 05:38 PM

of course the warnings about oakland from outsiders are a tad ridiculous. you're not going to get shot at in jack london square, especially near the jack london inn. if you really need to not go to oakland there are two hotels in emeryville within walking distance from the station, one is literally on the other side of the tracks over the footbridge. you can also disembark in richmond and get on BART and go to berkeley or wherever else would be "safer"

 
Well - I was walking down the street about a block away from Jack London Inn when I saw someone pull out a gun.  It wasn't displayed in anger or anything.  I think it was just someone showing it off to his buddies.  I just put my head down and walked away.
 
However, it's not as if it would be easy to keep dangerous people out of a public place without some sort of perimeter and security checks (like I saw at one of the Super Bowl 50 events).  The movie theater there always has an armed security guard now, although I see that at a lot of movie theaters now.  I remember when there was a shooting outside of the theater.  For several months Oakland PD would station an officer in a patrol car while the theater was open.
 
For the most part the kind of violence around there is targeted gang activity.  I've never felt particularly unsafe around the train station.
 
As far as Jack London Inn goes, it's not known for being so great.
 
http://www.mercuryne...ack-london-inn/
https://www.eastbaye...owFullText=true
 
Maybe the Waterfront Hotel?
 
http://www.jdvhotels...terfront-hotel/
I was primarily intrigued by the ~$100 per night price...

#14 BCL

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Posted 31 August 2017 - 06:51 PM

 

 

of course the warnings about oakland from outsiders are a tad ridiculous. you're not going to get shot at in jack london square, especially near the jack london inn. if you really need to not go to oakland there are two hotels in emeryville within walking distance from the station, one is literally on the other side of the tracks over the footbridge. you can also disembark in richmond and get on BART and go to berkeley or wherever else would be "safer"

 
Well - I was walking down the street about a block away from Jack London Inn when I saw someone pull out a gun.  It wasn't displayed in anger or anything.  I think it was just someone showing it off to his buddies.  I just put my head down and walked away.
 
However, it's not as if it would be easy to keep dangerous people out of a public place without some sort of perimeter and security checks (like I saw at one of the Super Bowl 50 events).  The movie theater there always has an armed security guard now, although I see that at a lot of movie theaters now.  I remember when there was a shooting outside of the theater.  For several months Oakland PD would station an officer in a patrol car while the theater was open.
 
For the most part the kind of violence around there is targeted gang activity.  I've never felt particularly unsafe around the train station.
 
As far as Jack London Inn goes, it's not known for being so great.
 
http://www.mercuryne...ack-london-inn/
https://www.eastbaye...owFullText=true
 
Maybe the Waterfront Hotel?
 
http://www.jdvhotels...terfront-hotel/
I was primarily intrigued by the ~$100 per night price...

 

 

It actually looks like an unassuming budget hotel from the outside.  I go by there sometimes and have never been in there.  However, the reputation isn't very good.  Apparently it's the typical issues that come with lots of budget lodging like prostitution, arguing guests, drug dealing, etc.  Then this place has problems with long term guests, where it's hard to remove someone after a month because legally they become tenants.

 

Depending on the night the Waterfront Hotel can be competitive, but not every night.  If you can find it for $130 a night, that's a pretty good bargain.  If it's $250, then it's not.





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