What about a 1055PM departure out of LAX with a 0600 arrival and longer stop in Las Vegas? This would make Fullerton and San Bernadino a bit better I also agree about the overland route between SLC and DEN. You could then add Lairme, Cheyanne Fort Collins, Boulder, etc.
Going to NYP would require the entire route to be served by single level cars. Do we have enough of these? Would two separate trains through Chicago make more sense (not sure we have enough of the Superliners either if it were two different routes.