California Zephyr first-timer

Discussion in 'Guest Forum for Amtrak Questions' started by Susan, Mar 14, 2019.

Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:

  1. Mar 14, 2019 #1

    Susan

    S

    Susan

    Guest

    I'll be taking my first Amtrak the last week of March from CHI --> Emeryville (SF)! I had a few questions:

    1. If I choose a roommette, is the 2nd bed reserved by another random passenger? Can we put gender preferences at least? I feel slightly uncomfortable that I may be stuck in that tiny space with a not-pleasant person.

    2. In a roommette or coach, where I can I store a carry-on bag safely on board?

    3. Are there any parts of the route that are high up in height? I'm terrified of heights and absolutely hate the idea of those tracks that are elevated, or along steep mountain cliffs.

    4. Have they upgraded to include more outlets in the train?
     
  2. Mar 14, 2019 #2

    cpotisch

    cpotisch

    cpotisch

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2017
    Messages:
    7,512
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    It’s your own private room.

    I take it this is a suitcase? In a Roomette traveling solo, you could just leave that in the upper bunk, however if you would prefer to leave the bunk folded up for the extra headroom below, you will have to put the bag in the shared storage area on the lower level of your car. In coach, you have the option to either put it in the overhead rack or in the storage area on the lower level of your coach (depends on how large your bag is).

    Unfortunately the Zephyr’s route through the Rockies climbs to 9,270 feet, and there are plenty of huge drop offs around it. It is absolutely beautiful, but if heights are such an issue, this might not be the route for you.

    There is one outlet in each Roomette, and two outlets at each pair of coach seats. I recommend bringing a splitter that will allow you to plug more than one thing in at a time.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 14, 2019
  3. Mar 14, 2019 #3

    pvd

    p

    pvd

    Guest

    You won't have a problem with a single bag, either on the step or downstairs, but I'm not a big fan of leaving the upper bunk down in a superliner, unless you are short,  because of the headroom reduction. You can pull your curtains and not look out during the mountain parts. I've taken the CZ many times and have had very positive experiences, but I only travel as far as Denver (on my way to Colorado Springs), so I never cross the Rockies. 
     
  4. Mar 15, 2019 #4

    Rasputin

    R

    Rasputin

    Service Attendant

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2019
    Messages:
    103
    If you have luggage that you do not need to access during the trip, it might be easier to check it and then you won't have to worry about it. The roomettes on the Zephyr will have very limited space for luggage in the room so it is either check your luggage or put it in the luggage storage bin on the lower level of your car. My wife and I usually take just a backpack each in the roomette itself and an extra bag with a book or two, newspapers and some snacks. We sometimes check any extra luggage and sometimes place it in the storage area at the lower level.

    The California Zephyr is probably the most scenic train in the Amtrak system and I hope you can make this trip. I am also concerned about heights but I do not have a problem on the train. I would suggest that you search the internet for photos of the California Zephyr and you should find many which will depict the route of the train. You can then determine whether it looks too frightening or not. (Note that many of the photos will depict a single level train with dome cars - that is the old California Zephyr. The present Zephyr is the train which has two level cars.)
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019
  5. Mar 15, 2019 #5
    Regarding heights, how often/for how long does the train pass by areas like this?[​IMG]
     
  6. Mar 15, 2019 #6

    susanch

    s

    susanch

    Guest

  7. Mar 15, 2019 #7

    cpotisch

    cpotisch

    cpotisch

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2017
    Messages:
    7,512
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    That is a screenshot from a video game called Train Simulator, and it's depicting a 60 years old iteration of the Zephyr, so it really isn't realistic at all.

    But the Zephyr does run through the mountains at pretty high altitudes for several hours at a time, so that is something you'll have to deal with if you take this trip.
     
  8. Mar 16, 2019 #8

    Sauve850

    Sauve850

    Sauve850

    Lead Service Attendant

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2014
    Messages:
    328
    Location:
    West Palm Beach, Florida
    Agree thats not realistic of a trip thru the Rockies. Ive traveled with someone who is the same as you about heights. It was no problem.
     
    cpotisch likes this.
  9. Mar 16, 2019 #9

    AmtrakBlue

    AmtrakBlue

    AmtrakBlue

    Conductor Gathering Team Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2011
    Messages:
    10,826
    Location:
    Delaware
    We have at least one member here that was hesitant to take the Empire Builder and Coast Starlight through the mountains. I believe she just closed her curtains whenever the scenery made her nervous. She survived and I believe she said she'd do it again.
     
    daybeers likes this.
  10. Mar 18, 2019 #10
    That's really encouraging to hear! I wish there were better photos available of how the "high" routes look...
     
  11. Mar 18, 2019 #11

    Rasputin

    R

    Rasputin

    Service Attendant

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2019
    Messages:
    103
    I did a search on Yahoo under "California Zephyr" and came up with an image section which had dozens of photos showing the train along its route.
     
    cpotisch likes this.
  12. Mar 19, 2019 #12

    chakk

    c

    chakk

    Conductor

    Joined:
    May 27, 2011
    Messages:
    2,355
    Look for photos on the internet of Gore Canyon or Byers Canyon and you will probably find some taken from the CZ in those regions. I think there are also videos posted from inside the train of those sections.

    Also look for pbotos of Donner Lake from the train.

    Always remember that Google is your Friend
     

Share This Page



arrow_white