California Zephyr (B)
San Francisco* Salt
Los Angeles* Salt
You are traveling on board the California Zephyr or the Desert
Wind, an Amtrak Superliner train. While on board, you will be
experiencing the utmost comfort and service in train travel and
witnessing some of the West's most spectacular scenery.
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. If you have any questions, please
do not hesitate to ask one of your friendly on-board service staff.
The Fun Starts Here.
There is a lot to see and do aboard the California Zephyr and
Desert Wind, from relaxing, socializing with family and friends,
or enjoying a wonderful meal. Please listen for announcements
of the specific times and locations of activities, and most of
Movies and other
videos are shown in the Sightseer Lounge. Throughout the summer
months, special children's features 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.
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.
Stretch Your Legs
in Denver. Time is limited, so be sure not to leave the station
waiting rooms and platform areas. Also, it is very important to
return promptly to the train when you hear the announcement to
ensure a timely departure for the continuation of your trip.
The California Zephyr And Desert Wind are non-smoking trains. Smoking passengers may take
advantage of schedule smoke stops. Please listen for on-board
announcements of these stops.
On The California Zephyr,
Golden Gate Bridge...San Pablo Bay and the Carquinez Strait...The"Mothball
Fleet" at Suisun Bay...Cape Horn...American River Valley...Soda
Springs...Donner Lake...Stanford Curve...Reno...Salt Lake City...Ruby
Canyon...Glenwood Canyon...Red Canyon...Gore Canyon...Byers Canyon...South
Boulder Canyon...Moffat Tunnel...Plainview...Denver...Missouri
On The Desert Wind, Watch
Los Angeles...Santa Ana
Canyon...Cajon Pass...Cima Hill...Las Vegas...Rainbow Canyon...and
all the sights of the Zephyr from Salt Lake City to Chicago.
Experienced Travelers say it's the most beautiful
train in all of North America... and as you climb to the sky through
the heart of the Rocky Mountains- and further west, the Sierra
Nevadas- 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 a breathtakingly
beautiful mountain wilderness and climb through the famous mile-high
Donner Pass in the heart of the Sierra Nevadas, you won't be thinking
about where you're going. You'll be thinking of how glad you are
that you took the California Zephyr to get there.
This guide details some
of the attractions at major pionts along the route. It is written
from west to east, and may indicate whether you should look right
San Francisco This
cosmopolitan cultural center is the home of world famous restaurants,
galleries and shops. San Francisco has the West Coast "Wall
Street", a financial district comprised of several of the
world's largest banks. It has world class ballet, symphony and
opera companies. Amtrak passengers begin and end their journey
to San Francisco with a bus ride across San Francisco Bay, either
to or from the Emeryville train station. On the way is a spectacular
view of San Francisco, the island of Alcatraz, and in the distance,
the beautiful Golden Gate Bridge.
buses to and from San Francisco are waiting for passengers at
rainside. Look for the San Francisco Bay Bridge to the west. Located
in picturesque Jack London Square, the new Amtrak station is the
origin of the California Zephyr.
Sacramento Home of the
California State Railroad Museum-one of nation's most impressive
displays of railroad equipment! The capital of California was
the western terminus for the Pony Express in 1860. It was also
the starting point for the Central Pacific Railroad in 1863.
Reno Known as
the "Biggest Little City in the World", Reno began as
a quiet rail stop and later became a boom town. The city fathers
legalized prizefights, hosting the Jim Jeffries vs. Jack Johnsonfight
in 1910. Gambling was legalized in 1931.
Note:At the Nevada/Utah
State Line, change your watch from pacific to Mountain time;one
hour later if traveling east, one hour earlier if traveling west.
Salt Lake City The wide streets lead download to
Mormon monuments, including Temple Square, the Seagull Monument,
the six towers of the Mormon Temple and the Beehive House. Salt
Lake City is where the Desert Wind joins the California Zephyr
route. Refer to the Desert Wind section of this guide for points
of interest between Salt Lake City and Los Angeles.
desolate region, called the nation's atomic warehouse because
it is rich in uranium, is also the gateway to Canyonlands and
Moab, the Arches National Park, Manti-La Sal National Forest and
Dead Horse Point. The eroding mesas on the left are the Book Cliffs.
The Gunnison and Colorado Rivers meet here. Grand Junstion is
the gateway to Mesa Verde National Park, the Colorado National
Monument and Grand Mesa National Forest.
Roaring Fork River meets the Colorado on the right. The infamous
gunslinger Doc Holliday is buried here. Glenwood Springs was also
a favorite of Teddy Roosevelt, who stayed at the Colorado Hotel
and enjoyed the revitalizing waters of the Yampa Hot springs.
station is the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park. The vast
meadowlands in this area make up a region called Middle Park.
Evidence of aboriginal people has been found at nearby Windy Gap
Dam dated at 3000 B.C.-1200 A.D., predating American Indians.
Silver Creek ski area and Winter Park are across the valley to
Winter Park (Fraser) This is the station for the
nearby Winter Park Ski Resort. The Fraser River cuts a swath through
Arapahoe National Forest and Fraser Canyon. The town of Fraser
proudly calls itself the "Icebox of America" because
of its winter temperatures of -50'F. The Devil's Thumb is a rock
formation on top of the ridge to the left.
Denver The Mile High City is breathtaking to behold, and the
Amtrak station is in the midst of it all. You'll be withi walking
distance of Coors Field, restaurants and hotels in this vibrant
Note: At the Colorado/Nebraska
State Line, change your watch between Mountain and Central time;
one hour later if going east, one hour earlier if going west.
Omaha was a Missouri River crossing for westbound pioneers.
President Gerald Ford, Henry Fonda, Fred Astaire, Marlon Brando
and Malcolm X were born here. Biys Town, a refuge for homeless
and underprivileged children, is west of town.
the home of Carl Sandburg, writer and historian. Abe Lincoln and
Stephen Douglas debated here at Knox College in the building with
the copper spire to the left of the train.
of the founders of the Republican Party, John Bryant, made his
home in Princeton. It was settled by New Englanders in 1833.
Chicago is the
crossroad of American manufacturing and distribution, and is an
important hub of the nation's railroads. The Sears Tower dominates
the massive skyline along with the "Gold Coast" high-rises
along Lake Michigan. As the train backs into Chicago's Union Station,
it parallels the Chicago River on the left, its flow reversed
in an engineering triumph. And another engineering triumph is
the modern Amtrak yards and maintenance facility, which is the
home of the California Zephyr. The train ends its 2,422-mile run
in historic Union Station. Built in 1926, the station serves over
40 Amtrak trains and 160 commuter trains each weekday.
From Chicago to Salt Lake City, the Desert Wind
follows the route of the California Zephyr. But between starry
nights of the Great Salt Desert and the bright lights of Los Angeles,
the Desert Wind carves a path all its own through a vividly beautiful
landscape of dry rivers, wind-blown sand, craggy rocks and remarkable
The Sprawling metropolis of Los Angeles began in 1781 as El Pueblo
de Nuestra Senora de la Reina de los Angeles. Today, the village's
original site is marked by the historical park of Olvera Street,
lined with brightly colored Mexican shops and old buildings. Across
the street is the Los Angeles Union Passenger Terminal, called
the "last of the great stations to be built in the U.S.".
A magnificent combination of Spanish and Art Deco styling, with
stucco facade, tile roof and an inlaid wood ceiling, the station
is often used as a set for television shows and movies.
Fullerton is the Desert Wind's stop for populous, suburban Orange
County, as well as the transfer point for Amtrak San Diego trains.
Nearby are some of California's most famous tourist attractions,
including Disneyland, Knott's Berry Farm and the Movieland Wax
The first McDonald's hamburger stand opened here over 50 years
ago. (Hamburgers were five cents each.) Before selling their business
to Ray Kroc, the McDonald brothers pioneered many elements of
today's fast food industry.
Barstow is mainly
a railroad town comprising the yards and shops of the Santa Fe
Railway. Next to the depot on the left is Casa del Desierto, one
of the few remaining "Harvey House" buildings. In the
late 1800s, Fred Harvey helped civilize the West with a chain
of restaurants and hotels along the railroad. The "Harvey
Girl" waitresses were immortalized in the Judy Garland movie
of that name.
Las Vegas is
the "live entertainment capital of the world". Stars
from Hollywood and New York perform their own shows to packed
houses on the strip. The hotels and casinos of the strip are visible
to the right.
Salt Lake City is
the connecting station where the Desert Wind joins the California
Zephyr route on its way to and from Chicago. Refer to the California
Zephyr section of this guide for points of interest between Salt
Lake City and Chicago.
Scenic Photo Tips
Your train passes many beautiful and interesting sights. The "camera"
symbol on the map marks the best spots, so have your camera ready!
Medium speed films (ASA 64 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.
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