(Click small photos to see larger; all larger photos are less than 30K)
This trip was in the planning stages for a long time. I
wanted to make the trip alone in coach class. Later I found
that the Coast Starlight is a kid friendly train so I
decided to take my youngest son Christopher. Chris is about
6 and would turn 7 May 2, 2002 upon our return from
Portland, Ore on the Starlight.
I purchased my tickets from in March and Amtrak called me in
April to ask me if I wanted to upgrade to a sleeper. They
gave me a discounted rate so I did. I love trains so I
started going to Oakland and Emeryville to watch the
Starlight come in from Los Angeles at night. It always
seems to run about 1-2 hours late. I decided my best bet
would be to call Amtrak's 800 number to get my trains status
the day of the trip.
I called 1-800-USA-RAIL and discovered that the Starlight
was about 2 hours late into Oakland. #14 is the northbound
Coast Starlight. I got to Oakland with my family at about
8:30PM because I didn't want to be late for the train. Even
though I knew it wouldn't arrive until after it's scheduled
time. My son R.J. and I watched the last Capitol arrive into
The Coast Starlight arrived into Oakland at 11:30PM. We
went to the door of one of the sleepers. I was told that
the sleeper you are assigned to is on your ticket along with
your room number. Our sleeper was the Utah our attendant
was Michael. He said our room was not ready and that we
could go to the Parlor car and wait until he got the room
ready. I said good-bye to my son R.J. and my wife Karen and
we went into the Parlor car.
When we got into our room I was pleasantly surprised at the
quality of the room. They were very nice and there was a
basket of body lotion, shampoo, soap and a Coast Starlight
folder that contained information about our trip. I got my
son Chris into his Pjs and let him stay up for a while to
At about 1:00am Chris was asleep. We are now in Davis, CA.
A defect detector says our train speed before Davis was
about 71 MPH. We departed Sacramento, CA at about 210AM.
I woke up at about 4:00AM at the sound of my scanner. It
said our axle count was 64. I didn't get the speed of our
train at this time. I am now going back to sleep.
At 640am I woke up. We are now between Redding and Dunsmuir
CA. Getting into Dunsmuir I noticed the scenery has changed
so much. We are now out of Dunsmuir and it is lovely here.
Lots of trees and mountains. We are about 2 hours behind
schedule but who cares. I am lost in the great scenery. At
about 8:40AM we had breakfast. Chris had scrambled eggs and
bacon. I am having my eggs over easy. Service in the
dining car is good.
I had to make up our beds on my own. Our attendant doesn't
seem all that helpful with these things but that's o.k. I
am fine with that I just wonder if he is any better with the
elderly people on the train. The lady next to me asked if I
could put her bed up for her and her husband. They seem
quite elderly. I am glad to lend a helping hand.
We are now stopping in Klamath Falls, Oregon. Passengers
that have to catch the Empire Builder in Portland are taken
off the Coast Starlight here. This is done so they can make
the other train in time. They will have to take a bus. What
a bummer for them. I notice a lot of people are getting off
here though. Must be a lot of people that have to make that
train. I got a few photos of Chris playing with snow balls.
This is a designated smoking stop. I don't smoke but I
appreciate the chance to get fresh air. Nothing wrong with
the air in on # 14 I just like smelling the mountain air. We
are now leaving Klamath Falls and I notice the scenery is
changing to fields here and there. We are now about 2 1/2
hours late. Chris wants me to take him to the "kiddy car".