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A link has been posted to your Facebook feed. The Coast Starlight leaves Union Station in Los Angeles at 10:10 each morning. Locomotive engineer Mark Ludwick, right, gets mechanical information from an Amtrak technician. Travelers on the Coast Starlight are treated to stunning views —the sea on one side, the Santa Ynez Mountains on the other.
The train scoots along bluffs above the Pacific Ocean. Travelers are treated to beautiful views on the Coast Starlight. The lounge car on the Coast Starlight. Tim and Martha Stutzman from Colon, Mich.
Jude from Sydney, right, is traveling with her son Chris, headed for the Pacific Northwest. Passenger Elsa Rivera talks about her time in Cuba. The scenery near San Luis Obispo. Sunset over the Santa Lucia Range and Big Sur. The Cass Scenic Railroad carries visitors on a historic rail line that once hauled lumber out of West Virginia’s mountains. Sit back and watch the world go by on one of America’s best train journeys. You’ll cross lofty trestles, swoop through long tunnels, snake alongside rivers, and flank canyons — seeing parts of the country accessible only by rail.
Travelers come from around the world to experience this gorgeous West Coast train journey. Amtrak’s most popular long-distance route and widely regarded as the most stunning, Coast Starlight welcomed more than 455,000 passengers last year. The Coast Starlight whisks you past waterfalls, lush forests, snowy Cascade Mountains and the Puget Sound. To see long stretches of Pacific shoreline — views you won’t get from the highway — book a seat on the west side of the train. If you upgrade from coach to a small private room with beds you’ll have upgraded dining and access to the Pacific Parlour Car with its dome windows and evening wine and cheese parties.
Want to extend your trip to San Diego? Clark Trail from America’s heartland to the Pacific Northwest, the Empire Builder is a great way to see the United States. You’ll cross the Mississippi River, venture into Montana’s Big Sky country and pass Glacier National Park. From Spokane, you can either head south along the Columbia River Gorge to Portland or cut through the Cascade Mountains north to Seattle’s Puget Sound. Along the way, mountain passes are marked with lofty trestles and long tunnels, while rivers feature hydroelectric dams and salmon fish ladders. During spring and summer, an onboard volunteer National Park Service ranger shares facts about the landscape.
Looking out the windows of the California Zephyr, you’ll see the same sights that enchanted 19th-century fortune seekers as they rode the first transcontinental railroad line west to San Francisco and dreamed of striking it rich. This historic line takes you through the heart of Gold Rush country’s mining and ghost towns to old stagecoach stations that became stops on the original railroad. Rocky Mountain tunnels carry you across the Continental Divide, while aspens and evergreens dot the steep cliffs of Glenwood Canyon on the Colorado River. The highlight was an American eagle flying over the Colorado River right next to the train. The journey ends with one last bucket list sight: the Golden Gate Bridge. Today, the Southwest Chief follows that same route between Los Angeles and Chicago.