When you're planning a western trip or an extended vacation, here is an opportunity to see the west coast of the U.S. in a very unique and fun way. This is also a way to enjoy a relaxing vacation without the traffic hassles. See the California, Oregon and Washington state scenery while enjoying the views from a comfortable chair. It's a vacation that truly gives you the opportunity to unwind.
Out of all the Amtrak routes spread across the United States, the train name that many refer to as Amtrak's signature train is the "Coast Starlight". The Coast Starlight operates daily service between Los Angeles California and Seattle Washington in both directions.
|Mount Shasta from Coast Starlight|
|Klammath Falls Oregon Amtrak Station|
Amtrak's Coast Starlight also offers something very unique, not found on any of it's other routes. This is the Pacific Parlour Car. The Pacific Parlour Car are restored and refurbished two deck rail cars once owned by the Atchison Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad. These rail cars were built in 1956 for ATSF's "El Capitan" service. The Parlour Car was first put into service on the Coast Starlight in 1995 on an experimental basis and became so popular and actually raised ridership that it became a permanent part of this particular Amtrak route.
|Coast Starlight at one of it's stops|
The Amtrak Coast Starlight departs Los Angeles' Union Station at 10:25 AM each morning and is scheduled to arrive in Seattle Washington the next day at 8:45 PM.
The scenery along the Coast Starlight route is some of the best found anywhere in the country. The high snow covered peaks of Mount Shasta and the Cascade Range, thick green forests, fertile valleys and long portions of the Pacific Ocean shoreline set this route apart from all others. The route follows about 100 miles of the Pacific shoreline and is the longest ocean view train ride in the U.S.
|Upper Klammath Lake Oregon|
After a stop in Portland Oregon, Amtrak's Coast Starlight continues north crossing the historic and very scenic Columbia River. Stops on the way to Seattle include Vancouver Washington, Longview, Olympia and Tacoma. The train's schedules arrival in Seattle is 8:45PM. Amtrak thruway bus service is available from Seattle to Vancouver British Columbia.
|Beautiful lake in the Cascade Range|
Here are links to two additional articles with photos you'll enjoy. On our Trips Into History site is the Amtrak Southwest Chief and on Western Trips, the famous old Atchison Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad's Super Chief.
I would highly recommend the Amtrak Coast Starlight to anyone looking for a different and fun way to experience the west coast of the U.S. It's the perfect western trip to unwind, meet people and simply enjoy scenic travel without hassles.
(Photos are from author's private collection)