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train San Fransisco to Seattle

ilo
nz
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train San Fransisco to Seattle

Hi,

I was wondering if anyone can adivse me on travelling by train from San Fransisco to Seattle, maybe stopping for a night in Portland. I believe one would take the Amtrak Coaststarlight train, is that right?

How long would it take to get from San Fran to Portand?

How long would the trip take all together? Is the scenery nice along the way and is there room to stretch out on the seats at all?

Thanks.

San Diego...
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1. Re: train San Fransisco to Seattle

Yes, you could take that train from Oakland to POrtland or Seattle (free guaranteed bus transfer from San Francisco Union Square and other locations in San Francisco). See the www.amtrak.com website for the Coast Starlight schedule and fares. Be aware that this train sometimes runs late.

The route not coastal, but runs inland. It may have views of very scenic Mt. Shasta, north of Redding, California, but it may pass at night, see the schedule. The further north Cascade Mountains may be visible, but I am not sure.

ilo
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2. Re: train San Fransisco to Seattle

thanks fromdelmar.

That's good info to have.

cheers

Berkeley, California
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3. Re: train San Fransisco to Seattle

The Coast Starlight runs from the East Bay to Portland. Although the Coast Starlight also runs between Portland and Seattle, you will be better off taking Amtrak's Cascades service. The Cascades are not prone to the significant delays that sometimes plague the Coast Starlight.

I took this trip in July 2005 in the reverse direction. Had no problems from Seattle to Portland on the Cascades, which run nice equipment. The Coast Starlight passed through extreme Northern California at night, unfortunately, and the train was several hours late upon arrival in Sacramento due to poor Union Pacific dispatching. (We had to wait an hour for a phantom train, much to our conductor's displeasure.)

ilo
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4. Re: train San Fransisco to Seattle

thanks davdaven.

Ah, those phantom trains.

The Cascades from Portland to Seattle definitely sounds the best bet for that section.

According to the timetable, the Coast Starlight seems to leave Jack London Sq Station at Oakland at 9.47pm. Given the additional lateness that this train seems to experience, does anyone know if this is a very safe station to be waiting around in? Do you indeed just have to wait around at the station until it shows up? Is it a safe station to be at even at 9.47pm and before?? I guess it must be if

that's what they do for this trip.

San Diego...
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5. Re: train San Fransisco to Seattle

I believe elsewhere on this forum, the immediate area of Jack London Square is declared safe. Keep in mind that guaranteed bus connection from Union Square is available for this train.

Pacifica, CA
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6. Re: train San Fransisco to Seattle

The San Francisco Chronicle newspaper reported a few months ago that the train is sometimes exceedingly late (e.g., 13 hours!) due to multi-hour stops in the middle of nowhere caused by freight trains and insufficient side tracks. Otherwise, I hear it's a beautiful ride.

ilo
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7. Re: train San Fransisco to Seattle

thanks fromdelmar and j44p.

phew - that is v-e-r-y late.

I read on the amtrak website that the Jack London Sq Station closes at 11pm, so I don't know what they'd do if the train was running late :~

Are the buses easy to find at Union Square? Couldn't find any info about them on the amtrak site; perhaps I wasn't looking in the right place. I guess they'd give that info with booking/ticketing... I'll try emailing them to see what time the bus would leave etc. Presumably Union Sq is a safe place to wait for the bus in the evening?

I wonder if amtrak would cough up for a night in a hotel if the train was that late, what would happen if, say, you had a hotel booked in Portland for the night you were *supposed* to arrive, and for subsequent hotel bookings down (or up, I should say) the line.

It sounds like a possible Mr Bean-type adventure (hopin' not though!).

It would be nice to see the scenery in the daylight hours of the trip.

Fox Island...
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8. Re: train San Fransisco to Seattle

You can fly Alaska Airlines from Oakland to Seattle for about $125 and be there in 2 hours. I have taken the train and you really can't enjoy the scenery as it goes through the best area in the middle of the night. The food is really expensive so it would probably cost as much as a flight.

San Diego...
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9. Re: train San Fransisco to Seattle

According to the Amtrak website it is at 835 Market Street at the

Westfield San Francisco Centre. This is a few blocks from Union Square. Do the local experts know if this is clearly marked with an Amtrak bus stop sign?

Since checked luggage is handled at the Oakland station, staff would need to be there to handle it. But I believe the guaranteed bus connection goes to Emeryville (just north of Oakland) to connect with the northbound train, Emeryville also handles checked luggage. I will tell you that the bus drivers are in contact with the trains and you can check train status at the website: www.amtrak.com and by telephone in the U.S. 1-800-USARAIL or 1-800-872-7245.

ilo
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10. Re: train San Fransisco to Seattle

many thanks foxisle and fromdelmar.

fromdelmar, you have been so helpful about the trains - thank you

:)

i sent an email to amtrak with some inquiries a few days ago- haven't heard back yet. will post if i get a reply and any more info.