After two years, the V&T RR historical society is having its next conference this week. After losing last year’s to Covid shutdowns, it’s great to finally get rolling again in Carson City.
This is my wife Linda’s first time with me to the conference, and (after a week in Modesto CA visiting relatives) we’ve kicked it off by taking the California Zephyr from Sacramento to Reno. This is the first longish trip either of us have had on Amtrak, and it was a blast.
The Sac station is big and beautiful inside.
This wasn’t the train we took (its more of a local commuter), but I had to take the shot while waiting on the platform.
The views over the Sierras were gorgeous.
We went through a number of tunnels, one of which I’ll guess was a couple miles long. Many concrete snowsheds as well.
Though I’ve taken the Acella between Baltimore and NYC a number of times, I’m a newbie to long Amtraking. So here’s some notes, FWIW, though YMMV.
The train was only about 1/4 full, if that. Even the observation (“dome”) car.
I love the train over a plane, since you can walk around, go to the cafe / lounge car whenever you want, plug in a charger anywhere, and have a seat that’s big and reclining.
This trip cost us $47 apiece, pretty cool for 5 hours of entertainment and travel. On the higher end of the scale, we saw that a cross-country trip with a cabin and meals takes 3 days and starts at about $1500 per.
However, one can get a ~$300 rail pass which will get you back and forth across the country, and you’d plan hotel stays along the way. We’re thinking of doing something like that at some point.
That’s it for now, but I’ll report some on the conference later in the week.