Rail Another Tehachapis detour for the Coast Starlight!

This just in!


Amtraks Coast Starlight is going to detour once again via the Tehachapi Mountains and the San Joaquin Valley due to trackwork near Santa Barbara.

The days the trains will detour are 25/26/27 January on northbound train 14, and 25/26 January only for southbound train 11.

As with this autumns detours, the reroute results in a faster schedule and thus an early arrival (9:30 p.m.) and long layover in Sacramento on train 14.

Southbound on train 11 it means an early arrival in Los Angeles of 6:10 p.m.

If you want to see more of the San Joaquin valley in daylight on the former S.P. line (now Union Pacific) then taking train 11 would be the better choice.

Checking availability for the three northbound days and the two southbound days Amtraks lowest fare in coach is currently available on all trains ($55 one-way, 10% AAA discount with three days notice, 15% senior discount).

If you want to splurge, the lowest price supplement for a roomette ($124) is also available on all five days, which includes meals and use of the Pacific Parlour Car. Remember the supplement is for the room, not per person, so if two people book the room each pays the $55 coach fare but in effect split the cost of the supplement.

(Prices are for travel either direction between Sacramento and Los Angeles. Coach fare from Chico is slightly higher.)

Go ahead. Live a little and get the sleeper!

Read my post about the trip I took on the detour back in October.

This entry was posted in Rail. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Rail Another Tehachapis detour for the Coast Starlight!

  1. Luke says:

    Thanks for posting this Greg. A question: Where can we get information about future detours and reroutings of the Coast Starlight? Does Amtrak announce this stuff somewhere?

  2. Greg Fischer says:

    Luke, unfortunately Amtrak does not have centralized place to find detour information, which I think is foolish for reasons I’ll explain later.

    Here are the sources I use:

    – Friends at Amtrak (I used to work there)
    – Briefings for travel agents in the computerized reservation system I use (Apollo)
    – Two bulletin-board type websites for rail fans: Altamont Press (better) and Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum

    Amtrak does have a press releases page on its website but they do not consistently post information about detours and when they do, it is usually matter of fact.

    What I mean by matter of fact is that instead of writing “Yippee, we’re having a detour and here’s a great opportunity for you to see places you normally can’t see by train” they just blandly report that such and such a train will detour and miss normally scheduled stops between Point A and Point B.

    There are many people – mostly railfans but not exclusively – who would love to ride trains in country not normally served by passenger trains. Since it seems that the detours typically take place during the off-season Amtrak could very easily fill some seats and sleepers that would customarily go empty. Easy money.

    Amtrak is missing an opportunity.

    But keep checking Planes, Trains & Automobiles and I’ll let you know about a detour just as soon I do.

Comments are closed.