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.