A Trip on Amtrak’s ‘California Zephyr’

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Routes shown:

The Maple Leaf (Aldershot, ON – Buffalo, NY) -1st leg of trip
The Lakeshore Limited (Buffalo, NY – Chicago, IL) -2nd leg of trip
The California Zephyr (Chicago, IL – Emeryville, CA [San Francisco Bay Area]) -3rd leg of trip

The Maple Leaf (Aldershot, ON – Buffalo, NY):

The ‘Maple Leaf‘ is Amtrak’s train connecting Aldershot, ON with Buffalo (Depew), NY. The train actually runs all the way from Toronto to New York City via Aldershot, Niagara Falls, Buffalo & Albany.

Equipment consists of Amfleet coaches & snack cars. Motive power consists of General Electric 4,250 horsepower P42DC diesel locomotives.

One of the highlights of the trip is the spectacular crossing of the Niagara Gorge.

Great views, spacious & comfortable seats, and cafeteria style food service with tasty meals & snacks are sure to delight on Amtrak’s Maple Leaf.

The Lakeshore Limited (Buffalo, NY – Chicago, IL):

The ‘Lakeshore Limited‘ is Amtrak’s overnight train connecting Buffalo (Depew), NY with Chicago, IL. The train actually runs all the way from New York City to Chicago via Buffalo & Cleveland. The train is Amtrak’s modern-day replacement for the famous all-pullman ‘Twentieth Century Limited’ inaugurated by the New York Central on June 15, 1902.

Modern equipment consists of Amfleet coaches & lounges and Viewliner diners & sleepers with bedrooms & roomette accommodations. Motive power consists of General Electric 4,250 horsepower P42DC diesel locomotives.

Highlights of the trip include the beautiful shores of Lake Erie, the vast industrial steelmaking complexes near Gary, IN, and splendid views of the Chicago skyline.

If you enjoy fine dining & comfortable accommodations on memorable a trip to or from the Windy City, then you’ll enjoy a ride on Amtrak’s Lakeshore Limited.

The California Zephyr (Chicago, IL – Emeryville, CA [San Francisco Bay Area]):

The ‘California Zephyr‘ is a Chicago to San Francisco Bay Area passenger train inaugurated on March 20, 1949 & initially operated by the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy (CB&Q), Denver & Rio Grande Western (D&RGW) and Western Pacific (WP) railroads. It was the first train to use high level scenic dome cars and first to be specifically timed to traverse the most scenic areas in daylight. The train operated over the 3 railroads until 1970 & in 1971 it was replaced by Amtrak’s ‘San Francisco Zephyr’, which operated via Union Pacific through Wyoming & via Southern Pacific through the Donner Pass, instead of via the Rio Grande’s “Moffat Route” through Colorado & the WP’s Feather River canyon. In 1983 Amtrak re-routed the train over the original Rio Grande route & reinstated the California Zephyr name.

Modern equipment on Amtrak’s California Zephyr includes Superliner sleeping cars with bedroom & roomette accommodations, dining cars, the Sightseer lounge car with large panoramic windows, and coach cars. Motive power consists of General Electric 4,250 horsepower P42DC diesel locomotives.

Today’s route of the California Zephyr is arguably the most scenic of all of Amtrak’s train routes. Running from the sprawling metropolis of Chicago, crossing the mighty Mississippi River at Burlington, past the farmlands of Iowa, to the mile high city of Denver, up through the front range of the Colorado Rockies & through the 6.2 mile long Moffat Tunnel, through the spectacular Fraser, Gore & Glenwood canyons, through the pretty resort town of Glenwood Springs & on through the phenomenal Ruby Canyon, Salt Lake City, the Nevada desert, past the casinos & hotels at Reno, up through the historic Donner Pass & through the peaks of the high Sierras, down through the American River Valley to Sacramento & on to the Pacific Coast at Emeryville, CA. Convenient taxi connections are available from Emeryville Station and comfortable accommodations may be found in Emeryville at The Hilton Garden Inn.

If you enjoy spectacular scenery, fantastic dining, superb accommodations & impeccable service, then you’ll enjoy a ride on Amtrak’s California Zephyr.

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