Last Friday I took the Amtrak train, The California Zephyr, from Reno to Emeryville just across the bay from San Francisco. On Sunday I took the California Zephyr for the return trip. I was going down to Oakland to celebrate my daughter’s birthday with her. I have been wanting to make this trip for some time. The round trip cost for the train was $92. The driving distance is about 420 miles. At 20 miles per gallon and with gas costing $3.85 driving would have cost me $80.
The route over the Sierras is basically the same route that the first transcontinental railroad took. The trip was incredibly scenic, very relaxing and comfortable. I enjoyed the trip immensely.
This train has a reputation for rarely being on time and often being hours late. I don’t know if that is an accurate representation of its record but for my trip we were only about an hour late on Friday and coming home we were only a few minutes late. Since the trip takes about six hours I just relaxed and didn’t worry about any schedules.
Next time I am going to try another train route. Amtrak offers bus service from Reno to Sacramento where you can catch the Capitol Corridor train. The cost is the same.