California Zephyr

I have always wanted to travel on the original Transcontinental Railroad, from the West Coast to the East and see some the sights from the original right of way over the Sierra Nevada and Rocky Mountains. The closest you can come to doing this today is by taking the California Zephyr.

AMTRAK operates the California Zephyr from Emeryville to Chicago (not the East but the Middle Coast). The daily route covers 2,438 miles and takes 51 hours and 30 minutes (that is if the train is running on time). The route covers seven states and stops at 35 stations including Sacramento, Reno, Salt Lake City, Helper (Utah), Denver, and Omaha, to name a few of the major stops.

So I booked a roomette for my Spring Break in April. Which at $550, I thought was a good deal because it included two nights and all the food was part of the fare.

Since the time of booking the trip, the spread of Coronavirus and Covid-19 (not related to Corvid in any way!) in the United States has thrown a monkey wrench into the works. At this time my continental train trip hangs in the balance as some predictions estimate that the virus might spike in late April.

One thing that I sketched, regardless of if I would be boarding the California Zephyr in Emeryville in early April or not, was to sketched out the route with all the stops in a visual map (featured sketch). I also drew the locomotive that is used on this route, the P42DC, with all it’s specifications (below).

The workhorse of much of AMTRAK’s long distance routes, General Electric’s P42DC.

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