Nicole Caldwell Photo

ALL ABOARD 30 +hours the train- Portland to LA on Amtrak

amtrak_coast_starloight_portland_to_los_angeles_nicole_caldwell_522Would I do it again? In a heartbeat.  Over 30 hours on the Amtrak Coast Starlight From Union Station in Portland, To Union Station in Los Angeles.  To be honest, it wasn’t that brave- I did have a roomette.   In Portland you Board at 2:00 p.m then arrive in LA at 9:00 p.m. the following day.

The roomette has a private curtain and door, which does not lock when you leave the room, but does lock from the inside.  There are two seats which converts into a bed for sleeping, and there is also a bed above you, where you can store small luggage.


You can control the air temperature, and lights.  At night there is a blue light option for a cool mood- also available are reading lights and an outlet for charging. There is no WIFI provided.


The are 10 roomettes on the top floor.  And there are 4 restrooms and one changing/ shower room with soap and towels provided.  The restrooms were very tidy and I did not have to wait once to use them.


This is my messy bed.  The Car attendant turns down the bed in the evening and makes it in the morning.  There is a call button so you choose the time- which is awesome.  There is one attendant per car at all times in case you need assistance with your travel.


The bed above the seats reclines to store luggage my “Pink Beast”


The Observation Car is available to all passengers and is first come first serve.  Amazing views.amtrak_coast_starloight_portland_to_los_angeles_nicole_caldwell_507amtrak_coast_starloight_portland_to_los_angeles_nicole_caldwell_530

The Observation Car from outside looking in.

Some images shot from the observation car in Oregon.


The Train at night. * Warning for inner ear pain sufferers*  I was able to fall right asleep on the train around 11 p.m, then was jolted awake around 2:00 a.m. with shooting ear pain.  I have problems when it comes to flying with my ears and take alot of precautions before, which I did not think to do before the train.

Around 12 am you hit Shasta, at over 4000 feet then descended into Redding to 2000 feet.  Not being awake to pressurize my ears had me desperately  yawning and searching for my Affrin nasal spray.


At 6:00 am you hit Sacramento and stay there for about 30 minutes- coffee is available on board, and it’s a great time to depart the train and stretch your legs.

Sunrise view from the Roomette


The dining car.  With a roomette, all meals are included and they have vegan meals!  I had the black bean burger for lunch, and the riggatoni pasta for dinner.  It is a nice gesture to leave gratuity to your server.  Soft drinks are included, but beer and wine are additional.


For dining, they seat you with other guests.  You may request your meal to go and eat it in your roomette as well.  You make a reservation time for each meal.


Most station stops are brief, but there are a few with designated smoking stops.  Ask your attendant and they are happy to tell you the amount of time you have to duck into the station.  The old stations are really beautiful and worth the effort to get off the train to see.


The Salinas station has a cool old train museum. Pictured here is the Conductor!

Spectacular landscape from Salinas to San Lois Obispo.


The San Louis Obispo Station


After SLO is when the Coastal Starlight lives up to it’s name.  Beautiful landscape and ocean from there to Santa Barbara.



Santa Barbara- Two hours or so to go until Los Angeles.


Made it to LA, forgot to take of the neutral density filter ( I was tired) so here’s a blurry shot of downtown LA.



After 30 plus hours aboard the Amtrak Coast Starlight,  I am Officially a “Railnut” and  I can’t wait to take it again.  If you have any questions contact me- I’d be happy to answer them for you.