Friday, May 01, 2009

Amtrak trains

(this picture from

When I moved from Rocklin-Roseville to SF yesterday, I took the Amtrak (Roseville to Sacramento by bus, Sacramento to Emeryville by train, then Emeryville to SF by bus). The Amtrak buses look more modern than the Greyhound buses. It was also good that the bus driver from Roseville to Sacramento was a Filipino. Had a brief chat with him before I went to the train.

This is the first time that I will take the Amtrak. I thought that Amtrak trains are ugly compared to the trains in Europe, because Americans are generally car drivers, not train riders. So when I boarded the train, I was surprised that it was nice and spacious inside. I rode on the upper deck. The seats are clean. I sat on chairs with a table.

Though these seats with a table are spacious, the legroom is not as wide as those in the InterCity Express (ICE) trains in Germany. In terms of speed, Amtrak trains are slow, may 100 or 100+ kph, partly because they are heavy, have double decks, while the ICE can run up to 300 kph.

Riding on the upper deck is nice, wider view of the scenery outside. I won’t see or appreciate those sceneries if I ride a car because there are plenty of trees that can block the view.

When you board the train without a ticket, the conductor will charge a 50 percent surcharge. Well I got my ticket one day before.

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