California Zephyr 2012 is a free online Railroad Discussion Forum and Railroad Photo Gallery for railroaders, railfans, model railroaders and anyone else who is interested in railroads. We cover a wide variety of topics, including freight trains, passenger and commuter railroads, rail news and information, tourist railroads, railway museums and railroad history.


Active Member
Had ridden the original California Zephyr (CB&Q, D&RGW, WP) with its five dome cars in.1961. This was a delightful experience.

Made reservations for Amtrak's version in February, but had concerns. The Zephyr has been beset by mother nature problems including walls of snow in winter, forest fires recently, flooding three years ago and errant trucks whose drivers needed to go back to truck driving school. Didn't know what to expect.

The train arrived in Osceola, Iowa 15 minutes late, but arrived in Emoryville 50 minutes ahead of schedule. The return trip was 5 minutes early. In Denver they now wash the windows by hand using long mops and squeegies. The Westbound train had three sleepers and three coaches. It was sold out for months. The Eastbound consist had two sleepers and two coaches with two private cars pulling up the rear. Apparently, the head end power can only handle 10 cars. This contributes to the high revenue loss for this train and missed opportunities.

On-board service was the best I've ever seen on Amtrak. Both sleeping car attendants bent over backwards for the sleeper customers. One violated the rules opening the dutch door, so photographers could stick camcorders and digital cameras out the windows to capture the beauty of Colorado. On some Amtrak trains sleeping car attendants are conspicuous in their absence.

The food was good, but the dining car was jammed on each leg. The dining car staff was overworked. A group of blue grass musicians were hearded for a gig and rehearsed in the lounge car to the delight of passengers.

Still don't understand why overpriced sleeping car space on long haul trains is always sold out while you can fly for half the price. Think about it, Mitt Romney! is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to - An online railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used railroad books. Railroad pictorials, railroad history, steam locomotives, passenger trains, modern railroading. Hundreds of titles available, most at discount prices! We also have a video and children's book section. - An online model railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used books. Layout design, track plans, scenery and structure building, wiring, DCC, Tinplate, Toy Trains, Price Guides and more.

Affiliate Disclosure: We may receive a commision from some of the links and ads shown on this website (Learn More Here)