Taking the train is a treat. It’s romantic, restful and easily the most comfortable commute I’ve made – at least along the Capitol Corridor in Northern California. I’ve been an Amtrak fan for years but it hasn’t always been easy to match my schedule with the route times. The Capitol Corridor makes that moot with seventeen stops several times a day, plus bus and Bart connections from the Oakland Airport to San Jose or north to Auburn. Through-way buses will take you from stations to San Francisco and up to Truckee or Reno as well.
Riding the Capitol Corridor
I wished my bike was with me on this trip to Sacramento. The station is just a few hundred feet from the riverfront and the Old Town businesses.
While adjacent to downtown, there are bike trails and the topography is mercifully flat. Biking would be a great way to explore the area before catching the train for the ride home.
The California State Trailroad Museum
Don’t miss walking through the train cars!
- The sleeper car rocks as you walk along a first class passageway.
- The dining car is a tribute to every train line – each table is set with china stamped with logos and menus.
- The kitchen mannequins can be spied from different vantage points.
You’ll return to the gallery hall with a sense of what life was like on the railroad. It wasn’t all glory however, there were racial divides, women held few jobs and the hours were often brutally long. That’s all preserved and the perspective can only help to keep those inequities, or worse, from happening again.
If you go:
- The Sacramento Station is being renovated to it’s old glory and earthquake upgrades should be done by 2016. Expect some scaffolding but the station is still open and comfortable.
- There are many special offers on the Capitol Corridor site each season. Seniors have a mid-week fare. When you have five friends along on weekends with one paid full adult fare, they can ride for only $5.
- If Sacramento is just one stop on your trip, check your suitcase into the station attendant for $5 and take off to explore the city without the baggage.
- Don’t miss Old Town and the Riverfront district. It’s virtually across the street from the station and the walk takes you past remnants of the original Chinatown. Don’t miss the underground tunnel with a long historic time-line mural about the growth of the area.
- Ride in grand old style: Take a 45 minute Excursion ride along the waterfront from April 4 to September 27th. Experience closed coach cars, open-air gondolas and a first-class observation car pulled by vintage diesel locomotives from the Museum’s collection.