The Coast Starlight

The Coast Starlight is an Amtrak route that runs 1,377 miles from Los Angeles Union Station up the Pacific coast to King Street Station in Seattle. The name is original to the route, which began operation with the founding of Amtrak in 1971. However, the name is based on Southern Pacific Daylight trains that once ran on almost the same route.

Despite the massive size of the station, when I visited in 2010, Amtrak's operations were clustered in a comparatively narrow corridor near the tunnel to the tracks. Unlike most other trains I've ridden where seating is either first-come-first-serve or seating assignments are made by assistant conductors at train entrances, seat assignments were made at a table in the middle of this corridor. Odd.

As the route continued past Santa Barbara and between the coast and the Santa Ynez Mountains, the dropoff to the coast side of the train is often quite steep. Deep cuts of erosion seemed to extend almost up to track itself, making the journey seem quite precarious. The steady rains of recent days seemed to be causing additional track difficulty and Union Pacific track crews were spotted at various locations.

The Coast Starlight - Amtrak waiting area in Union Station
12/20/2010 14:15:24
Amtrak waiting area in Union Station
The Coast Starlight - Departure board
12/20/2010 14:22:50
Departure board
The Coast Starlight - Ramp to platform
12/20/2010 14:31:38
Ramp to platform
The Coast Starlight - Boarding
12/20/2010 14:32:14
Boarding
The Coast Starlight - Boarding
12/20/2010 14:33:44
Boarding
The Coast Starlight - Adjacent California Surfliner coach
12/20/2010 14:57:46
Adjacent California Surfliner coach
The Coast Starlight - Los Angeles River
12/20/2010 15:09:18
Los Angeles River
The Coast Starlight - Simi Valley
12/20/2010 15:46:22
Simi Valley
The Coast Starlight - Simi Valley
12/20/2010 15:46:30
Simi Valley
The Coast Starlight - Simi Valley
12/20/2010 15:47:58
Simi Valley
The Coast Starlight - Where salad comes from
12/20/2010 16:25:16
Where salad comes from
The Coast Starlight - Oxnard, CA station
12/20/2010 16:31:28
Oxnard, CA station
The Coast Starlight - Lemon trees
12/20/2010 16:43:48
Lemon trees
The Coast Starlight - First glimpse of the ocean north of Ventura
12/20/2010 16:49:04
First glimpse of the ocean north of Ventura
The Coast Starlight - The ocean viewed from the Coast Starlight (video)
12/20/2010 16:49:46
The ocean viewed from the Coast Starlight (video)
The Coast Starlight - The ocean viewed from the Coast Starlight (video)
12/20/2010 16:50:34
The ocean viewed from the Coast Starlight (video)
The Coast Starlight
12/20/2010 16:56:36
The Coast Starlight
12/20/2010 16:57:12
The Coast Starlight - Coastline
12/20/2010 17:06:20
Coastline
The Coast Starlight - Oil wells off the coast of Santa Barbara
12/20/2010 17:05:52
Oil wells off the coast of Santa Barbara
The Coast Starlight - Service pier
12/20/2010 17:06:56
Service pier
The Coast Starlight - Santa Barbara, CA station
12/20/2010 17:21:42
Santa Barbara, CA station
The Coast Starlight - The coast south of Santa Barbara (video)
12/20/2010 17:14:56
The coast south of Santa Barbara (video)
The Coast Starlight
12/20/2010 17:52:32
The Coast Starlight
12/20/2010 17:53:02
The Coast Starlight
12/20/2010 17:53:06
The Coast Starlight
12/20/2010 17:55:06
The Coast Starlight
12/20/2010 18:11:30
The Coast Starlight
12/20/2010 18:19:46
The Coast Starlight
12/20/2010 18:19:54
The Coast Starlight
12/20/2010 18:48:26
The Coast Starlight
12/20/2010 18:54:00
The Coast Starlight
12/20/2010 18:54:10
The Coast Starlight - Cattle grazing near coast
12/20/2010 18:55:22
Cattle grazing near coast
The Coast Starlight
12/20/2010 19:14:20
The Coast Starlight
12/20/2010 19:23:06
The Coast Starlight - Lompoc-Surf Beach station - summer only?
12/20/2010 19:24:52
Lompoc-Surf Beach station - summer only?
The Coast Starlight
12/20/2010 19:25:16
The Coast Starlight - Vandenburg Air Base
12/20/2010 19:35:54
Vandenburg Air Base
The Coast Starlight - Foggy valley south of San Luis Obispo
12/20/2010 19:59:52
Foggy valley south of San Luis Obispo
The Coast Starlight - Foggy valley south of San Luis Obispo
12/20/2010 20:13:40
Foggy valley south of San Luis Obispo
The Coast Starlight - Foggy valley south of San Luis Obispo (video)
12/20/2010 20:02:40
Foggy valley south of San Luis Obispo (video)
The Coast Starlight - San Luis Obispo station
12/20/2010 20:53:42
San Luis Obispo station
The Coast Starlight - San Luis Obispo station
12/20/2010 20:54:06
San Luis Obispo station
The Coast Starlight - San Luis Obispo station
12/20/2010 20:54:18
San Luis Obispo station
The Coast Starlight - The Iron Road Pioneers by Elizabeth MacQueen
12/20/2010 20:59:04
The Iron Road Pioneers by Elizabeth MacQueen
The Coast Starlight - The Iron Road Pioneers by Elizabeth MacQueen
12/20/2010 20:59:36
The Iron Road Pioneers by Elizabeth MacQueen
The Coast Starlight - Oakland, CA
12/21/2010 03:29:58
Oakland, CA
The Coast Starlight - Nice assistant conductor
12/21/2010 03:57:40
Nice assistant conductor
The Coast Starlight - Emeryville, CA station
12/21/2010 03:58:58
Emeryville, CA station
The Coast Starlight - Emeryville, CA station
12/21/2010 03:59:18
Emeryville, CA station

A clean house is a sign of a wasted life.