Amtrak California Zephyr to Chicago; Roomette and Train Tour

Amtrak California Zephyr to Chicago; Roomette and Train Tour

Hey Tubers! Daniel here.. Today… I’m on a train. (Train Announcement) My friend Benny and I are on a three day cross-country Amtrak train trip .. from Emeryville, CA to Chicago, IL It’s a three day trip which is supposed to be 52 hours This train is the Amtrak Zephyr What we have here is the “roomette sleeper” You can ride coach, which is like a bus seat You can do a roomette sleeper, or a family sleeper Or you can do a private sleeper, which costs a whole lot of money It’s “nice and cozy” is one way to put it But it’s comfortable enough, and I thought I’d make a video for you guys… Just to give you an idea of the scale… And otherwise just kinda give you a sense of what it’s like to be on a train for three days I can really only show you the roomette because that’s what we have… It is nice and cozy and it’s definitely livable We’ve gone through the first night And we managed to get some sleep.. But as your’re about to see, it’s more like a small bunk than an actual room So, let me show you some stuff.. There’s a little tray that pops up here, which folds down These two parts open up This is actually large enough to put a laptop on or whatever else you want.. You can have a bite to eat here… and actually there’s a faint checkerboard pattern here So if you want to play chess or checkers, you can ask the attendant for pieces They also have lots of board games and cards and card games, stuff like that One of the things I was having trouble with was getting an idea of the scale of these rooms from some of the other Youtube videos I watched I’m going to do my best to give you a sense of how big it is I’ve got a wide angle lens to help out with that Basically what you have here is two opposing seats that are about the width of a loveseat This roomette is for two people Now these bottom two chairs… they actually fold down into a bunk… and I’m going to show you that here in a minute And then up above these chairs… You’ve got another bunk which folds down… If you can see that there… There’s a handle right here. You lift up and pull down. and so… if you can kind of imagine… This is going to turn into two bunk beds, basically. .. with a pretty small amount of room to maneuver around in. In fact this right here… These are the two steps that you use.. to crawl up to the top bunk. There’s a couple different control panels here. You can turn lights on and off. There’s a couple vents you can adjust. There’s a way to call the attendant. same thing over here… Each individual cabin has its own temperature control. We’ve had mixed results with this temperature control panel. Whether or not the train is moving… seems to have a fairly large impact on how warm in gets in side here. We’ve got ours cranked all the way down. and the air comes in through this vent, right here There are a number of places to stow away little bags, and stuff like that. but really there’s not anywhere in this roomette that’s large enough to put a normal carry on bag that you would carry on an airplane got some hooks up there for backpacks one over here as well… There’s another small shelf space here… little trash can underneath but again, these are the steps… to the upper bunk so, you won’t be putting a lot off stuff on there Luckily there’s a little storage compartment downstairs where we keep our luggage… and I’ll show you that as well. sacher well damage there the outside no gone this just give you an idea the year ocean is
like them train here coupling to the cars grass as far as I can tell there are two
engines at the prime there is a a staff car where the crew claims present-day then there
are either two or three coach Carter you say to you there is a there’s the lounge car with the
observation deck and then there’s the diner car there are three sleeper Carmen and I think thats it except for the very last one which is
actually some kinda vintage but sleeper car ’em way other Graham bad guys to Windows probably built so time the forties com I’ll try to get picture that that’s it that’s the entrapped contracts effort where Adam Rochester Grand Junction made yeah rendering cooking and running somewhere between work but whatever
hours 1/2 hours late yeah fight now yeah unfortunately contract is the Korea’s Lee late to their destinations although it didn’t
help that someone drove up their car and van damme on the rails I’m and me conductor had to
emergency stop the train and I suppose being narrowly averted a major rights a that happened at all day so I was on awake what happened but I didn’t
remember waking up at one point because slowing down that’s what you think about track
betting like it no one expected gonna relax meeting much people splintering tiny hours who’s the papers your papers like that
thank you percent passionately para calloused card stuff is awesome and who’s the worst one I well others come basement dwelling
laying dude kayak think with your mouth yeah so far we got here cancels laptop on the same as a it 100 percent I’m his
own laptop in the lounge taking a bus to the table
yeah and at one point he was like it like Tsou and these cuts and I can see is
monitored and he’s got to mobile phones a mobile
hotspot and he’s been wearing the same clothes for the whole time causes kinda like
favorite 30 dislike it total mass and up the one-time it with them you like
almost you know he is like is for a quick
payday left yeltsin say anything you know and I
Soulja the day to the company being to talk to people yeah it was like really and just that
one person was just kinda like has work in high-tech and that set this
thing up tight it’s the only thing he said I yeah and a kinda seems like maybe he does too
that at a lower than I and then i win ask ’em if I could borrow a USB to USB mini
cable and and he didn’t even let me and like ask questions like no don’t have it no
can help you know and that’s what i dooo it and I
will have a good look like just miles miles miles gore sewing Union this is a go watch past Denver ministers getting kinda boring at
like the other caller the rockies the Colorado River love the
stuff the highlight of the trip say even more
so than the Sierra Nevadas I’m I guess for me is more impressive for the Rockies because Tom I do at me trips through the Sierra
Nevadas admit never runs being able to see like the canyons rivers people on the river thank you mister noon oh yeah the passengers I miss that yeah now just want to sit back enjoy
some the sights sounds the train type you I term them I’m Juan I’m mmm room room right room the yet lemme beached from him whatcha got that train behind us political arena might huband other lil the could this car yeah yeah just guy says mid-forty’s home not go kalimba just turn yes at it is the one who loves
the lovable more you watch film her civilians who is early and unum think it’s gonna happen no path them cool on you up them them up

100 thoughts on “Amtrak California Zephyr to Chicago; Roomette and Train Tour”

  • There was a time when I was younger – a long time ago – that long distance train travel (in Canada and Europe) was elegant. Here, this American train is beautifully designed but full of fat arsed Americans shambling about in pajamas and fat American women with their fat white bare feet sticking up everywhere. There is no other culture in the world where women stick their bare feet up into the air like monkeys as they do in the US. Do they think they're being cool or sexy? I remembered train travel across Russia as disgusting but this would be equal. And what is with all the garbage bins everywhere with the spewing out plastic garbage bags so openly displayed? All that was needed was signs saying 'FREE BARF BAGS' or 'USED CONDOMS HERE'. I'm surprised you didn't show an American passenger masturbating to porn on an overhead screen.

  • Sam Withoutlimits says:

    i think you are giving the wrong impresion of amtrak travel. you make it seem like travel travel is a clean experience and it is not. I have not done the roomette route but somewhere in this video you should have covered the fact that the bathrooms are usually filthy (maybe that was a little 'strong' since I only had the one round trip). Although there is bigger selection on the food, it is still way too expensive. I traveled the trip between Houston and New York which took close to two days which included a layover in NOLA and it was awful. I guess I had romanticized the experience in my head. The only thing I truly enjoyed was having my sis with me and the views. I have to say that although your video gave the experience of the more individual travel of the roomette accommodations, I was still shocked at so very positive comments below. Absolutely it cost way too much for the accommodations that you get. To be fair, it would be hard to do it any other way and make money but still, it wasn't a very good experience for me. Maybe if I do it again, I'll pay for the roomette but I'm not sure they offer that for the leg I went on or just any trip out of Houston, TX

  • Richard Worrall says:

    Thanks for the video. Found it quite interesting. I only have taken trains on short trips. Would love to take one for a few day ride.

  • Maharaja Express in INDIA… The US Amtrak really needs to do a LOT better,h_834,al_c,q_90,usm_0.66_1.00_0.01/2bebb0_1e1fad0123e54a70a1ae276a71b869b2.webp

  • Bonnie Bertrand says:

    So there's no rhythmic clickety-clack, just random squeaks and jostling noises??! I've always wanted to ride a train, but this sounds like riding a creaky old bus or subway. Good to know that up front! Can the windows in your roomette be opened? (I've got a bad feeling they can't.) I guess I need a museum train. 😊 Thanks for a very helpful video!

  • Lass-in Angeles says:

    Wonderful video! You did a great job showing us the interior and exterior of the train, views, Union Station, sounds of train and station, and each of the features of the train. What a lovely trip! I have wanted to travel by train again, and will definitely visit Chicago this way. Wish they had a doggie car too!

  • First Class on Amtrak is OK .. Economy is like a slum on wheels .. don’t even talk about the state of the restrooms .. the health department should be called in .. If you want to cross the continent in style go up to Vancouver and take The Canadian or if you’re just looking for a great train ride fly to Australia and take the Indian Pacific or The Ghan .. Both those Australian trains are modern versions of 1950s American Budd cars built under license with superlative service provided ..

  • I did the trip to and back from Tucson to Chicago . i had the roomette, i will never do that long pf a trip without one again!!

  • The tracks aren't safe, the engineers are on drugs or incompetent and the tickets aren't an economical option for anyone. Amtrak needs to go away. These Bogart notions of rails romance don't aswage the death toll Amtrak has racked up.

  • I traveled from Jackson, MS., to Winona, MN., No doubt it was the worst experience I ever had. I will tell anyone DO NOT TRAVEL BY AMTRACK!!! IT WAS A NIGHTMARE!!!

  • 9:46 I'm pretty sure they only fit 2 – there is one family room per car and it is on the opposite end of the bathrooms.

  • annacolleen wesson etters says:

    Lucky you! I love roomettes and use them when my service dog and I travel between Florida and Virginia. They are so good about stopping the train when he needs to go out and even provide him with a steak whenever he's hungry.

  • american used millions of the marshall plan to rebuild the electric railways in europe after ww 2 and millions to tear up the tracks of railways in the united states so their is basically no decent fast train travel in the usa today.

  • Rodney Morgan Brown says:

    I did this trip the 3rd week of Feb,2019 for my birthday. It was spectacular…thriling and so much fun. Stefan, the dining car Maitre D was great, and Tony our sleeping car Attendant was wonderful. I tell everyone to support these long distance lines while we have them because nothing is promised for their future.

  • When I was little the trains were single level and the rooms were bigger, they had a full size bed and a toilet. The toilet was open to the room, but you traveled in them with family, so it was not really that big a deal. There was no amenities unless you went to the dinning car. and we called them sleeper cars back then

  • Dan–I agree with several comments–you produced the best Amtrak vid on YT–a record you have held for going on 5 years. I kept waiting for the rest of that Roomette to somehow appear, but it's a compact space. Hey…get exercise on those steps to the top bunk. After all the Amtrak cuts, hours late arrivals and tough reviews, I always like seeing good ol' train travel still happen.

  • Stephanie Dantzler says:

    I love train travel. I wish I had the income and the time to travel to CA from Pgh. I love the food on the Amtrak and I love the staff.

  • One thing I quickly learned on the Zephyr is if you need a bit more space, at least for a shower as to use the handicapped shower. Both my daughter and I are handicapped and the amount of room space we get as is nice. It is on the lower-level that provides ample space for a wheelchair. The room spans the entire width of the train and is designed for use by two adults: a passenger with a mobility impairment and a companion You also have a very large shower and bath in the room too which means you don't have to go to the public rooms. Most times we have traveled we have noticed one handicapped designated bath with a whole located on the lower level and the attendant told us that that is available for any to use, although they have to schedule times with him but that they do not question people asking to use it. The shower in the room was actually large enough that I could push (adult) daughter into it by her wheelchair and then transfer her to the shower bench. You might consider asking about a public handicapped whoer if you travel that way again. Up to 14 days before you travel and want the handicapped accomodations you do have to meet eligibility HOWEVER within 14 days prior to a train departure from its origin city, and if all other Bedroom and Family bedrooms have been reserved, accessible bedroom are made available to all passengers on a first-come, first-served basis.  Actually I have heard of many cases where the other bedrooms were not sold out and they still were allowed the handicapped room.  They really do not get overused.  Of course you do have to certify and have some evidence (such as transit card that shows you are disabled to get the rstr reduction for you and your companion.    The first time we traveled this way my daughter was not using a wheelchair and I thing the attendant was a bit suspicious even with the service animal and all his ID.  He did quickly get over that that that evening when he came in to help with the beds and she was plugged into 3 IV bags and had several pumps running along with a pretty noisy monitor.  He did admity near the end of the tripp that after 10 years with handicapped sleeper car facilities under his charge he never had a rider that had not arrived with a wheelchair and he did wonder but he now totally understood why they keep reminding them in refresher classes that you can not always look at a person and identify a disability.  I was very glad to hear that Amtrac sunk that message home so that we were not made uncomfortable because he doubted the need.

  • Hi Dan, my son and i are about to do a 2 weeks trip starting from the east coast up to seatle down to emeryville then back across to New York. Any tips on what and how to pack while aboard?

  • Cool! When the train blew its horn you started running. No affect but it was kinda funny. Did you almost miss it. That happened to my school bus 3 times. I’ve been on the Amtrak Downeaster from Brunswick, Maine to Boston, Massachusetts. It took about 3 hours and a half from Terminal to Terminal. The Downeaster is one of the shortest Amtrak’s in New England.

  • Cheryl Houghton says:

    We took the Zephyr in the mid-nineties from Emeryville to Chicago and what a nightmare. We left on time but took 7 1/2 hours to get to Reno and then parked just outside of Reno overnight. No one could or would tell us a thing. Then we heard rumors that the engine had a "flat" wheel. We finally took off again and made it to Salt Lake City where the passengers boarding there told us the true story. One of our engines had a brake failure going over Donner Pass!!! By then we were so late that every time a freight train was coming we had to pull over and wait for it because the freight trains own the tracks, not Amtrack. We finally arrived in Lincoln, Nebraska and they had us get off because of more problems and board buses for the remainder of the ride to Chicago. We had another short leg to our journey with no trains due out until mid-morning so they put us up in a hotel at 2:00 in the morning and fed us sandwiches. We were then more an entire day late. On our return trip we couldn't imagine anything going wrong because so much had on our way there. We got to Chicago on time and were hopeful. We then sat on the train in Chicago for 4 1/2 hours waiting for passengers from the east coast and were told a storm was delaying them. Not true. When they finally arrived we learned that they were merrily on there way when the train dropped the last sleeper car and it sat like a bullseye on the track for an hour before they could back up and pick it up. The remainder of the way back to California was less eventful. Our biggest mistake was going coach! Ugh! Great video's guys and what we wouldn't have given to be able to stretch out and sleep.

  • Valentina Vittori Mckinley says:

    I've taken every train leaving Chicago to the west coast. My favorite is the northern route, the empire builder. I try to always get a room. The train is my vacation!

  • Barbara Sunday says:

    My sisters. My mother and I took Amtrak from Cincinnati to Grand Junction in 1994. It was truly the adventure
    of our lives. The Rockies were amazing! Only bad thing was my wallet disappeared and I had to use the layover in Chicago to notify my credit card and travelers check people.

  • Excellent video. I"ve been toying with the idea of traveling coast to coast by rail for years. This really helps flesh out the picture. Thanks.

  • Nice video. Couldn't help but notice though the person with their bare feet up on the back of the seat in front of them at (12:18)…Really?? C'mon, man.

  • Zepher is the Western wind, you are going East. Cross country isn't California to Chicago; that is half way across the country.

  • Thank you. Your video was informative and interesting. Didn’t you have a toilet under the lower step/shelf in your roomette? I thought they all had them.

  • intercityrailpal says:

    Amtrak the underfunded, cut back railroad! That is very popular! Why? It's the fun, comfortable way to go!

  • George Cullen says:

    Dan, as so many others have said, you did an excellent job.
    Very interesting, every bit of it!
    I shared it via txt attachment to my wife and 5 of our adult kids. I keep hoping that two of our daughters that have young boys will book a train ride to
    Come visit Gramma and Pop-Pop. One lived in San Diego. The other one lives in Kingman, Az. Gramma and
    I live in North Idaho. Post Falls.
    There is a fairly significant amount of freight train traffic
    through our area. Much of the train traffic is long trains of
    Tanker cars filled with crude
    oil on its way up to Canada by
    this corridor. The tracks used to be way outside of town. But,
    as Post Falls has quadrupled in size over the past 10-11 years. Growth mostly from the
    unstoppable exodus fleeing
    from the worsening insanity
    that is California. I know. We
    were one such family. 3-1/2 years ago, we were finally in
    a position where all the
    necessary matters were in a
    good position for us to pull
    the plug. As I said, quadrupled in size🥴. So what used to be the edge of town was not near the RR trax. But now, in several areas the housing goes right up to the edge of the RR right of way. In most places RR X’ings sre totally inadequste.
    No stop control arm, etc.
    Out 16 yr old neighbor girl was
    killed one morning driving, on her way to school. The X’ing
    Had no control arm. Judt a stop sign 🛑 and a flashing yellow light. She was killed instantly. Parents filed a
    civil court suit and won.
    For a large amoung. But that
    doesn’t bring their daughter back, fix their broken hearts, or fix her little brother’s severe
    Clinical depression since the loss.
    The trains do have super loud air horns. And they do lay on those horns very heavily when
    they get near an intersection.
    We’re only a few blocks from the trax. During the daytime I don’t really notice the train’s air horns. But at night! Wow!!!
    The first time I heard the train horn, it was about 2am. Our bedroom window was open.
    And when the engineer leaned
    On that horn, I almost jumped out of my skin.

  • Michael Bobrik says:

    Someone else may have said this, but passengers do not need to (and are discouraged from) making up and taking down their beds. Plan on a late dining car dinner, and as you head out ask your attendant to set the beds up while you're out. Reverse the procedure in the morning at breakfast.

  • Michael Bobrik says:

    My last comments – Lounge Car has a downstairs area where you can get breakfast, lunch, and light dinner food, as well as alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. They usually open at 6AM and close at 11PM, with three breaks during the day. Tip them well – they stand on their feet serving a 100's of customers all day.

  • Has anyone watched this video with closed captions on? The subtitles are terrible! It's like a different story.

  • Sharon Crawford says:

    I road with my family from Calif. to Chicago in the 1960s as a kid. We just road in the seats. We slept in our seats. It was a blast. Oh I forgot, we got on another train in Chicago to Dayton, Ohio. Thats where we were moving back to after my dad was stationed in the Philippines for 9 mo. We got to see so much beautiful country. We could have went by plane, but my parents wanted to see the sights. It was great. But that was 55 yrs ago.

  • lslavychecker says:


  • Thanks. I love traveling by train. I’m glad you showed me the sleeper room, I thought they would have private baths. Glad I found out they don’t!

  • Awesome …. That is a small room, I'm sure a good fart would give you a concussion but certainly better than riding coach for three days.

    Thanks so much for taking the time to share this with us. I've heard about these rooms but until now never seen one.

  • Years ago I took the auto train from the DC area to Florida. Its sleeping accommodations were even more cramped, and the lurching of the train made sleeping almost impossible. Your "roomette" looked a bit more comfortable, but nowhere as comfy as European sleepers. Passenger rail in the US has a long way to go to catch up with the rest of the world.

  • I had a roomete next to 2 gay guys. Had to hear gay sex at night. Ended sleeping in the lounge car from emeryville to omaha.

  • Bedroom is the best… your own toilet, own shower, bunk and bed and a chair all in the room… .and its really not much more than the roomette, in fact a roomette is almost a waste of money… you think you saving because its cheaper… but you loose the privacy of the bathroom services… and the space… Bedroom is the only way to go…

  • Crepto Firebrick Creeper says:

    Great video to give us all perspective on what it's like to travel by Amtrack. I've been on a few scenic train rides, but have yet to do so for travel.

  • Linda Nordlund says:

    Would we be able to sit up straight if we left the upper bunk down to store our luggage? Since only 1 night, thinking we would just sleep in the seats of our roomette

  • Dude !!   I like the way you explaining  things,  instructions, man!.   How cool is that !!When train go through  the MOFFAT tunnel,  is there any oxygen or wear  mask for Coal dust?

  • With the trains no faster in 2019 than they were in 1919 it is no surprise that this train has a sleeper car for its short journey. A trip that with a Japanese or Chinese or German or Italian or Swiss train would take less than 7 hours to make takes Amtrak more than 43 hours to complete or longer by 14 hours than driving by car on the highway. When the capitalists decide on transportation they opt for what is the most profitable and never for what is the most efficient means to travel.

  • Interesting travelogue! I took Amtrak once from New York to Florida, rented a roomette, watched the scenery. It was fun. But I’d rather just hop on an airplane and get to my destination.

  • I’ve been on this train!!! I enjoyed it, I do remember that someone said that Amtrak does not have right of way on the tracks!!! I enjoyed my time on the California Zephyr!!

  • Back in the 60s when I was a child, we rode from California to Chicago and then to Dayton on a train. We got to see so much beautiful scenes. It was really fun. I love trains.

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