What to Know About the Amtrak Coast Starlight Route

35 hours of charm, comfort, and coast-to-coast beauty.
Carissa Rawson
By Carissa Rawson 
Edited by Meghan Coyle
Railroad used by the Amtrak routes Coast Starlight and Pacific Surfliner, Central California Coast near Lompoc.

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Sure, cars and planes may dominate transportation throughout much of the United States, but there’s something special about train travel.

Aside from enjoying the relative comfort of legroom (and even beds), those aboard the Amtrak Coast Starlight route get to experience stunning views while they while away the hours to their destination.

Let’s take a look at this famous route, the experience you can expect when you’re aboard and other can’t-miss details for the Amtrak Coast Starlight train.

What is the Amtrak Coast Starlight train?

Amtrak operates a number of iconic routes (including many that go cross-country). Among its best is the Coast Starlight, which travels from Seattle to Los Angeles along the West Coast each day.

The total travel time for the Coast Starlight train is 35 hours, and passengers can select from a variety of room types, including private cabins with beds and bathrooms.

Amtrak Coast Starlight train stops

The Coast Starlight makes several stops along its journey, which is part of the reason why it’s a lengthy trip. The train goes through three states: Washington, Oregon and California.

  • Seattle - King Street Station (SEA).

  • Tacoma, Wash. (TAC).

  • Olympia-Lacey, Wash. (OLW).

  • Centralia, Wash. (CTL).

  • Kelso-Longview, Wash. (KEL).

  • Vancouver, Wash. (VAN).

  • Portland, Ore. - Union Station (PDX).

  • Salem, Ore. - Amtrak Station (SLM).

  • Albany, Ore. (ALY).

  • Eugene, Ore. - Amtrak Station (EUG).

  • Chemult, Ore. (CMO).

  • Klamath Falls, Ore. (KFS).

  • Dunsmuir, Calif. (DUN).

  • Redding, Calif. - Amtrak Station (RDD).

  • Chico, Calif. (CIC).

  • Sacramento, Calif. - Sacramento Valley Station (SAC).

  • Davis, Calif. (DAV).

  • Martinez, Calif. (MTZ).

  • Emeryville, Calif. (EMY).

  • Oakland, Calif. - Jack London Square Station (OKJ).

  • San Jose, Calif. - Diridon Station (SJC).

  • Salinas, Calif. - Amtrak Station (SNS).

  • Paso Robles, Calif. (PRB).

  • San Luis Obispo, Calif. - Amtrak Station (SLO).

  • Santa Barbara, Calif. (SBA).

  • Oxnard, Calif. (OXN).

  • Simi Valley, Calif. (SIM).

  • Van Nuys, Calif. (VNC).

  • Burbank, Calif. (BUR).

  • Los Angeles - Union Station (LAX).

Route map

Looking for a visual of where you’re heading? Here’s a glance at the route map for the Coast Starlight on Amtrak.

Amtrak Coast Starlight schedule

The Coast Starlight train runs once daily in either direction. If you’re starting in Los Angeles, the train departs at 9:51 a.m. and arrives at 7:51 p.m. the next day.

Conversely, the train leaving from Seattle departs at 9:50 a.m. each day and arrives in Los Angeles the next day at 9:11 p.m.

Note that there can be differences in timing as the trains may alter their stops or departure times.

Amtrak seats on Coast Starlight

There are six room types available on the Coast Starlight train.

1. Coach

To travel along the coast as cheaply as possible, opt to book a coach seat for the duration of your journey. You can then choose whether to sit in a lower seat or an upper seat. Lower seats are nearer to the restrooms and don’t require climbing any stairs. Upper seats have better views from the top floor.

Each coach seat reclines, offers ample legroom and has a fold-down tray and electric outlets.

2. Superliner roomette

A Superliner roomette offers a private space for those looking to unwind during their journey. It’s more expensive than a coach seat and provides two comfortable seats that transform into beds at night.

Roomettes also offer upgraded bedding, towels, and linens, plus access to a shower and restroom inside your train car.

Beyond this, the roomette provides a first class attendant, complimentary lounge access, priority boarding and complimentary meals. These rooms can sleep up to two adults.

3. Superliner bedroom

Superliner bedrooms offer twice the space of a roomette and include a sofa and chair that transform into beds. You’ll receive many of the same amenities as a roomette, including a first class attendant, complimentary meals, lounge access and priority boarding.

Aside from more space, the biggest difference between a bedroom and a roomette is that the bedroom offers an in-room sink, restroom and shower. These rooms can sleep two adults.

4. Superliner bedroom suite

The Superliner bedroom suite provides twice the space of a bedroom, but this is only because it’s two rooms that combine together. To that end, you’ll have twice as many beds and two bathrooms from which to choose. These suites can sleep four adults.

5. Superliner family bedroom

The family bedroom is ideal for adults and children traveling together. Along with the amenities you’d expect from booking a bedroom, you’ll have access to two upper beds and two lower beds at night, which transform from seating. These bedrooms can sleep two adults and two children.

6. Superliner accessible bedroom

Accessible bedrooms are located on the entry level of the train and offer space for a wheelchair. However, while Superliner accessible bedrooms include an in-room sink and toilet, they lack a shower.

If you want to ride the Amtrak Coast Starlight train …

Amtrak’s route network is expansive, but nothing is quite as charming as the Coast Starlight. During your 35-hour journey, you’ll be able to take advantage of comfortable seating, stunning scenery and good food. What’s not to like?

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