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On the Road

You do NOT need an AMTRAK ticket. In fact you can't even get to the AMTRAK cars from our three private cars -- they will be at the end of the train.

Luggage: One normal or smaller suitcase per guest plus a make-up kit (for the guys). These are deluxe railroad cars with no overhead luggage racks (as in coaches), so we've hired a truck to take a lot of the luggage from Emeryville to Harrah's (and back Sunday).

  • The truck will be loading in front of the Emeryville train station at 9AM.

  • Make sure you have a prominent nametag on your luggage.

  • At the truck will be an envelope with your "tickets".

    • We'll likely just put the envelopes on the hood of the truck in alpha order.

    • First come, first serve on the trucked luggage.

    • When the truck is full, just carry your luggage thru the station.

    • Extra luggage will go in the bedrooms of the tail car #33.

All Aboard: Just walk thru the station and head for the South-end of the platform. The train will likely roll into the station at 9:15 AM and depart at 9:35 AM. We expect you will be boarding at the rear of the car #1291 (the Orange lounge car). Your luggage will be directed first onto the truck. When it fills, we will use bedrooms #2 and #3 on car #33 for luggage. This is a narrow time window.

Onboard, please move around. On the Friday Eastbound trip, we will have a buffet lunch. Coffee, continental breakfast, Bloody Mary's, etc. will begin as we leave Emeryville. Lunch will be after we leave Sacramento (about Noon).

On the Sunday Westbound trip, we will have a sit-down lunch with table service in two seatings. Your ticket will tell you whether you are in the first or second seating and in which dining area. 

Here are the seating capacities of our three railroad cars. We plan on running at 55%-60% of capacity.

To give everyone an opportunity, limit yourself to about an hour and a half in the dome and 20 minutes on the open platform.  

     Seat 1291 503 33  3-car 
Type Lounge   Dome   Business   Totals 
Bar Stools 6     6
Bar Seats   10   10
Dome Seats   18   18
Dining 12 13 8 33
Lounge 26 16 8 50
Bedroom #1     2 2
Open Platform     4 4


44 57 22 123

Dress: Dress-up is fine, but remember that you are on a jostling train with narrow clearances. Pumps may work on the train, but spikes won't. Large skirts must pass others in aisles that are 22" wide. On Saturday night, Patricia will be in a Black cocktail dress, and Jerry in a sport coat. His duds don't fit anymore, but he is optimistic.  

Coming into Reno (Eastbound), we will queue up with our any "train luggage" in hand as we only have a few minutes to detrain. Our rail cars will be dropped off at Sparks -- only three miles past Reno. A short cab ride (Jon Lundberg won't end up in Chicago). Sparks was a division point on the original Central Pacific. Train crews change at division points -- they have large railroad yards and engine maintenance facilities.   

At Reno, you will have to carry any train-board luggage about one block between Harrah's and the train station. The truck will already have dropped off the bulk of the luggage at Harrah's.    

Sunday morning departure:  The train is scheduled to depart Reno at 9:39 AM, but may be late. We will attempt to contact AMTRAK Saturday night to see how late the California Zephyr is running, and post a message with the Harrah's operator. Be at the station 20 minutes early.

Smoking: You can smoke between the cars. It's fun to ride with one foot on one car and one on the other (you'll likely smoke quicker). No butts.

Toilets: With modern regulations, the cars now have tanks. Kindly feel free to flush while in the station. I liked the old days when you saw the ballast and cross ties zipping along through the hole.

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