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Zephyr/Emeryville

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Zephyr/Emeryville
Posted by Lithonia Operator on Friday, March 26, 2021 5:54 PM

Why does the CZ now terminate at Emeryville instead of Oakland?

it seems like the city of Oakland must be unhappy with this.

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Saturday, March 27, 2021 9:56 AM

Geography.  Emeryville is much closer to the east approach to the Bay Bridge for bus connections to San Francisco, which predate Amtrak.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, March 27, 2021 11:02 AM

Doesn't it also have to do with operating non-push-pull consists through the street running?

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Saturday, March 27, 2021 1:37 PM

Emeryville allows the consist to pull forward into the Oakland maintenance facility.  Jack Loundon would require a back up move to the maintenance yard.  Backing up a Superliner on streeets would want to do that ?  No loco horn ?  Of course they could go to the expense of attaching a yard switcher at Emeryville .  Got  bunch  of dollars ?

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Posted by BaltACD on Saturday, March 27, 2021 2:38 PM

blue streak 1
Emeryville allows the consist to pull forward into the Oakland maintenance facility.  Jack Loundon would require a back up move to the maintenance yard.  Backing up a Superliner on streeets would want to do that ?  No loco horn ?  Of course they could go to the expense of attaching a yard switcher at Emeryville .  Got  bunch  of dollars ?

Back up hoses have a air whistle configured in their operating valve.  Not as impressive as a locomotive and horn but much better than nothing and it satisfies the FRA requirements of a signalling device.

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Posted by NKP guy on Saturday, March 27, 2021 4:25 PM

   I thought the proper way to arrive in San Francisco was to step off the train at the Oakland Mole, walk on board the waiting side-wheel steam ferry boat, then sail across SF Bay to the Ferry Building and once there look for a taxi or streetcar.  You mean they don't do that any longer?

   Seriously, Emeryville Central Union Terminal is a place I want to pass through quickly, coming or going, on my way to something better.  Ditto with Jack London Square station.

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, March 30, 2021 8:57 AM

Unless something has changed, you have a rigmarole getting on BART from Emeryville, whereas it's pretty close at Jack London Square.  I'm sure the Emery-Go-Round will get you to the McArthur stop, but darned if research makes this understanding easy.

When I went to conferences in San Francisco we'd stay in Fremont, with the street-running SP to Jack London just across the hotel parking garage and the BART station up the cross street.  I admit that it's a bit like scuttling in like a rat to ride under the Bay but it was quick and direct and highly cost-effective -- I'm not as sure about the Amtrak bus servicing from Emeryville, if it is the usual short-seat-tracked abomination and traffic across the Bay Bridge is as congested as I suspect it often is.

(As a disclaimer, I always thought the B&O "bus connection" was highly superior to running into NYP in a couple of significant respects: it boarded and discharged almost at trainside; it was conveniently located near a major river crossing and could get priority access to go through; it actually went to many of the actual end destinations or starting origins customers used in the same time, but with prospectively more comfort, than would be needed to get to and then through Penn... now imagine using larger buses since highway clearances aren't really a limiting factor, and providing Pickwick-style amenities...

Why not a luxury bus shuttle for that last few miles, going around to select destinations and used for other purposes when it isn't train time?

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Tuesday, March 30, 2021 10:13 AM

My personal experience with the bus service across the Bay is that it works quite well.  The bus connection is made right at the Emeryville station and takes you to and from the bus terminal in San Francisco near the bridge.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by NKP guy on Tuesday, March 30, 2021 11:17 AM

   CSSHEGEWISCH makes a good point: the Amtrak bus connection works quite well.  For me, though, it works best outbound.  

   Since  I travel with a suitcase, taking BART, or a subway, or bus anywhere is something I avoid.  When the Zephyr arrives at Emeryville everyone gets off and slowly heads for the SF bus.  It takes so much time to load all the bus riders and their luggage, collect the tickets, etc., that I have found it much faster to simply take a taxi from Emeryville right into SF and to the door of my hotel.  I can be unpacking my bag in my hotel room 30 minutes after arriving at Emeryville; bus passengers in the same 30 minutes are just about to depart for SF.  PLUS, they will not be taken to their hotels, but merely dropped off at various points downtown.  A long walk with their bags or, guess what? a taxi or uber ride will be necessary for those staying in San Francisco.

   Sure, the taxi from Emeryville costs money (about $40 to $50), but what's your time worth when in San Francisco?

   Departing SF by Amtrak bus is much better because I know the train won't leave Emeryville until the bus gets there.  I haven't waited for the bus in the East Bay Terminal (sorry, Salesforce Transit Center) yet, but I'm almost used now to waiting outside the Ferry Building or some such place in the elements with not even a roof over my head.  That could be improved.

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, March 30, 2021 3:23 PM

NKP guy
I'm almost used now to waiting outside the Ferry Building or some such place in the elements with not even a roof over my head.  That could be improved.

You mean with all that nonoperating staff, Amtrak hasn't integrated Thruway with the train-tracker app?  Or at least set up with a company like TransLoc to stream real-time position to be useful to normal passengers?

Even for a company showing such a streak of no-brainedness recently, that would be a no-brainer!

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