Classic Streamliners - TRAIN​CYCLOPEDIA

August 1972, SP No. 6447 is ready to leave SP's 16th St. Station in Oakland, CA with train No. 6, the San Francisco Zephyr. Photo by Drew Jacksich.
An EMD FP7 and two EMD SDP40Fs pull the eastward San Francisco Zephyr through Yuba Gap in 1975.
Amtrak logo

San Francisco Zephyr Overview
Service type: Inter-city rail
Status: Discontinued
Locale: Western United States
Predecessor: City of San Francisco/Denver Zephyr
First service: June 11, 1972
Last service: July 15, 1983
Successor: California Zephyr
Former operator: Amtrak
Route
Start: Chicago, Illinois
Stops: 36
End: Oakland, California
Distance traveled: 2,390 miles
Train numbers: 5, 6
Technical
Track gauge 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in

Route : Distance - Station

0 mi - Chicago
38 mi - Aurora
83 mi - Mendota
104 mi - Princeton
131 mi - Kewanee
162 mi - Galesburg
179 mi - Monmouth
Illinois/Iowa border
205 mi - Burlington, IA
233 mi - Mount Pleasant, IA
280 mi - Ottumwa
360 mi - Osceola
393 mi - Creston
Iowa/Nebraska border
496 mi - Omaha
551 mi - Lincoln
648 mi - Hastings
702 mi - Holdrege
780 mi - McCook
Nebraska/Colorado border
922 mi - Akron
956 mi - Fort Morgan
1034 mi - Denver Union Station
1085 mi - Greeley
Colorado/Wyoming border
1137 mi - Cheyenne
1184 mi - Laramie
1301 mi - Rawlins
1420 mi - Rock Springs
1435 mi - Green River
1535 mi - Evanston
Wyoming/Utah border
Desert Wind and Pioneer to Los Angeles and Salt Lake City
1610 mi - Ogden
Pioneer to Seattle
Utah/Nevada border
1831 mi - Elko
1859 mi - Carlin
1976 mi - Winnemucca
2147 mi - Sparks
2151 mi - Reno

Nevada/California border
2185 mi - Truckee
2251 mi - Colfax
2304 mi - Sacramento
2317 mi - Davis
2344 mi - Suisun-Fairfield
2361 mi - Martinez
2381 mi - Richmond
2390 mi - Oakland

See also:

City of San Francisco

Denver Zephyr

Amtrak

Named Passenger Trains

An EMD FP7 and two EMD SDP40Fs pull the eastward San Francisco Zephyr through Yuba Gap in 1975.  Photo by Drew Jacksich.

By Drew Jacksich from San Jose, CA, The Republic of California - AMTK 113 Yuba Gap Feb1975, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17929803

August 1972, SP No. 6447 is ready to leave SP's 16th St. Station in Oakland, CA with train No. 6, the San Francisco Zephyr. Photo by Drew Jacksich.

By Drew Jacksich from San Jose, CA, California Republic (SP 6447 with 6 August 1972 16th stxRP) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Historic Rail - Shop Now!

San Francisco Zephyr
The San Francisco Zephyr was the name adopted in June 1972 for the Amtrak passenger train between Chicago, Illinois, and the San Francisco Bay Areain California. Previously, those wanting to take a train between Chicago and Oakland, would have to take the Denver Zephyr which ran daily between Chicago and Denver, and the City of San Francisco, which ran three times a week, between Denver and Oakland.

Because of the refusal of the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad to join Amtrak in 1971, and their decision to maintain their own train, the Rio Grande Zephyr, between Denver and Salt Lake City, once reaching Denver, the San Francisco Zephyr was required to head north, where it joined the Union Pacific's Overland Route, at a junction just west of Cheyenne, Wyoming, to continue through southern Wyoming, via Laramie, to Ogden, Utah. For passengers wanting to use the Rio Grande's service and continue on Amtrak, the timing of the trains was coordinated to facilitate a connection in Ogden (but not Denver) with the D&RGW's Rio Grande Zephyr. The San Francisco Zephyr traveled over rails operated by three different railroads: the Burlington Northern between Chicago and Denver, the Union Pacific between Denver and Ogden, and the Southern Pacific between Ogden and Oakland.

In July 1980, the San Francisco Zephyr was outfitted with Amtrak's new bi-level Superliner passenger cars, one of the last western trains to receive them. One of the results of this was that through service was introduced between Chicago and Seattle, as the Pioneer, and Los Angeles as the Desert Wind, with both the Pioneer and Desert Wind traveling with the Zephyr between Chicago and Ogden.

In 1983 the D&RGW chose to join Amtrak, citing increasing losses in passenger operations.[citation needed] Amtrak re-routed the San Francisco Zephyr over the D&RGW's line between Denver and Salt Lake City, Utah, which was its original preference in 1971. The change was scheduled for April 25, but a mudslide at Thistle, Utah, closed the D&RGW's main line and delayed the change until July 16. With the change of route Amtrak renamed the train California Zephyr.

In Media
In an episode of the British program Great Railway Journeys, aired in 1980, presenter Ludovic Kennedy travels from New York to Los Angeles by rail, riding on the San Francisco Zephyr between Chicago and Oakland. (See below)

NFLShop.com - NFL Jerseys and Gear
Enter the Classic Streamliners Bookstore.
Shop for Trains and Railroad Collectibles on eBay
Shop for Railroad and Train Collectibles on eBay
Enter the Classic Streamliners Bookstore.
NFLShop.com - NFL Jerseys and Gear