You may take a wary look at the thought of driving from San Francisco to Los Angeles due to heavy road congestion through the week, though the middle of the day is the best time for a road trip between SF and LA. Hassles of air travel between SFO and LAX – one of the busiest corridors in California – are not unknown, though one is a short flight away from the other.
How about a new way to travel between Los Angeles and San Francisco in comfort and luxury? A new overnight ‘hotel train’ is underway to serve this route. Unlike Amtrak, the upcoming first-class passenger train will provide both – the comfort of a night journey and the luxury of a hotel. There has been no overnight passenger train between San Francisco and Los Angeles since 1968. The last train to provide nocturnal service along this route was the Lark that the Southern Pacific Company operated from 1910 until April 1968.
The new passenger train with hotel-room-like cars is a brainchild of Dreamstar Lines, a California-based startup that is looking to bridge the 470-mile distance that is “too far to drive, too close to fly.” The train, yet to be named, would make a one-way trip from 10 PM until 8:30 AM. The service is designed in such a way so as to ensure that passengers sleep away the miles while enjoying the undisturbed, cozy space of private rooms on wheels, said the founder of Dreamstar Lines Inc. “Annihilate distance through slumber” is his vision.
Dreamstar Lines’ projected overnight ‘hotel train’ between San Francisco and Los Angeles will have six cars and a lounge. You can unwind over food and drinks in the moving lounge. To be equipped with advanced technology, the rail tickets will be issued in electronic format like e-tickets and digital boarding passes for flights. Developing an app for passengers to order food & drinks and access other services on board is also on the agenda.
‘Streamline Moderne’, a distinct style of Art Deco architecture, may be seen in the design of the upcoming overnight rail service between SF and LA in California. Long horizontal lines, rounded corners, and curving forms are among the distinguished features of Streamline Moderne that started shaping up during the Great Depression of the 1930s. Radio City Hollywood, Coca-Cola factory, and Pan-Pacific Auditorium are some of the architectures with Streamline Moderne in Los Angeles.
Would Dreamstar Lines’ overnight passenger train service cost lesser than flights to Los Angeles from SFO? Unlike Amtrak Coast Starlight’s dynamic fares for premium private rooms and coach seats, Dreamstar Lines would have a fixed pricing model. A one-person roomette on the upcoming train would cost nearly $300, whereas about $600 would be charged for a double bedroom. Premium room accommodation with luxuries of a first-class hotel room may command a premium fare, $1000 for a one-way trip.
Santa Barbara, San Jose, and San Luis Obispo would be among the stopovers along the route of the proposed overnight train between Los Angeles and San Francisco, if Dreamstar can manage to secure permissions. Currently, the transport startup is in talks with the Union Pacific Railroad Company and Southern California’s commuter rail system, Metrolink.