The name Coast Starlight is derived from the names of two former Southern Pacific trains, the Coast Daylight and the Starlight.
by William Jochim
Having recently returned from my third trip on the Coast Starlight between Seattle and Los Angeles, I can honestly say that I'm ready to go again. There is something magical about falling asleep in the Cascade Mountains and waking up to palm trees and California sunshine.
What is it that I like best about the Coast Starlight? Well, the Sleeping Car accomodations are certainly comfortable, with room to stretch out and relax with a complimentary glass of champagne or morning newspaper.
Or it could be the beautifully restored Pacific Parlour Car where you can enjoy the views with fellow travelers, enjoy a light meal, partake in a wine and cheese tasting, or even watch a movie.
Of course the scenery on this route is second to none — from the cold waters of Puget Sound to the sunny beaches of southern California, from fertile farmland to snow capped mountains, big sprawling cities to quaint small towns. You might see dolphins jumping in the Pacific Ocean or an eagle soaring through the Cascades.
And then there is the incredible staff onboard the Coast Starlight: Sleeping Car Attendants like Hayward, Towana, Daysi and Cruz, all of whom made me feel like a guest in their own home; Debbie — a Lead Service Attendant in the Dining Car — who called me by name the entire trip; and Dining Car Server, Robert, who at every meal welcomes you like an old friend.
To answer the question, what it is that I like best about the Coast Starlight, I have to say, like a trusty old recipe, it is the combination of all these things that make the Coast Starlight experience special.
While the route may be the same, every trip brings about new adventures, friendly faces and fond memories. I eagerly await my next journey on the Coast Starlight.