AmtrakAmtrak offers two types of train service from the Davis train station: the “Capitol Corridor” (http://www.capitolcorridor.org/) service with trains about every hour east to Sacramento and west to Oakland/San Jose, and the Long Distance service with one departure daily of the Coast Starlight (north to Portland and Seattle, south to Los Angeles), and the California Zephyr http://www.amtrak.com/california-zephyr-train (east to Reno, Salt Lake City, Denver, Omaha and Chicago). Capitol Corridor trains are the ones commonly seen in Davis, with blue orange and silver cars, about 5 cars long. Long distance trains are silver with red and blue stripes, have 2 engines, and 7-11 cars.

The “Capitol Corridor” service is one of the easiest ways to get out of Davis to Sacramento or the Bay Area via the Capitol Corridor. The Capitol Corridor is a medium-distance train with unreserved seating. On board WiFi launched in January 2012 and is free on all trains. 110 V power outlets are available at many seats on the Capitol Corridor trains. Before boarding, passengers should buy tickets at the train station to avoid grumpy conductors and the extra 50% charge for buying tickets on board. If you board the train at a station that does not have an attendant, however, you will not be charged the extra 50% fee. All Capitol Corridor trains have bike racks so you can travel with your bike to and from your destination at no extra charge. The train station is serviced by Unitrans on the A bus line during weekdays and the O line during the weekend. If you are returning to Davis weekday evenings, the Amtrak Shuttle is an excellent way to go home after getting off at the Train Station. Capitol Corridor trains usually run on time.

Long distance service has older trains, with amenities such as sleeper cars, lounges and diners. If you want to bring a bike you’ll need to box it up (boxes are available at the station), you can check luggage, etc. Travel is often cheaper than airfare if you buy in advance (busy travel periods) or even if you don’t (off-season). Long distance trains often run late (a lot can happen between Chicago and Davis), but improvements were made in 2007 to both routes though Davis and now trains run routinely on time, or close to it.

You can check the likelihood of your train being on time by going to the Amtrak website and clicking on “Historical On-Time Performance” directly under the Train Status box.

* from the Davis Wiki