Luxury Overnight ‘Hotel Train’ Could be Coming to These Major Metropolitan Cities

Go to bed in one glamorous city, wake up refreshed in a different one.

California is a huge, huge state. Like Texas or Montana, it’s one of those states you could drive all day through, and theoretically still never leave.

While the Golden State can offer everything from the wine-filled fields of Napa and the oceanic splendor of Malibu, there are two cities that get a bit more attention than everywhere else: San Francisco and Los Angeles.

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With a distance between them at close to 400 miles, a drive between the two locales can take between six and seven hours…unless you hit traffic, which is very likely. Meanwhile, a nonstop flight takes an hour and a half. On one hand, locals know that there is always a plane ride available between the cities. On the other, checking in, flight delays and such make that hour and a half much longer, and have you seen the sort of behavior people are getting up to on planes these days? 

Well, if all goes according to plan, next year California residents will have another option for getting between the two shining cities. 

The California startup Dreamstar Lines Inc. is launching what it calls a “premium overnight ‘hotel train’ passenger train service,” that will let passengers board trains in a city center or suburban station, sleep in a private room and wake up in the morning ready to explore.

Its central pitch is that while a flight might be quicker, flying isn’t always the most comfortable way to travel, and this option is a bit smoother and makes it so you can enjoy San Francisco or LA first thing in the morning, feeling refreshed. 

“A ‘short haul’ flight is anything but – when you consider the time lost to check-in, security, and travel to and from remote airports,” states Dreamstar Lines on its website. “On a deluxe sleeper train, you spend fewer waking hours traveling than you would flying… and you don’t arrive feeling like you’ve already had a full day’s work.”

The trains would leave 10 p.m. and arrive at around 8:30 a.m., and cost between $300 to $1,000. It would likely travel the same route that Amtrak’s Coast Starlight utilizes during the day. As with everything these days, you will be able to buy tickets using an app.

The plan is to open in 2024 SF Gate reported, noting that the project hinges in large part on contract negotiations for trackage rights with UnIon Pacific  (UNP) – Get Free Report, which owns most of the trackage between the two cities.

The project is unrelated to California’s decade-and-a-half old high-speed rail project, which has yet to carry any passengers, and is struggling to even build tracks in the state’s central valley. 

A luxury bus operator attempted to establish regular overnight service between the two cities a few years ago, but has since shifted to charter operations. 

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