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'Hotel Train' planned for SF-LA corridor


A California company is planning a new train service to link California's two biggest cities, but instead of pushing for bullet trains, it's taking a leaf from the playbook of Europe's growing revival of overnight sleepers or hotel trains.

The train would leave each city around 10 pm and arrive in the other at 8:30 am, just in time for breakfast and business. Most passengers on the planned first-class train would spend the trip in private sleeping rooms. The train would basically follow the route used during the daytime by Amtrak's Coast Starlight train.

Dreamstar Lines, a small Southern California company, says it's hard at work lining up suitable railcars, financing, staffing and—importantly, agreements with Union Pacific and Southern California's Metrolink commuter rail system, which own or control most of the 470-mile route.

The company believes that flying relatively short distances like this route have become a major hassle and that traffic congestion makes it a difficult drive. They say they believe their plan will "annihilate distance through slumber" at a cost of $300 to $1000 per passenger depending on accommodations.

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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