California Zephyr Route Restored by Union Pacific Railroad

Union Pacific Railroad has reopened the route through the Sierra Mountains used by the daily California Zephyr (Trains 5 & 6) between the San Francisco Bay and Chicago. The tracks were blocked on Feb. 1 in a mishap involving UP snow-removal equipment.

Westbound Train 5, originating from Chicago on Jan. 30

Amtrak managers responded to the Placer County location where the westbound California Zephyr was stopped. Later, a decision was made to reverse the train to Reno, Nevada, where about 160 passengers were housed and fed at Amtrak expense in area hotels, awaiting alternate transportation that was provided today.

At all times, Train 5 had power and heat, stopped adjacent to Interstate 80. Complimentary food and beverages were provided to the passengers during the delay.

Eastbound Train 6, originating from Emeryville, Calif., on Feb. 1

Two buses were chartered by Amtrak to respond to Gold Run, Calif., where the eastbound California Zephyr was stopped to await the reopening of the route. Amtrak crew members spoke to each of the passengers and 60 chose to return to their points of origin and others made their own arrangements. The remaining 100 passengers elected to stay in their sleeping accommodations or overnight coach seats for the train to resume its trip today.

At all times, Train 6 had power and heat. Complimentary food and beverages were provided to the passengers during the delay.

Although Amtrak attempted on Friday evening to obtain additional alternate transportation between the two trains, it was unavailable due to the large volumes of buses and drivers chartered from the area to the Super Bowl in Arizona.

Amtrak Customer Relations staff will follow-up with the passengers on both the westbound and eastbound trains to offer additional assistance and receive customer comments.

Amtrak regrets any inconvenience. This information is correct as of the above time and date. Information is subject to change as conditions warrant. Passengers are encouraged to call 800-USA-RAIL or visit for schedule information and train status updates.