Follow Ross To Work Day #4 – The Amtrak Leg

The Amtrak Bay Area Commuter Train (aka Amtrak Capitol Corridor) is actually a fairly comfortable service.  The run hourly or less between Sacramento and Oakland, with some of the trains heading east as far as Auburn, and south/west as far as San Jose.  Almost all of the cars have standard electric outlets to allow you to power your laptop and other electronics without fear of draining your battery.  That, coupled with the fairly spacious seats with either full tables or fold down trays makes working on the commute a very viable option.  In fact, the entire previous post was done in transit between Davis and Fairfield.

They also have a cafe car – or, more accurately, a snack bar.  Drinks and a couple of microwaved offerings make up the menu.  And yea – alchoholic beverages are available.  The prices are a little on the steep side, but nothing compared to, say, a hot dog at a sports arena.  You’re always able to bring your own food along as well.

On this morning, the train left right on time – 7:00am.  I often get a kick out of watching the auto driving commuters on I-80 coming out of Sac heading towards Davis and teh Bay Area.  Usually I get to be all smug about the fact that I’m, not stuck in that traffic.  Today, however, traffic seemed pretty light.  [video clip]

I was finally able to catch some video [video clip] of the delta between Fairfield and Suisuin Bay.  Everytime I go through here I always imagine Lord of the Rings, and Gollum leading the Frodo and Sam through the Dead Marshes.  OK – guess I’m a geek…

Across the bridge near the Suisun naval reserve fleet, past petro refineries, past C&H sugar, Richmond and Berkeley and finally Emeryville.  From here, I transfer to a bus that takes me across the Bay Bridge [video clip] to the Caltrain station and 4th & King in San Francisco.  Time for another train.

Some mornings, however, I’ll traverse SF a little differently.  Depending on timing, weather and my general mood, I may actually take the bus and get off at either the Hyatt in the Financial District, or the Ferry Terminal.  From there, I’ll ride along the Embarcadero to Townsend street.  Makes for a nice, quick and generally enjoyable ride.

That’s it for Amtrak – and I board the Caltrain #236, leaving San Francisco heading south on the peninsula at 9:37am.  Last leg of public transit for the morning.

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