Ride the Coast Starlight Along the Anza Trail in 2014
Contact: Hale Sargent, 415-623-2344
This summer, take a scenic ride through the history of California on board the Amtrak Coast Starlight.
Volunteer Trails & Rails docents from the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail will be in the observation car interpreting the scenery along one of America’s most beautiful train routes.
Trails & Rails is a partnership program between the National Park Service and Amtrak. The Anza Trail is one of about 20 National Park Service units around the country with an active program.
Docents board weekend trains between Santa Barbara and San Jose. The Coast Starlight’s route skirts the same coastline encountered by Juan Bautista de Anza and the colonists who accompanied him to San Francisco in 1776.
In addition to sharing information about the Anza Expedition and its legacy, the docents point out features of the natural landscape and recount tales of more modern history, including the site of a rare Japanese submarine attack on the U.S. mainland during World War II.
“You have to take this train,” docent Ed Leska says. “You’ll see everything that makes California – agriculture, cattle, wine. Plus you learn something new.”
Many of these dedicated volunteers' years with the program pre-date their affiliation with the National Park Service. The South Coast Railroad Museum in Goleta, Calif., developed the docent program in the mid-1990s. Because of the route’s proximity to the Anza Trail, it was folded into the national Trails & Rails program in the early 2000s.
Trails & Rails 2014 Schedule: Coast Starlight / Anza Trail
Schedule subject to change
Did You Know?
Franciscan Father Pedro Font wrote a journal during his 1775-76 trip on the Anza Trail. Font suffered from culture shock, and his journals are a study in personal bigotry. However, by the time Font reached California he had grown more tolerant and wrote less insulting things about the tribes he met along the way. More...