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This New Overnight Train Hotel Will Connect These 2 Major U.S. Cities This Summer

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Connecting two of California's most iconic cities can be a real drag.

Although just an hour and a half apart by air, a road trip between Los Angeles and San Francisco takes up most of your day.

Hence why most opt to deal with hassles of LAX rather than spend a full day on California highways. But what if there was a more fun option where you can simply kick back, relax, and catch some much-needed z's?

female train passenger

Come summertime, there will be. At least that's the plan. The new train hotel operated by Dreamstar Lines is slated to hit the rails in summer 2024.

LA To San Fran The Fun Way

Few details have been shared about what's going on behind the curtain now to bring the first luxury overnight train service between the two cities.

Considering this is happening in a state known for red tape issues, it's no surprise the project has already been delayed.

hollywood sign and palm trees

But Dreamstar clearly has goals to launch this coming summer. When you think of taking a short flight, your mind probably doesn't immediately factor in drive time to the airport, TSA agents barking at you, and possible delays.

With gas prices the highest in the nation, a road trip may be out of the question too. So, there is clearly a hole in the market Dreamstar is trying to fill.

The question now is can it finally come to fruition?

Don't Call It A Comeback

happy train traveler

This isn't the first rodeo between these California icons. Back in the 40s and 50s, a ritzy overtrain train known as The Lark often sold out and was favored by the Hollywood elite of businessmen and entertainers.

As air travel became more popular, the train service dwindled down over the years and eventually met its demise in the late 60's.

The Lark has a good run, but now it's Dreamstar's turn to go full steam ahead with a modern take on the concept.

A Train Hotel Or A Sleeper Train?

traveler sleeping on train

If you have ever traveled abroad, particularly in Europe, you may have come across sleeper trains. They do exist in the U.S., but the concept is more popular overseas.

And if you have had the courage to take said sleeper train, then surely you know you're not signing up for a full night's rest.

Chances are you arrived at your destination groggy, red-eyed, and in desperate need of coffee. That's where Dreamstar is daring to be different.

Rather than consider themselves just another sleeper train, the new rail line considers themselves a train hotel instead, where the focus is on hospitality and comfort rather than just getting you from A to B.

train passenger in bed

Our last report on this topic claimed trains would depart around 10 pm and arrive by 9 am. Ticket prices range from $300 to $1000, depending on your room selection.

Since the delay, no updates on pricing or times have been provided.

An Alternative To Amtrak And Bus Travel

Let's be honest – flights are the most efficient way to travel between these cities, but train travel can be a lot more fun!

Amtrak is your current option to travel by train, but it's about as vanilla as it gets. The company made headlines for all the wrong reasons last year and was even shamed publicly by Congress for their lack of efficiency.

amtrak california train

The same goes for bus travel, where you will definitely save money compared to trains, but seats are often just as crammed as airlines and nowhere near as speedy.

Plus, have you heard anyone excited about long-distance bus trips? Yeah, didn't think so.

Are Los Angeles And San Francisco Worth Visiting?

We recently covered San Francisco as a place not to visit in 2024. While still a beautiful city packed with cultural neighborhoods and wonderful attractions, an uptick in crime has been a concern.

The same goes for Los Angeles, a city with many instantly recognizable sights from the bright lights of Hollywood to world-famous beaches.

tourists at san francisco bay

Both cities have been clobbered in headlines since the pandemic, especially regarding safety in downtown areas.

Some travelers may feel the need to keep their heads on a swivel while still paying premium prices for their trip.

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Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.


Monday 5th of February 2024

An expensive gimmick that will not last, assuming it even starts. $300 to $1,000 per ticket to ride in a sleeper car on an indirect route from LA to ? Only, Caltrain runs tracks to SF and the current terminus is near King and 4th Street - a homeless-filled tent city. Not exactly where people paying a fortune will want to be dumped off. Amtrak runs buses from SF to Oakland or Berkeley where passengers can board a train. So the details of where this gilded hotel train will stop are a mystery. Moreover, for that price why would anyone want to sleep in a “bed” where the previous occupants likely partied all or most of the way. It will cost a fortune to clean these “rooms” every trip. Unlike a fixed hotel, this train will need two facilities (one at either end), so it is a costly adventure. I drive from SF to Del Mar (just north of San Diego) every year for vacation. It takes about 6 hours to get to LA. So, I can drive down for less than a tank of gas, arrive in LA with wheels to go see anything I want, pay for one or even two nights of a hotel, all for the same price as a mid-priced hotel train ticket. This concept made sense when autos were of the 1950s variety, roads were not as well developed, and the costs were reasonable. I know the article didn’t give us the 1950 cost of the train. Check out for information about the old Coast Daylight Train from and to LA and SF. It cost $6 one way and $10 round trip. I love mass transit but this expensive hotel train 🚂 doesn’t sound like a winning proposition - lower the costs to compete with $44 one way and $87 round trip airfare (just checked on Google) and maybe it will work. Good luck 🍀!


Sunday 4th of February 2024

I don't get any of this, since Amtrak does not offer direct service between Los Angeles and San Francisco. If you go on the Amtrak site, you'll see that everything is "mixed service", meaning for part of the trip they have to put you on a bus. What, is Dreamstar planning on laying some new tracks?

I don't trust anything in this article.


Tuesday 6th of February 2024

@Kashlee Kucheran, it takes years and billions of dollars to lay hundreds of miles of tracks.

Kashlee Kucheran

Sunday 4th of February 2024

It does not come out until later this year (summer)


Sunday 4th of February 2024

No one ever says "San Fran" unless you're a tourist or you've never been there.The sleeper train experience makeover sounds great though!

LMichael G

Thursday 15th of February 2024

@Shawna, maybe San Fran is an older iteration. I grew up in Berkeley in the 60’s/mid 70’s and heard my Mom and others say San Fran a lot.


Sunday 4th of February 2024

Interesting example to choose of a TSA agent since SFO doesn’t use TSA for its security.


Sunday 4th of February 2024

High speed rail is needed. Sleeper trains on freight tracks are not very comfortable not too mention quite slow.

Steven Solway

Tuesday 6th of February 2024

@Dorcas, WHY??? di.d you say the tracks are old from the 1890s with steam locomotives 🚂??? You are So Far Behind That You Are Backwards in Reverse!!!!! MODERN Freight rails are Welded together ❤!! With CONCRETE Crossties underneath, and PANDROL CLAMPS to attach them. This allows Super Powerful Diesel Electric engines like 8 locomotives to pull long freights with trailers and doublestacked containers that are 2 miles long at 10,000 Tons to race along at 70 M.P.H. on level straight tracks, With over 400 Containers!! And Amtrak can race at 80 M.P.H.!!!!! BUT, Just imagine if those 400 containers were running on the already overcrowded highways with 400 truck drivers. And a traffic jam at 4 MILES LONG!!!!! YET...the freight train runs with only 2 crewmen of the Engineer and conductor/Braverman. Thus consider the cost savings in labor alone. But the freight on the Transcontinental Railroad uses freights. Every 20 minutes. At 3 per hour multiplied by 24 equals 72 trains PER DAY!!!!! BUT.

There aren't enough truck drivers to barely cover the so called "LAST MILE" to the factory and store.....NOW, DO YOU STILL THINK THAT MODERN TRAINS EASILY BEAT THE OLDER STEAMERS, AND ALSO BEAT THE MONG HIGHWAYS????? OK.!!!!! TUES. FEB.6,2024,A.D.!! GOD ✝️ BLESS 🙏 AMERICA 🇺🇸 ❤!! AMEN ✝️ ✡ 🕎 ☮ ♾ 🙏!!!!


Monday 5th of February 2024

@Marc, Many of the new rapid trains can be used on the old rails, but the freight trains as well a rapid trains need to go slow because much of the tracks are very old. Tracks from the 1800’s and early 1900’s would have to be completely replaced for rapid trains to run many places. I want the Vancouver Canada train to go all the way to the Mexican border and to run through the Rogue Valley and Ashland, OR. It currently goes from Eugene, OR inland to Klamath Falls, OR skipping the Rogue Valley all together. The Shakespeare Festival and the University in Ashland make it destination city. As does the Craterian Theatre in Medford.