The Truth About Sleeping in Coach Overnight

Mary Coast StarlightWhen Mary needed to get from northern Cali to Portland, Ore., she did her homework.

“I compared the prices with flying, and the closer I got to the travel day, the higher the flight prices got,” she says. “And I had traveled on buses before and didn’t like how they’re so cramped, and you can’t get up and walk around. I liked the idea of the train instead.”

So she took the overnight trip home to Portland aboard Amtrak’s Coast Starlight, “to be able to experience the West Coast from a different view point,” Mary says.

During her trip she kept busy exploring different parts of the train, Instagram-ing out the window and playing Yahtzee on her tablet. And sleeping in a coach seat overnight? No problems. She slept straight through the night thanks to the reclining feature on the seats.

“After I got up and got ready in the morning, I went into the dining car for breakfast and sat with a cool girl who was visiting friends in San Francisco,” Mary says.

Since Amtrak handles all the driving,she was even able to enjoy wine in the observation car, where she met a family of five that was traveling all the way across the country.

“If you can get a train that goes overnight, it’s a really great experience,” she says. “You don’t have to drive or get tired or find places to stop in the middle of nowhere.”

The Amtrak Coast Starlight travels from Los Angeles to Seattle, via Emeryvill, Calif., (just outside of San Francisco) and Portland, Ore., every day. What are you waiting for?


I agree that it is a lot more relaxing to have a glass (or two) of wine on the train and letting someone else do the driving...


BRING EARPLUGS! I went from Sacramento to Tacoma and back and it was great BUT on the way back, another passenger was snoring VERY LOUDLY!  Needless to say, no one slept until he woke up and went to the observation car.  I even saw the guy who was sitting next to him 2 cars down knocked out asleep!

  If its just me, I'll do coach, but if I bring the fam - ill find the extra money for the roomette.  Either way its a great way to get from A to B without loosing your mind! ( and when you add up flying - it ends up about the same)