A Rail station and a Bus station at the foot of Mt. Shasta!
PHOTO report by Russ Jackson.
Dunsmuir is an historic railroad town 55 rail miles north of Redding. The Southern Pacific had shops and a yard there from steam locomotive days. Amtrak’s Coast Starlight continues to stop there, usually in the middle of the night, and Amtrak California’s bus that originates in Medford, Oregon, stops there on its round trip connecting with the San Joaquin and Capitol trains in Sacramento.
The Dunsmuir train station looked like this through most of Amtrak’s history of stopping in this town of 2,000 people. Shasta County’s population is over 175,000. In the year 2004-2005, 5,000 folks rode the train to/from here.
The Dunsmuir train station now looks like this after the city responded to requests for a more comfortable place to wait for the trains. With the on time performance of #11/14 being what it’s been, riders have had to wait for hours, and when winter is in full blow it can be very cold and snowy there. The building now has a heated waiting room. In the photo is a young man who arrived on the southbound Starlight on July 27, and is still waiting on the bench at 10:30 for his ride to pick him up. Folks up there are in no hurry.
Amtrak Thruway bus route 3 arrives on the dot of 10:50 at its stop at City Hall (left) on Dunsmuir Avenue, just a few blocks from the train station. It cannot easily get into the hillside train station parking lot, so this is the alternative stop. The bus will arrive in Sacramento at 3:55, connecting with San Joaquin train 704.
All bus riders must have train tickets under current law, which does not permit Amtrak buses to take riders between towns on any of its routes even if there is no private service available, until a new law, SB684 (Cox) is passed by the state legislature. This bus route, only recently extended north to Medford, is doing well. The driver told RailPAC that he “picked up riders in Medford, Ashland, and Shasta City this morning” (7/27), and that he usually “has several on board by the time he gets here.” RailPAC urges support for SB684.