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Enjoy traveling Amtrak

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POSTED May 17, 2014 1:30 a.m.

Kick your seat back, look out of the window and witness the hills and mountains of the Central Valley unfolding around you — this is the experience of riding the San Joaquin Amtrak Train.

“Train travel in general is a convenient stress-free mode of travel. Passengers can get from Point A to Point B without the worry of traffic on the highway or waiting on an airplane tarmac. They can just relax,” said Vernae Graham, Amtrak spokesperson.

While Amtrak is a cross-country train service, the San Joaquin branch train serves individuals from Sacramento to the Bay Area and down to Bakersfield offering travelers views of California’s agricultural hills and coastal mountains. Conveniently running through the Central Valley, locals can catch the Amtrak at two nearby stops: Denair and Modesto.

Located on the outskirts of Turlock, the Denair Amtrak stop is a convenient nearby platform for locals planning an impromptu trip. While the stop lacks many amenities that other stops have, such as restrooms, an ATM, enclosed waiting area and ticket office, the platform does offer shelter in poor weather. For those likely to wait at the station for a longer amount of time the Modesto station may be a better option.

The Modesto station offers an enclosed waiting area, ticket office, restrooms and Quik-Trak kiosk so those who are waiting to board the trains have a more convenient space to retire. While the train stations are imperative for boarding the train, they are just one stop at the beginning of an adventure that can lead anywhere in the state and beyond.

The San Joaquin train runs multiple times between Sacramento and Bakersfield where travelers can catch connector buses to Southern California. Those looking to take the train to San Francisco proper can find bus connections at the Emeryville stop. Another common route for travelers includes taking the San Joaquin train to Yosemite. By stopping in Merced, individuals can board a motor coach for a ride directly into Yosemite National Park. With lush and natural views, riding the Amtrak allows travelers to enjoy the scenic route without having to worry about keeping their eyes on the road.

Travelers can also ride in ease to the Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, an excellent trip for families with little ones. By taking the train northbound from Denair or Modesto, locals can board a bus at the Martinez stop directly to the park’s main entrance allowing parents to sit back and relax as someone else handles the driving. Locals can traverse virtually anywhere from Denair or Modesto by the Amtrak including southbound destinations such as Las Vegas, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles  by catching a bus at the Bakersfield stop.

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