Waiting at Richmond station, looking south. To the far left are the BART tracks. Flanking the island platform on which I'm standing are the two main lines toward Oakland. To the right is a freight track.
That's the old Richmond passenger platform. You had to cross the tracks at grade here in some cases. I seem to remember using this platform in the early days of the Capitol Corridor service.
While waiting for the California Zephyr to arrive, I got to see this freight from the Richmond Pacific Railroad, a terminal switching line, roll by on the freight track. I don't think I'd ever heard of the Richmond Pacific, which interchanges with both Union Pacific and BNSF.
One fault I can find with Richmond's passenger platforms is that they don't have anything on them about the long-distance Amtrak service to Chicago on which I was riding today. Everything is geared around the Capitol Corridor (San Jose-Sacramento) and San Joaquin (Oakland-Bakersfield) trains. There were people there whom I had to help who had never been on a train but were going to Chicago and didn't know if the train was on time (it was) or anything about it. As Amtrak #6 approached, I told them, "This is your train."
Later in the day, as we left Colfax, I was able to get a few pictures of views you can't get heading west because the westbound track is in a tunnel and misses "Cape Horn" on the original Central Pacific route.
In the early days of railroading here, passenger trains would stop for a few minutes to give passengers a chance to take in the view. Now you only have seconds to get a picture. Fortunately, some of the trees have now been cut back so you can actually see it!
There's another great view of the American River Canyon up the line, and once again you don't have much of a chance to see it. The conductor this time gave passengers a heads up.
There are views like this all along the line.
This trip is worth it just for the scenery.