<== Site of the Week for 2006-07-10 ==>
Amtrak sneaks through Provo in the wee hours of the morning. Unfortunately, the train no longer sits high in the minds of most Provo vacationers. Personally, I think train is still the best way to see the west and is worth the inconvenience. If you are traveling west toward the Bay Area or to Denver and points east, you should consider leaving the car in the garage, and taking the train.
Provo is served by the California Zephyr. This train runs from Chicago Illinois to Emeryville California in the Bay Area.
The Zephyr's schedule (pdf) is designed to pass through scenic Glenwood Canyon between Glenwood Springs and Denver at the height of the day. The result is that the east bound train passes through Provo at 5:11 AM and the west bound train passes through Provo at 9:45 PM.
In this regards, the west bound train in most convenient. You can eat your dinner in Provo and book a sleeper. You will arrive in the Bay Area about 5:00 PM...which gives you time to get to your hotel in San Francisco or other parts of the Bay Area. The return trip from The Bay lets you get a good night's sleep, then deposits you in Provo in the morning so you can get in a full days work after your trip. The schedule works well for business travelers.
The East Bound ride from Provo is a different matter. You have to get up early. The return trip gets back to Provo late at night. Of course, the trip through Glenwood Canyon makes up for the inconvenience.
You can buy your tickets online. The Amtrak Rail Sales page rarely has sales on western trains.