There’s another attempt underway for an SF-to-LA overnighter that would compete with airline travel, this time a train service, which has made progress on getting access to the existing train tracks the trip would require.

We’ve seen efforts to make an easy and affordable SF-to-LA overnight “sleeper trip” before. In 2016, someone claimed they were launching a overnighter bus called Sleepbus that would only cost $50, but that effort stopped as soon as it started. They rebranded as Cabin a year later, but that too seems to have gone out of business before the pandemic, and now has a defunct website.

The long-touted California high-speed rail has had so many delays that one wonders if it will ever happen, and of course Elon Musk’s Hyperloop idea (which Musk claimed would be able to make the trip in 35 minutes) was sent to the dustbin of history last year.

But someone’s trying to float this concept yet again. KRON4 reports that a Newport Beach-based startup called Dreamstar Lines is making progress on an SF-to-LA overnight sleeping train. While Dreamstar Lines has existed for nearly ten years and has yet to conduct a single trip, KRON4 reports the company has “signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Union Pacific Railroad, paving the way for the two entities to come up with a final agreement that would allow Dreamstar to operate its trains on the tracks owned by Union Pacific.”

“Our collaboration with Union Pacific Railroad is a significant milestone for Dreamstar Lines and for the future of private rail travel in the United States,” Dreamstar Lines CEO Joshua Dominic told KTLA. “By launching this service, we are not only offering a luxurious and eco-friendly travel option but also revitalizing the rich heritage of overnight rail travel in America.”

Image: Dreamstar Lines

The rendering above is obviously unrealistic — these tracks leading to the Golden Gate Bridge do not exist, and they never will. Though SFGate reported last year that the company intended to approach the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board to use Caltrain tracks, so there is an existing track network to make the round trips. But there is no agreement yet with Caltrain, and even the MOU with Union Pacific is by no means a final agreement.

Pricing is not mentioned, so not it’s not clear if Dreamstar Lines is offering a product that would be cheaper than flying.

But they claim the amenities will be very nice. Their website touts a “premium overnight ‘hotel train’” experience, with a few renderings to back this up. The website is only in “Watch This Space” and “Join Our Mailing List” mode, but claims “We are working fast to begin service as early as the summer of 2025 on our first route -- the busy Los Angeles to San Francisco Bay Area travel corridor.”

There are also some vague references in the KRON4 report that you’d eventually be able to bring your car on the train for use on the other side of the trip. But yeah, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. That SFGate report notes that Dreamstar Lines is “working on lining up the railcars, financing, staffing and agreements needed.”

Summer 2025 seems exceedingly optimistic here. So for the time being, this SF-to-LA overnight trip is just a dream.

Related: Take An Overnight SF-to-LA Trip Aboard This Sleeper Pod Bus For Under $50 [SFist]

Image: Dreamstar Lines