Goodness! I'm sorry about that ending, but it sounds like an all right train journey. I've only been on a train during a pedestrian death once, but they're not rare. Lots of rail workers have PTSD because of them. The NY MTA has to provide special mental health services to drivers, because most of them have played a role in someone's death.
I've actually done the Coast Starlight SF-LA in coach myself, and Portland-SF in a sleeper. The first class / sleeper setup is pretty fantastic. Until very recently, there were complimentary champagne and cheese tastings in first class. Now the federal government has specifically banned serving complimentary alcohol to rail passengers, so it costs $5 or something nominal. The wifi in the first class lounge is decent, as train wifi goes (better than the Northeast Corridor, anyway). There's a movie theater downstairs as well, though it mostly plays terrible Adam Sandler movies.
I'm sorry you had that experience, but I hope you get to see Kevin again. Thanks for reporting!