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Amtrak Route Scrapbooks

Pacific Surfliners

amtk_route_Surfliners The Pacific Surfliner is a 350-mile passenger train route operated by Amtrak, with funding from the California Department of Transportation as part of the Amtrak California network. The Pacific Surfliner serves communities on the coast of Southern California between San Diego and San Luis Obispo. The Los Angeles to San Diego portion of the Pac Surf route was once served by the Santa Fe Railway's San Diegan passenger trains. In 1988, long after Amtrak's takeover of the service, the route was extended to Santa Barbara; in 1995 a one trip a day was added going all the way to San Luis Obispo. By 2000, the name "San Diegan" no longer reflected the entire expanse of the route, so Amtrak renamed renamed the service the Pacific Surfliner. The name honors the legacy of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway's Surf Line. Because the San Diego, San Luis Obispo, and Goleta stations are not equipped to turn equipment, Pac Surf trains are operated in push-pull mode: the locomotive is at the rear of the train, pushing the train from Goleta/San Luis Obispo or San Diego to Los Angeles. At Los Angeles, the train reverses at the station, and pulls the train to San Diego or Goleta/San Luis Obispo, respectively.
Connecting San Luis Obispo and San Diego through Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, the Pacific Surfliner route offers a unique vantage on the Southern California seascape. To get a closer look, you'd have to be on a surfboard, which, believe it or not, you're welcome to bring onboard, since Pacific Surfliner trains have special racks to accommodate the bikes and boards of our more outdoor-minded riders.



Pacific Surfliners route map / web

See also our Coaster commuter collection and our San Diego Trolley collection

Links / Sources

This page was updated on 2016-10-21