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FutureStarrA Amtrak San Diego to Los Angeles
A Brief History of Train Travel in the US
The Pacific Surfliner is Amtrak’s passenger train service that runs along the Pacific coast of Southern California, connecting San Luis Obispo to the north with San Diego to the south. The line is among the most famous Amtrak routes due to the unique scenic views it presents, as the train parallels the coastline for large portions of the 268-mile railroad stretch. The Pacific Surfliner offers first-class amenities like onboard restrooms, free WiFi, seats with extra legroom and power outlets, as well as storage racks for surfboards. On average, the service offers 8 train trips from San Diego to Los Angeles every day, and prices for a one-way train ticket start from $35.
Union Station is the main train station in Los Angeles and the largest railroad passenger terminal in the Western United States. The station was opened in 1939 and has become one of California’s busiest transportation hubs, serving more than 100 thousand passengers per day. Every Amtrak route that goes through Los Angeles stops at Union Station. In addition, the area around the station serves as the main bus stop for several bus carriers that conduct trips in and out of the city. Located in Downtown LA, Union Station offers easy transit connections to other parts of the city via three Metro Rail lines and one Metro Busway line, as well as a shuttle service to LAX airport. Union Station also serves as the main LA hub for six lines of Metrolink, Southern California’s primary commuter rail service.
The route is the successor of the San Diegan, a Los Angeles-San Diego service operated since 1938 by the Santa Fe Railway. It had been one of the Santa Fe's premier routes until Amtrak took over operations in 1971. Initially there were three daily trips, but the schedule was expanded to six round trips during the 1970s with funding from the state of California. In 1988 the service was extended to Santa Barbara to provide the Central Coast with an additional train to Los Angeles, followed in 1995 with one trip a day going all the way to San Luis Obispo. To better reflect the route's extent, it was renamed the Pacific Surfliner in 2000.