The Pacific Surfliner (1)

The Pacific Surfliner (1) – US Rail Journeys Series 2 Episode 25

Leaving Los Angeles Union Station:

The Pacific Surfliner (1) opens as I board the train. My morning has been bit fraught as I didn’t realise that you needed ID in order to buy a railway ticket! I had to go back to my hotel, grab my passport and get back to the station to get my ticket and board the train.

At least I make the train with 5 minutes to spare.

It appears that quite a few people board this train instead of the northbound Coast Starlight. The conductor makes an announcement to ensure that there are no stray passengers.

As we leave Los Angeles we pass through an industrial area.


The Pacific Surfliner reaches our first stop at Fullerton. I stopped here on the Southwest Chief nearly two weeks ago. Nearly 400,000 passengers used the station in 2017. We pass through the usual industrial belt as we leave town.


Anaheim is our next stop. This is a very modern looking station. Thruway buses operate from the station for those going to the Disneyland® Resort; Amtrak passengers travel for free.

Santa Ana:

The historic looking station at Santa Ana. The station opened in 1985 and cost $17 million to build. It is amazing as the station looks so traditional. We leave Santa Ana on time!


The next station is Irvine; another modern station opened in 1990.

As we travel south from Irvine we pass through some lovely countryside. The stations come pretty quickly on this line!

San Juan Capistrano:

As we progress south places seem more laid back. At San Juan Capistrano much of the station appears to be a bar-restaurant. It does benefit from some lovely palm trees. The town claims some antique shops, quaint cafes and historic (!) buildings.

San Clemente, Oceanside and Solana Beach:

We return to the coast shortly before we reach San Clemente station. The train stops next to the magnificent pier. If the sun had been shining I might have got out and paddled in the sea.

Our next stop is at the beach community of Oceanside where the weather is certainly getting better.

Our journey along the coast is magnificent.

We soon reach Solana Beach. You really can understand why the Beach Boys made such happy music!

San Diego Old Town

This episode ends as we make the very short stop at San Diego Old Town station.

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Next up:

I hope that you’ve enjoyed this podcast. If so, please join me in two weeks time when I reach San Diego on the Pacific Surfliner , look around the station and then return to  Los Angeles.


To visit the Amtrak website please follow this link.

You can also listen to this podcast on Amazon Music, iTunes/Apple Podcasts, Castbox, Deezer, Podchaser, Spotify and Stitcher.


AKM Music has licensed the theme, Steam Railway, and excerpts from Corporate for use in this podcast.

© The MrT Podcast Studio 2019 – 2021

Author: Tim D

In the early 1970s Mr Timothy & his Phonograph was a popular mobile disco around Leeds University and Tim was known as MrT. Tim also spent 9 years broadcasting a weekly programme on Hospital Radio in Wakefield. He worked for more than 40 years for large industrial organisations and spent his last 15 years in global commercial management roles. Following retirement he started making podcasts in 2017.