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Amtrak San Diegans
Trains #500's & #700's

Photographs, travelogues, accommodations, and other information
about train travel on the Amtrak San Diegans route.

The Amtrak San Diegan Route Name has been replaced by the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner.
The equipment, timetable, and services are different than what is listed below.
Click here for information on the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner.

Trains numbered in the 500's only operate between San Diego and Los Angeles, though they may connect to buses that operate north of Los Angeles. Trains numbered in the 700's operate all the way from San Diego all the way up to either Santa Barbara or San Luis Obispo.

There are three Amtrak California Cars trainsets used on the Amtrak San Diegans as well as numerous Amfleet and Horizon cars. The three Amtrak California Cars trainsets make three northbound runs in the morning and three southbound runs in the late afternoon. Some of the runs go all the way to Santa Barbara. A trip to Santa Barbara on these bi-level Amtrak California Cars can be quite comfortable and enjoyable! Large windows on the upper level make the view all that much more pleasurable.

Click here for more information and photographs of the exterior and interior accommodations of the Amtrak California Cars.

Most of the San Diegan trains have Cafe Car service where sandwiches, snacks, souveniers and alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages are sold. The Amtrak California Cars usually have the new Cafe Car with "Bistro" and full table service available.

Some Additional Information From
Amtrak California Timetable
Effective November 10, 1996
San Diegan Route
San Luis Obispo - Santa Barbara - Ventura
Los Angeles - Orange County - San Diego

Try Upgrading to Custom Class on your next San Diegan trip. For a modest extra charge, you get a reserved seat, free coffee, tea or juice, and a newspaper. Call Amtrak for more information. (Steve's comments: Custom Class is usually an extra $9 each way. For that, you get to sit in the Custom Class car which is usually the car right in front of or right behind the Cafe Car. It is positioned in a way that you will not have the traffic of people in the other coach cars going through your Custom Class Car. For that $9, you get unlimited free coffee, juice and a newspaper. The seats are pretty much the same size as the seats in regular coach, but you get more leg room. Biggest advantage that most people see is that you escape the commotion of kids and other passengers constantly moving up and down the aisles at stations and to get to the Cafe Car. In the Amtrak California Car Express Trains, the Custom Class is quite a bit better. They use a long-distance Superliner Coach Car for the first class passengers instead of an upgraded Amfleet or Horizon car. The Superliner Coach cars are designed to provide maximum comfort on long-distance train trips and are ideal for an upgraded Custom Class. On the Amtrak California Car Express Trains, the regular coach seats barely recline at all. Thus, if you want lots of leg room and reclining seats on an Amtrak California Car Express train, then Custom Class is the only way to go. I usually like to stick with regular Coach on the Amtrak California Car Express Trains because the regular coach cars have very large tables, some with electric outlets for laptop computers, and they also have several single seats with a guaranteed good view out the window! On the Amtrak California Car Express Trains, you have a clear choice to make between which type of seating you would like. Custom Class and Regular Coach is quite different. On the Amfleet and Horizon San Diegans, Custom Class and Regular Coach seating is almost identical.


Grover Beach -- Beginning November 10, 1996, travelers on the San Diegans have a new station stop between San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara -- the first of several new stops planned for the next year.

Grover Beach serves passengers in the Five Cities area of Grover Beach, Pismo Beach, Shell Beach, Oceano and Arroyo Grande. The new station features a passenger shelter in the California Mission Revival style, with graceful arches and a red tile roof.

The new stop, at Highway 1 and Grand Ave., replaces the former Amtrak bus stop in Pismo Beach. Grover Beach is served by the Central Coast San Diegan train, as well as the Central Coast Thruway bus connections.

Carpinteria -- Two daily round trips will provide inbound travelers the opportunity to spend a day at Carpinteria's State Beach. Outbound passengers will have a convenient way to head out of town on a weekend jaunt. Service will begin immediately following the completion on platform construction early in 1997.

Goleta -- By Spring of '97 the new station at Goleta should be complete. All San Diegan trains and buses which serve Santa Barbara will also stop at Goleta. The station will be an easy bike ride for students attending UCSB, as well as convenient for travelers using the Santa Barbara / Goleta airport.

Amtrak Information and Reservations
Call Toll-Free 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245)

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