AMTRAK’S PACIFIC SURFLINER ROUTE Five Years Old
Report and photos, cxcept where noted, by Carl@TrainWeb.com, June 1,
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AMTRAK’S PACIFIC SURFLINER
“CELEBRATING FIVE YEARS OF EASY GOING”
Ridership Will Hit 10 Million Passengers In June, 2005
OAKLAND, Calif. – On June 1, 2005, California and Amtrak celebrated
“five years of easy going” aboard the terrifically popular Pacific
Surfliner. Scenic views, great destinations, frequent
modern equipment, and stress-free travel are the five top reasons why
the soon-to-be-five Pacific Surfliner is the most popular train in the
“In addition to the top five reasons, the success of the Pacific
Surfliner can also be attributed to the strong partnership among
State of California, Metrolink, Coaster, local convention and visitors’
bureaus, public agencies and communities along the route,” said Barbara
Richardson, vice president of Amtrak marketing and sales.
“Because of their support, the Pacific
Surfliner’s ridership continues
“Caltrans, Amtrak and Metrolink have enjoyed five strong years of
operation,” said Will Kempton, Director, California Department of
Transportation. “Thanks to our partnership, we have been able to
provide more rail travel opportunities on the busy Los Angeles to San
Luis Obispo corridor and that has helped to relieve congestion on
Formerly known as the San Diegan,
the Pacific Surfliner has
nearly 9.8 million passengers since the new service was launched in
June of 2000 and is expected to reach 10 million passengers next
month. Ridership on the route has increased 52% since FY99, when
Amtrak and the State of California invested in new train sets
Equipment/On Board Experience
Surfliner equipment enables passengers
to travel to their destinations in a comfortable and scenic
environment. Passengers can relax in wide comfortable seats, look
out the large panoramic windows and take advantage of on-board bicycle
and surfboard storage racks. Business and leisure travelers can
use outlets for laptop computers at every seat pair in Pacific Business
Class. All trains are fully compliant with the Americans with
With 11 daily round trips (12 on weekends) between
Los Angeles and San Diego, five extending to Santa Barbara and two
extending to San Luis Obispo there are many options for train
travelers. An additional round trip between Los Angeles and
Goleta was added on May 25, 2002. The latest round trip was added
on November 17, 2004 to San Luis Obispo.
There are many great destinations to visit along the
Pacific Surfliner route
Angeles – Union Station is located across the street from
Street, an historic Mexican marketplace.
* Anaheim – The station is
located across the parking lot from Angel
Stadium, and two miles from Disneyland Resort, Disney California
Adventure theme parks and Downtown Disney.
* San Luis Obispo – A popular
destination with plenty to see such as
Hearst Castle, Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, Edna Valley and Paso
Robles wine regions, and Thursday night Farmer's Market.
* Santa Barbara – A perfect
weekend getaway with sites within walking
distance from the train station including the State Street shopping
district, Stearns Wharf and the beach.
* San Diego – Fun for the
whole family with attractions like Balboa
Park, Sea World“, Seaport Village, the Midway Carrier Museum and the
World Famous San Diego Zoo“.
There is no shortage of scenic views on the Pacific
Surfliner route. The Pacific
Surfliner hugs the Pacific coastline
allowing passengers to view beaches, surfers, dolphins and amazing
sunsets from the panoramic windows aboard the train.
Rail 2 Rail
Due to the popularity of the service, Amtrak
and Metrolink launched the
Rail 2 Rail program in
September 2002 allowing Metrolink monthly
holders (Orange County or Ventura County Lines) to ride any Pacific
Surfliner train or Amtrak
bus within the trip limits of their pass for
no additional charge. In April 2004, Amtrak announced the
inclusion of the North San Diego County Transit District (NCTD) and its
Coaster trains to the Rail 2 Rail program.
Amtrak provides intercity passenger rail services to more than 500
destinations in 46 states on a 22,000-mile route system. For
schedules, fares and information, passengers may call 800-USA-RAIL or
About California Department of
The California Department of Transportation partners with Amtrak to
provide service on three intercity rail corridors in California.
Through a $75-million-per-year annual state operating assistance
program and the largest capital assistance program in the nation, the
State's Division of Rail supports service between the Bay Area and
Sacramento on the Capitol Corridor,
between San Francisco/Oakland and
Bakersfield on the San Joaquins
and, in Southern California, between
San Diego and San Luis Obispo via Los Angeles and Santa Barbara on the
Pacific Surfliner. The
California Corridors, operated under the
partnership banner Amtrak California,
are the busiest in the nation
behind the Washington - Boston Northeast Corridor.
Metrolink is Southern
California's regional commuter rail service and
is in its 13th year of operations. The Southern California
Regional Rail Authority, a joint powers authority made up of an
11-member board representing the transportation commissions of Los
Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties,
governs the service. Metrolink
continues to be one of the
nation's fastest growing commuter rail services, operating over seven
routes through a six-county network with 512 total route miles.
Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner corridor
miles, through 32 cities and six counties from San Diego to San Luis
Obispo. There are 11 daily round-trips between San Diego-Los
Angeles (12 on weekends), with five daily round-trips continuing north
to Santa Barbara, with two roundtrips extending to San Luis
Coach Seating (above).
Northbound Surfliner on the bluffs just south of Del Mar
--Seven Photos above text provided by
Sarah Swain, Amtrak
WHAT: Event to celebrate the 5th
Anniversary of Pacific Surfliner service
WHEN: Wednesday - June 1, 2005 at
WHERE: Anaheim Amtrak Station, 2150 E. Katella
WHO: Amtrak, California Department of
Transportation & the City of Anaheim
*Chris Norby, County Supervisor & OCTA Board Member
* Gil Mallery, Vice President,
Strategic Planning & Contract Admin. - Amtrak
Gil gave special thanks to the employees of the Pacific Surfliner, who
have made the Surfliner the success that it is. This corridor is
the 2nd largest in the US in passengers. He also mentioned that 5
years ago the name of these trains was changed from San Diegans to
Surfliners and accommodations were made on each car for surfboards and
bicycles. He said there has been a 52% increase in ridership, and
in June the 10 millionth rider will board the train.
* Richard Chavez, Mayor Pro Tem
– City of Anaheim
Mr. Chavez mentioned that there will be 10,000 residential units added
near the Anaheim Amtrak Station.
* Art Brown, Chair - LOSSAN
& Metrolink Board of Directors
Mr. Brown mentioned that the Rail to Rail program provides passengers
with more choices, such as the ability to return to their home station
during the day, before the Metrolinks start evening service. He
mentioned that OCTA will provide $20 million for improvement of grade
crossings. A pedestrian bridge is to be added at Santa Ana.
* Charles Ahlers, President –
Anaheim Convention & Visitors Bureau
Mr. Ahlers stressed that the Pacific Surfliners are not only convenient
for trips to Los Angeles and San Diego, but for Angels baseball fans to
get to the games at the Anaheim stadium just across the parking lot
from the station where today's ceremonies are being held.
* Frank Murphy, Transport
Director of Business Development - ALSTOM
ALSTOM built the original Surfliner trainsets. They also build
the TCB trains used in Europe and Asia. He worked with Gil
Mallery to develop the Surfliner trainsetss. The designers dubbed
the combination cab car and baggage car the "Cabbage Car." Early
designers suggested a second-level restroom, something that was sorely
needed on earlier double-level Amtrak coaches, which are still being
used on the Coast Starlight. Gil later mentioned that it takes 24
to 36 months to build the Surfliner cars.
* Claire Bilby, Senior Vice
President - Disneyland Resorts.
"Our guests take the train to Disneyland, which is 50 years old this
year." Claire also mentioned that when Walt Disney first drew the
cartoon character, Mickey Mouse, he was on a train.
Mickey Mouse brought a proclamation from Toontown to be
read by Ms. Bilby.
* Will Kempton, Director -
California Department of Transportation
He stressed that this Amtrak corridor is the 2nd busiest in the
U.S. The next half decade passengers per year should
increase to 3.5 million. A Platinum Trianle is being
developed in the Anaheim Area.
* Tom Mulligan works with the dispatchers in from Omaha, NB.
Presentations were made in honor of the Pacific Surfliner's
Conductor George Raney spoke in behalf of the
original Surfliner employees.
Gil Mallery gave each presenter a large copy of the Surfliner's 5th
anniversary celebration logo:
Visitors from the south boarded the next
Pacific Surfliner to
The report and photographs from the earlier celebration of the 5
millionth rider on the Pacific
can be seen at:
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