Coronavirus Updates and Pacific Surfliner Service Adjustments
To help our customers navigate through this situation, we’ve gathered important information, including ticketing policies, service impacts, and more. Please check back for updates.
With an Unreserved Coach ticket, you have the flexibility to change the train you ride or even the day you ride between the stations listed on your ticket. There is no need to contact Amtrak to modify your reservation. Simply save your ticket and use it at a later date (up to one year from the date listed on your ticket). If you have a Business Class reservation, you will need to modify your trip (at no cost) in advance. If you want to cancel your reservation, call 800-USA-RAIL. Because of the coronavirus disruption, Amtrak has made the following changes to its cancellation and change fee policy:
- Individual Travelers: Change fees and cancellation fees are waived upon request through May 31, 2020.
- Group Travelers (20+ passengers): Cancellation fees are waived upon request through May 31, 2020.
- Multi-Ride Ticket Holders (Monthly and 10-ride tickets): Cancellation fees are waived upon request through May 31, 2020, and refunds will be prorated based on the number of unused rides.
Effective March 19, the state of California instituted an executive order for residents to stay at home except for essential needs. Under this order, the Pacific Surfliner is considered an “essential service”, and will continue to operate as long as it is safe and sensible to do so.
That said, Pacific Surfliner trains are now following a temporarily reduced schedule. This is a dynamic situation, so other changes to the schedule can be made if, for example, there are not enough crew members available or if public health conditions change in the area.
Staffed Station Updates
Changes have been made at many of the stations along the Pacific Surfliner route to maintain the safety of passengers and station staff, and also address the significant drop in ridership.
- Temporary Facility Closures: The San Juan Capistrano and Solana Beach stations are closed until further notice. Trains are still serving the station according to the schedule. However, passengers do not have access to the inside of the station building, including the Amtrak ticket window. Tickets should be purchased in advance online, on the Amtrak app, 800-USA-RAIL, or the Quik-Track machine (located outside of the station). Passengers who require assistance should board at the nearest staffed station (listed below).
- Ticket Window Closures: The Amtrak ticket window at the Anaheim and Irvine are closed until further notice, but the station facilities (waiting area, restrooms, etc.) remain open and trains continue to serve the station. Tickets should be purchased in advance online, on the Amtrak app, 800-USA-RAIL, or the Quik-Trak machines. Please note that baggage service is unavailable to or from these stations. Passengers who require assistance should board at the nearest staffed station (listed below).
- Partial Facility Closure: Los Angeles Union Station has undergone a partial closure and is currently only open to ticketed passengers. The Amtrak ticket window is still open.
- Modified Hours: Other stations will still be staffed by Amtrak agents, but with modified hours to align with the temporary reduction in service. These stations may open later in the morning and close earlier in the evening: San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Oxnard, Van Nuys, Los Angeles Union Station, Fullerton, Santa Ana, Oceanside, and Santa Fe Depot.
Please observe a minimum of six feet of distance while at the stations.
Other Service Impacts
We will make every effort to provide as much notice as possible about any changes to the service on this page and the PacSurfliners Twitter account. Upcoming adjustments include the following:
- Cashless Payments Only: Amtrak has made the decision to only accept credit and debit cards at stations and onboard trains for the health and safety of passengers and crews.
- Food and Beverage Sales: The onboard Market Café will temporarily stop selling certain items to address a change in demand and also limit the amount of handling that is required for the safety of our passengers and crews. Grab-and-go snacks will still be available, as well as bottled and canned beverages. Customers may also bring their own food and non-alcoholic drinks onboard. Further changes are possible, including the suspension of food and beverage sales.
- Baggage Service: Some stations may be unable to offer baggage service. However, passengers may still bring two pieces of luggage and two personal items onto the train. Passengers requiring assistance should call 800-USA-RAIL in advance of their trip.
- Business Class: An attendant will still be available to answer questions, however, adjustments will be made to the complimentary food and drink service. Options will be modified to allow customers to self-serve pre-packaged snacks and bottled water, instead of being served, for the safety of passengers and crews. Coffee service is suspended.
- Thruway Bus Ticketing: Amtrak Thruway bus drivers will no longer accept a valid ID to serve in place of a ticket until one can be purchased at a following station stop. Passengers must prepay for tickets prior to boarding – by phone, in station, online, or using the Amtrak app.
Safety and Cleaning
The following measures are in place to maintain a safe environment on board trains and at stations:
- Face Coverings Now Required: Amtrak is requiring that all customers in stations, on trains and Thruway buses wear facial coverings that cover their nose and mouth. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the use of simple cloth facial coverings or masks to slow the spread of the virus and prevent transmission. Customers must supply their own facial covering. Small children who are not able to maintain a facial covering are exempt from this requirement. Please visit the CDC website for detailed instructions on how to make your own facial covering.
- Enhancing cleaning protocols: Amtrak has increased the frequency of cleaning service on all trains and at stations to multiple times a day, and in some cases, on an hourly basis. Crews have increased the use of disinfectants to wipe down handrails, doorknobs, handles and surfaces.
- Increasing supplies of disinfectant products: The quantity of sanitizers and disinfectant wipes available for customers and employees has been increased throughout the trains and at stations.
- Reinforcing good hygiene practices: Amtrak is regularly sharing with employees and customers best practices on ways to protect against communicable diseases.
Personal Safety Tips
Follow the guidelines below to help prevent the spread of viruses like COVID-19, flu, or common cold:
- Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (long enough to sing “Happy Birthday” twice). If you can’t wash your hands, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- When sneezing or coughing, use tissues and promptly dispose of them or cover your mouth with your sleeve or elbow.
- Avoid touching your hands, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Stay at home if you are feeling ill.
If you think you may have been exposed to coronavirus, you should contact your healthcare provider immediately.
More information is available through the CDC and the California Department of Public Health.
Again, safety is our top priority. This situation is changing rapidly, and we want to make our best efforts to keep our passengers safe and provide reliable transportation. Thank you for your cooperation in keeping our community healthy.