The Amtrak Pacific Surfliner travels between San Diego and San Luis Obispo, with stops in Orange County, Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara and other destinations. If you are looking to travel to northern California, or another state, you’d need to connect to another Amtrak route.
What Amtrak trains connect with the Pacific Surfliner?
There are a few long-distance train routes that share one or more stops with the Pacific Surfliner, making it easy to transfer if you are looking to take a longer trip.
Travels between Los Angeles and Seattle, with stops in the Bay area, Sacramento, Portland and other areas. It serves a few of the same stops as the Pacific Surfliner. There is one daily train in each direction. Learn more.
Travels between Los Angeles and Chicago, with stops in Flagstaff, Albuquerque, Kansas City and more. There is one daily train in each direction. Learn more.
The Sunset Limited travels between Los Angeles and New Orleans, with stops in Phoenix, Tucson, San Antonio, and other areas. There are three trains a week in each direction. Learn more. The Texas Eagle travels between Los Angeles, San Antonio, and Chicago. Learn more.
How is the experience on long-distance trains different on the Pacific Surfliner?
Because trip times are generally much longer, long-distance trains have different features than intercity routes like the Pacific Surfliner.
The Pacific Surfliner covers a 351-mile route in Southern California, with service to 29 stations between San Diego and San Luis Obispo. There are 11 round-trips a day between San Diego and Los Angeles, with four round-trips that extend to Santa Barbara and two round-trips that extend to San Luis Obispo.
Long-distance routes cover a larger area, and for this reason, they generally stop at fewer stations in each county, and have fewer trip options. The Coast Starlight, for example, shares the same route as the Pacific Surfliner between Los Angeles and San Luis Obispo, but it only stops at seven stations instead of the 19 stations that the Pacific Surfliner serves, and has one train a day in each direction (but it travels overnight all the way to Seattle).
Pacific Surfliner trains offer Unreserved Coach and Business Class seating.
Long-distance trains, which travel overnight and typically have trips that span multiple days, also offer the option to book private rooms with a convertible bed, in addition to Reserved Coach seating.
The Pacific Surfliner Market Café offers fresh food such as sandwiches and salads, along with pizza, snacks, sweets, and travel accessories. Soft drinks, water, local craft beer, California wines, and cocktails are also available.
Long-distance routes typically have dining cars with sit-down meal service that offer breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus. Lunch and dinner service require reservations. Similar to the Market Café, long-distance trains also typically have a lounge car with grab-and-go items and beverages.
The Unreserved Coach tickets for the Pacific Surfliner offer maximum flexibility, because you can use your ticket to ride an earlier or later train, or ride on a completely different day, without having to make any changes with Amtrak. Use it within one year from the date on the ticket (certain restrictions apply). Business Class, which offers a guaranteed seat, is tied to a specific train, so if plans change, you’d need to call 800-USA-RAIL in advance of your trip.
Long-distance routes are typically all-reserved, meaning you would need to call 800-USA-RAIL and update your reservation regardless of the ticket you purchased.
Most Amtrak routes (including the Pacific Surfliner) allow small dogs and cats onboard with an advanced reservation. The cost varies by route. Pacific Surfliner information is available on our pets page. For long-distance routes, please visit amtrak.com/pets.
Amtrak offers service alerts on the Amtrak app, and also shares updates on Amtrak.com and on the @AmtrakAlerts Twitter account. Alerts about Pacific Surfliner trains are also shared on the @PacSurfliners Twitter account.
Where can I learn more?
If you are looking for a shorter trip where you can explore some of the top destinations in SoCal, continue browsing our website for travel tips, trip ideas, and more. If you are interested in another Amtrak route, please visit Amtrak.com or call 800-USA-RAIL.