Let's work together to keep people safe and away from railroad tracks. Not only can it save lives, but it will also allow us to continue carrying passengers through some of the most scenic stretches of Southern California. 

Along 351 miles of coastal tracks spanning San Diego to San Luis Obispo, our trains travel over historic bridges, through bustling downtowns, and even into beautiful areas not accessible by car. 

These tracks are not only used by the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner, but also by freight, commuter and long-distance trains, day and night. Please do not use the tracks as your own personal shortcut, jogging trail, or photo backdrop. You never know when a train weighing 540+ tons is going to roll through, and you might not hear it until it’s too late. 

Instead, respect the rails, for your own safety and others!



The Pacific Surfliner proudly supports Operation Lifesaver and its efforts to educate the public about rail safety. Click the link to learn more about the important things you can do to remain safe around the rails. Learn more.

Here are some easy ways to respect the rails:

  • Cross train tracks only at designated pedestrian or roadway crossings, and obey all warning signs and signals posted there.
  • Stay alert around railroad tracks. Don’t do anything that would prevent you from hearing an approaching train, such as listening to headphones or talking on the phone.
  • When boarding the Pacific Surfliner, stay behind the designated safety line on the station platform.
  • To report an emergency at a train crossing, locate the Emergency Notification System sign (posted at or near the crossing) and call the number provided.
  • Report suspicious items, persons, or activity immediately to the Amtrak Police Department by approaching a uniformed officer, calling (800) 331-0008, sending a text to APD11 (27311), or by calling 911. Enter these numbers in your cellphone.



Did you know?

  • Being on the Tracks is Illegal! Train tracks are private property. Walking, biking, jogging and standing on or next to them is considered trespassing. With court and penalty assessments, a first-time offender may have to pay nearly $400.
  • You Might Not Hear the Train Coming. Sometimes, the engine is at the back of the train, meaning you might not hear it until it is very close. Also, the train may not sound its horn as it approaches your location.
  • Trains Can’t Stop Quickly. It can take a train more than a mile to come to a complete stop.
  • Always Expect a Train. Trains can move in either direction at any time, and there may be multiple train tracks. Plus, trains don't always run on a schedule, particularly freight trains.



What happens to train service when a trespasser incident occurs?

Unfortunately, trespasser incidents do occasionally occur in Southern California, and when they do, they affect not only the person who was trespassing on the tracks, but also the train crew, passengers, bystanders, and their families. When an engineer sees someone on or near the tracks in an unauthorized area, he or she sounds the train horn and, if necessary, applies the emergency brakes. However, trains can take more than a mile to come to a complete stop, especially when traveling at higher speeds. That is why it’s so important to stay away from train tracks, crossing them only at designated pedestrian or roadway crossings and obeying all warning signs and signals. When an incident does occur:

  • The engineer and/or conductor call to request appropriate emergency response teams, and provide initial treatment to the victim until first responders arrive.
  • The train is held at the incident location and tracks are closed in the area while local authorities conduct a full investigation, which can take 2 hours or more depending on the severity of the incident.
  • A relief crew consisting of a new engineer and conductor generally has to be dispatched from Los Angeles, San Diego or San Luis Obispo to take over operation of the train for the rest of the trip.
  • Passengers on the affected train must stay onboard until the train is released by law enforcement officials, after which it travels to a location where it is safe to disembark. Passengers are then generally transferred to other trains.
  • No trains are can travel through the area until the tracks reopen.
  • The track closures can lead to residual delays to other trains throughout the day, especially in areas where there are multiple train services or where there is only a single track. The LOSSAN Rail Corridor Agency works to receive information from Amtrak and sends out alerts on Twitter (@PacSurfliners) to inform passengers of delays, cancellations and other updates.

If you are on a train that experiences a severe service disruption, check Twitter for updates and know that we are doing everything we can to address the situation safely, diligently, and swiftly.