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Rail journey: San Diego to San Luis Obispo, California

A great escape awaits you. Journey along the coast on the Pacific Surfliner to top destinations, including beautiful beaches, diverse culinary offerings, and popular cultural and tourist attractions.

The Pacific Surfliner skirts 350 miles along California’s Pacific Coast between the towns of San Diego and San Luis Obispo. Skimming the gleaming coastline and the Pacific Coast Highway, the Surfliner passes the narrow Simi Valley towards the Santa Susanna Mountains and the Simi Hills. Leaving Los Angeles, the train then runs parallel with the Old Pacific Highway before re-joining the Californian waves and various coastal towns before nudging into San Diego.
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San Diego is America’s eighth largest city, but it has a gloriously relaxed vibe. Head to Balboa Park, a vast cultural center with 17 museums and a world-renowned zoo. Downtown has the buzzing Gaslamp Quarter, while Embarcadero area is home to whale watching harbor cruises, the USS- Midway Museum and Maritime Museum. San Luis Obispo lays claim to being ‘America’s happiest city’ with its sunny climate, student population and nearby wineries.
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The Pacific Surfliner is a 350-mile (560 km) passenger train service operated by Amtrak, serving the communities on the coast of Southern California between San Diego and San Luis Obispo.

The service carried 2,924,117 passengers during fiscal year 2016, a 3.4% increase from FY2015. Total revenue during FY2016 was $73,020,267, an increase of 3.6% over FY2015. The Pacific Surfliner was Amtrak's third-busiest service (exceeded in ridership only by the Northeast Regional and Acela Express), and the busiest outside the Northeast Corridor.

[post_ads]The Los Angeles-San Diego portion of the Pacific Surfliner route was once served by the Santa Fe Railway's San Diegan passenger trains until Amtrak took over operations. Initially there were three daily trips, but in 1976 the schedule was expanded. In 1988 the service was extended to Santa Barbara, followed in 1995 with one trip a day going all the way to San Luis Obispo. As the name "San Diegan" no longer reflected the extent of the route, it was renamed the Pacific Surfliner in 2000. The route is named after the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway's Surf Line.


Like all regional trains in California, the Pacific Surfliner is operated by a joint powers authority. The Los Angeles – San Diego – San Luis Obispo (LOSSAN) Rail Corridor Agency is governed by a board that includes eleven elected representatives from the counties the train travels through. LOSSAN contracts with the Orange County Transportation Authority to provide day-to-day management of the service and with contracts with Amtrak to operate the service and maintain the rolling stock (locomotives and passenger cars). The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) provides the funding to operate the service and also owns some of the rolling stock.

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Travel Gallery: Rail journey: San Diego to San Luis Obispo, California
Rail journey: San Diego to San Luis Obispo, California
A great escape awaits you. Journey along the coast on the Pacific Surfliner to top destinations, including beautiful beaches, diverse culinary offerings, and popular cultural and tourist attractions.
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