Sunday, July 14, 2013


I have had a lifelong love of trains. I love everything about traveling by train. I am so happy to be somewhere with legitimate short and medium distance travel opportunities by train. Metrolink trains connect commuter areas in and around LA with several trains running around rush hour times. Further afield, frequent trains run between LA and San Diego and LA and San Luis Obispo. Less frequent routes connect LA to Seattle, Chicago, and New Orleans.

I love how relaxed train travel is. There are no security lines to go through, you can bring anything reasonable on board with you, you can be escorted to the platform by friends/family, and they only recommend you arrive 30 minutes before hand for long trips and 15 minutes early for short trips. They don't even check your ticket until you are sitting on the train on your way.

On the train! Nice roomy seats and it is so clean it shines!

The biggest complaints I hear about Amtrak are the delays, but I've ran into no worse delays on a train than while flying. Plus when there is a delay on the train, you can walk around, go get some coffee and a muffin in the cafe car, and go to the bathroom, unlike being stuck strapped in sitting on the tarmac for an hour.

I do love the aerial views from the plane, but trains offer unique views as well. Most trains run through areas you never see from a car. They run through remote areas with nothing around for miles. They run directly through small towns. They run within spitting distance of people's homes. You have a reprieve from billboards, fast food venues, and gas stations that line interstates and get to glimpse a better picture of the local geography and culture. And on the LA to San Diego route you travel directly along the beach!

View from train! I had to get an off center photo with the window frame in it to prove just how close the train runs along the beach.
Then there are also the beautiful old train stations. LA Union Station is great (just be prepared for the large residency of homeless folks). San Diego downtown station is quaint and pleasant.

courtyard at San Diego Santa Fe (downtown) station