Pacific Surfliner

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Pacific Surfliner
Pacific Surfliner @ San Clemente CA..jpg
A Pacific Surfliner enters San Clemente, California.
Overview
Service type Inter-city rail, higher speed rail
Status Operational
Locale Southern California
First service June 1, 2000
Current operator(s) Amtrak
Caltrans
Ridership 7,635 daily
2,786,972 total (FY11)[1]
Website Pacific Surfliner Train
Route
Start San Luis Obispo, California
Stops 27
End San Diego, California
Distance travelled 350 miles (563 km)
Average journey time 8 hours 15 minutes
Train number(s) Southbound: 562, 564, 566, 768, 572, 774, 580, 582, 784, 790/1790, 796
Northbound: 761/1761, 763, 565, 567, 769, 573, 777, 579, 583, 785, 591, 595, 597
Thruway bus: 5804, 5818, 5801, 5811[2]
On-board services
Class(es) Business and Unreserved Coach Class
Seating arrangements Surfliner bi-level cars
Catering facilities Seaview Café Car
Technical
Rolling stock EMD F59PHI locomotives
"Surfliner" Cars
Superliner I/II coaches
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)

The Pacific Surfliner is a 350-mile (560 km) Amtrak regional train route serving communities on the coast of Southern California between San Diego and San Luis Obispo. It is part of the Amtrak California series of trains.

The service carried nearly 2.8 million passengers during fiscal year 2011, a 6.6% increase from FY2010. Total revenue during FY2011 was $55,317,127, an increase of 11.7% over FY2010.[1] The Pacific Surfliner was Amtrak's third-busiest service, and the busiest outside the Northeast Corridor.[1]

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 re-named the Pacific Surfliner in 2000.[3] The route is named after the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway's Surf Line.

Operations[edit]

On the northernmost part, there are four trains per day in each direction (out of the 11 total trains per day); frequency is greater on the Los Angeles-San Diego segment (seven trains a day only do the southern section, all 11 do the southern section). Thruway Motorcoach connections are available between Santa Barbara, California and Paso Robles during hours when that part of the Coast Line track is in use by freight trains.

Because the San Diego, San Luis Obispo, and Goleta stations are not equipped to turn equipment, trains are operated in push-pull mode. The locomotive is at the rear of the train, pushing the train from Goleta/San Luis Obispo or San Diego to Los Angeles. At Los Angeles, the train reverses the station, and pulls the train to San Diego or Goleta/San Luis Obispo, respectively. A project is currently being prepared for run-through tracks at Union Station in Los Angeles.[4][5]

The 350-mile (563 km) San Luis Obispo-San Diego trip takes approximately 8½ hours; maximum track speed is 79 to 90 miles per hour (127 to 145 km/h). Much of the Pacific Surfliner's scenic route follows the Pacific coast, although trains travel inland through industrial backlots and expansive farmlands to traverse the Los Angeles Basin and San Fernando Valley. The Pacific Surfliner operates 11 daily trains between Los Angeles and San Diego on weekdays, 12 on weekends.

Though operated by Amtrak, the Pacific Surfliner is primarily financed by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and is operated under the Amtrak California brand. In 1989, local agencies along with the host railroads formed the Los Angeles–San Diego-San Luis Obispo Rail Corridor Agency (LOSSAN).[6] Recently, there has been discussion regarding the local agencies administering the service.[7] As of 2007, the route recovers 63% of its operating expenses through ticket sales.[8]

Stations served[edit]

Amtrak Pacific Surfliner (interactive map)

Rolling stock[edit]

Sample consist
April 27, 2013
Location San Diego, CA
Train Southbound #572
  • P42DC AMTK #167
  • Surfliner Pacific Business Class CDTX #6852 "Elysian Park"
  • Surfliner coach/café AMTK #6302 "Carbon Canyon"
  • Surfliner coach AMTK #6406 "Laguna Beach"
  • Superliner I coach AMTK #34960 "Sequoia Grove"
  • Superliner II coach AMTK #34105
  • Surfliner coach/baggage/cab AMTK #6904 "Point Sur"
April 8, 2013
Location Los Angeles, CA
Train Northbound #761
  • P42DC AMTK #10
  • Amfleet I coach AMTK #82710
  • Horizon club-dinette (business/café) AMTK #58108
  • Horizon coach AMTK #54552
  • Amfleet I coach AMTK #82570
  • Amfleet I coach AMTK #82580
  • Amfleet I coach AMTK #82620
  • Non-Powered Control Unit (cab/baggage) AMTK #90230
[9]
Coach/baggage/cab car (AMTK #6905) leading the Pacific Surfliner in Lake Forest, CA.
Lower-level seating on a Pacific Surfliner "Pacific Business Class" car.

The Pacific Surfliner uses a fleet of "Surfliner" bi-level, high-capacity passenger cars owned by Amtrak (AMTK) and the California Department of Transportation (CDTX). Each trainset has a business class car, three coach cars, a coach/café car with food sales on the lower level, and a coach/baggage/cab car equipped with coach seating, a checked baggage space on the lower level, and engineer's operating cab and headlights on one end, allowing the train to be operated in push-pull mode. [9]

The "Surfliner" cars used on the route are painted in a blue and silver livery that is unique to the Pacific Surfliner. "Surfliner" cars are equipped with overhead luggage racks, reclining seats with tray tables and footrests, reading lights, restrooms, AmtrakConnect WiFi, 120v power outlets, and a wheelchair ramp.[10]

High ridership on the Pacific Surfliner led officials to add a third coach to most trainsets. But due to a lack of "Surfliner" coaches, Superliner coaches from Amtrak's long-distance fleet are often used on the route. Because these Superliner coaches lack automatic doors they are usually placed between the cab car and "Surfliner" coach car.

Car shortages have also led Amtrak to operate one single-level trainset on the Pacific Surfliner consisting of a 6 Amfleet I or Horizon coach cars, a Horizon club-dinette car providing business class seating and food sales, and a Non-Powered Control Unit (an old F40PH locomotive converted to serve as a cab/baggage car.) [9]

All Pacific Surfliner trains are pulled by Amtrak-owned locomotives. Amtrak maintains a dedicated fleet of 15 EMD F59PHI locomotives painted to match the livery of the "Surfliner" cars. Locomotives from the long-distance fleet are often used, including the P42DC.

Route notes[edit]

Amtrak's Thruway Motorcoach bus service connects passengers from Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo to Solvang, Buellton, Lompoc, Grover Beach, Atascadero and Paso Robles.[11]

Track hosts[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Amtrak Ridership Rolls Up Best-Ever Records" (PDF). Amtrak. 13 October 2011. Retrieved 7 February 2012. 
  2. ^ Pacific Surfliner Schedule, effective April, 1, 2013
  3. ^ Gabbard, Dana (September 24, 2012). "History of the Surfliner, LOSSAN and a Look at Pending Legislation"". STREETSBLOG LA. OpenPlans. Retrieved 11 April 2014. 
  4. ^ "Los Angeles Union Station Run-Through Tracks Project". Federal Railroad Administration. Retrieved 2013-07-03. 
  5. ^ "Regional Rail Capital Funding Plan For FY 2012-13" (pdf). Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority. July 18, 2012. Retrieved 2013-07-03. 
  6. ^ "The Los Angeles – San Diego – San Luis Obispo (LOSSAN) Rail Corridor Agency" (PDF). San Luis Obispo Council of Governments. Retrieved 2009-12-06. 
  7. ^ "LOSSAN Board discusses JPA and the Future Governance of Passenger Rail in Southern California". Rail Passenger Association of California & Nevada. Retrieved 2009-12-06. 
  8. ^ Lam Nguyen (2008-09-23). "FY 2007-08 Rail Operations Report" (PDF). State of California Department of Transportation. 
  9. ^ a b c "Amtrak - Pacific Surfliner". Retrieved 2013-06-29. 
  10. ^ "Inside the Pacific Surfliner". Retrieved 30 June 2013. 
  11. ^ Amtrak (2007-04-02). "Pacific Surfliner timetable" (PDF). Retrieved 2007-06-15. 

External links[edit]

Route map: Google / Bing