Ventura station

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Not to be confused with East Ventura station.
Ventura Amtrak Platform.jpg
Platform in front of freeway embankment
Location 20 W. Harbor Blvd.
Ventura, California 93001
Coordinates 34°16′37″N 119°18′00″W / 34.2770°N 119.2999°W / 34.2770; -119.2999Coordinates: 34°16′37″N 119°18′00″W / 34.2770°N 119.2999°W / 34.2770; -119.2999
Owned by City of Ventura
Platforms 1 side platform
Tracks 1
Connections Downtown – Harbor Trolley
Structure type at-grade
Parking Yes
Bicycle facilities Yes
Disabled access Yes
Other information
Station code VEC
Opened 1992; 25 years ago (1992)
Passengers (2010) 45,385[1]Increase 6.49% (Amtrak)
Preceding station   BSicon LOGO Amtrak2.svg Amtrak   Following station
Pacific Surfliner
Location of the Ventura Amtrak Station.
Location of the Ventura Amtrak Station.
Location within California

Ventura is a passenger rail station in downtown Ventura, California. The station is served by Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner from San Luis Obispo to San Diego. Ten Pacific Surfliner trains serve the station daily. Of the 73 California stations served by Amtrak, Ventura was the 33rd-busiest in FY2010, boarding or detraining an average of approximately 125 passengers daily.[1] The single platform is located on the south of the tracks with a view of the Santa Barbara Channel and the Channel Islands. The Ventura Freeway (Hwy 101) is parallel with and on the north side of tracks.

The Metrolink Ventura County Line terminus is in Montalvo at the East Ventura Metrolink Station since commuters traveling towards Los Angeles are better served by that station and overnight storage of trains in the downtown was impractical.[2] Special service trains may come to this station such as service to the Ventura County Fair, in season.[3]

Platforms and tracks[edit]

Main track  Pacific Surfliner toward San Luis Obispo (Carpinteria)
 Pacific Surfliner toward San Diego-Union Station (Oxnard)
 Coast Starlight No stops

Notable places nearby[edit]

Ventura County Fair at Seaside Park

Historic location[edit]

The platform is located on a portion of Coast Line between the Ventura River and Ash Street that is under franchise from the City of Ventura.[4] Having approved an official map in 1869, the town trustees approved the laying down of tracks on Front Street through the existing townsite. Approval was conditioned on Southern Pacific Branch Railway building and maintaining a depot within the corporate limits.[5] The original train station[6] was located about a half mile east (towards Oxnard) within the Eastern Addition to the town.[7] Ventura Junction where the Ventura and Ojai Valley Railroad Company branched off up along the Ventura River is just west of the station. The rails reached the town of Nordhoff in 1898 and the line was acquired by Southern Pacific Transportation Company in 1899.[8] The Ventura River Parkway Trail has been constructed within the abandoned railroad right-of-way.

E.P. and Orpha Foster donated much of the land for Seaside Park (home of the Ventura County Fair) adjacent to the station. They envisioned this broad flat area as a beautiful gateway to Ventura, where families could walk, picnic, and enjoy family outings.[9]

The large parking lot across Harbor Boulevard from the station is the former site of Babe Ruth Field.[10] The minor-league team games that played there from 1948 to 1955[11] were appreciated by the adjacent neighborhood called Tortilla Flats.[12] This neighborhood was eliminated with the construction of the freeway but is remembered with a mural project in the Figueroa Street freeway underpass, at the east end of the station,[13][14] that leads to the Mission San Buenaventura Historic District and downtown.

A car carrier trailer leaving the fairgrounds with vintage Porsche automobiles "high-centered" as it crossed the tracks near the station and became stranded in 2004. Although the police notified Union Pacific, there was just enough time to get the driver out of the truck cab that was pulling the car-carrier before the collision. A northbound freight train hit the center of the trailer scattering the vintage cars alongside the tracks.[15][16]

Coastal Access[edit]

The station is on the Pacific Coast Bicycle Route and also serves as an access point for California Coastal Trail.[17] Figueroa Street leads down to beachfront Promenade Park and Surfers' Point at Seaside Park. The promenade is a walking/bike trail that leads down coast to San Buenaventura State Beach after passing underneath the second oldest pier in California. Up coast the path leads to Emma Wood State Beach and has been designated the Omer Rains Bike Trail.[18] Beachwalkers will find sand and cobble beaches while walking to these state parks. While crossing the sand bar at the mouth of the Ventura River may be possible, the bike route is an alternate route for walkers.[17] The rustic railroad bridge over the river has been an attractive and apparent short-cut but the curve in the middle of the river limits visibility for this illegal and dangerous river crossing.[19]


  1. ^ a b "Amtrak Fact Sheet, FY2010, State of California" (PDF). Amtrak. November 2010. Retrieved 2011-01-06.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  2. ^ BLAKE, CATHERINE (October 11, 1999) "Officials Revise Plan for Ventura Metrolink Station" Los Angeles Times Collections: Railroad Stations
  3. ^ "Train Web: Ventura". 
  4. ^ California Public Utilities Code Section 7555 Accessed 13 March 2014
  5. ^ Board of Town Trustees "Ordinance No. 16" Town of San Buenaventura. Adopted 4th day of October, 1886. Accessed 9 January 2014.
  6. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Southern Pacific Station
  7. ^ "MAP OF THE ADDITION TO TOWN OF SAN BUENA VENTURA" 2 MR 142. Ventura County Recorder Approved by the Town Board of Trustees June 5, 1876. Recorded 1887. Retrieved January 8, 2014 from CountyView GIS: layer "Record Maps"
  8. ^ Valuation Department "Right of way and track map: Ojai Branch Ventura Jct. to Ojai V 49-1 (formerly V 19)" Southern Pacific Company San Francisco, California
  9. ^ Mildred Ranger Schofield, "PARKS DEPARTMENT HISTORY" Appended section: A BRIEF HISTORY OF EUGENE P. FOSTER. COUNTY OF VENTURA PARKS DEPARTMENT Website. Accessed 9 January 2014
  10. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Babe Ruth Field
  11. ^ Minor League Ballparks. Baseball-Reference. Retrieved 2011-10-27.
  12. ^ Clerici, Kevin (February 18, 2011) "Ventura's Phil the Barber dies at age 96" Ventura County Star
  13. ^ "Tortilla Flats" (2008) by MB Hanrahan and Moses Mora Public Art in Public Places Project. Accessed 27 January 2014
  14. ^ "Tortilla Flats", Artwork by MB Hanrahan (2008) Accessed January 28, 2014
  15. ^ Staff (September 13, 2004). "Vintage Porsches Wrecked by Train". Los Angeles Times. 
  16. ^ "Car-Carrier Loaded With Vintage Porsches Hit by Train". November 10, 2008. 
  17. ^ a b California Coastal Trail Hiker's Guide: Ventura County Section 4 Map. Accessed 26 January 2014
  18. ^ "Biking in California State Parks" California Department of Parks and Recreation website. Accessed 10 January 2014
  19. ^ Green, Nick (April 21, 1996) "Woman Killed by Train on Bridge Over Ventura River" Los Angeles Times

External links[edit]