Amtrak Pacific Surfliner (Los Angeles to San Juan Capistrano)

I’ve taken the route of the Pacific Surfliner before and the section between San Diego and San Juan Capistrano is perhaps one of the most beautiful in the world as the train glides along by the beach. The section between Los Angeles and San Juan Capistrano is still intriguing, although rather less so in the dark….

I only just caught this train as I was fortunate that the Megabus arrived in just a little early into Los Angeles. The Amtrak ticket desk also fortunately had a short queue and then so with a few minutes to spare I was able to take a seat on board. It’s a double decker (Dylan would like that) and as spacious as the other Amtrak services that I’ve taken. There’s a cafe car and there were no shortage of seats on the journey, although it was still relatively busy.

I did wonder whether customers are allowed to buy tickets on board, but I decided against risking that. However, I found out the answer as the passenger in front of me hadn’t purchased one, and apparently the answer is that these tickets are twice the usual cash price. The conductor phoned Amtrak customer service to discuss something about the ticket price, although I unfortunately couldn’t hear enough to work out the solution.

The one downside is that the train’s wi-fi wasn’t functioning, it would connect but not actually let me reach the log-in screen. Fortunately I discovered that there is some public wi-fi in Irvine which I could connect to for a few minutes, but otherwise I was unlucky with the access to the Internet today, given this and the Megabus technical issues.

The Amtrak train pulled into San Juan Capistrano on time with its horns blaring out as usual as it goes over a crossing which cars and pedestrians use. The town was much busier than I’ve seen it before, it felt like a friendly Prince of Wales Road at night….