Rail Magazine and the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner

A letter from the Rail magazine issue of 18 November 2020 which is very hard to disagree with…. I’ve travelled that same journey from Los Angeles to San Diego, and the views are incredible as the train is effectively going merrily along the beach in places. But, landscapes aside, the Amtrak trains are spacious, better proportioned and there’s a more coherent set of snacks and meal options on board. But, there’s something rather lovely that guards welcome customers on board, they often seat them and remind me before their stop. I don’t mind the seats on the GWR trains, but these services have annoyed me with their insufficient staffing and seating on board (before the current restrictions were introduced).

The rather beautiful train in San Juan Capistrano last year when I went back to Los Angeles…

Anyway, perhaps it’s time that the next iteration of the railways in the UK is more like Amtrak. Amtrak needs new funding and expansion of its own, but at least it’s beautifully comfortable on board. Perhaps Amtrak Joe (the nickname of the new US President) might get going with providing funding to allow the reconnection of the Amtrak Sunset Limited line from Orlando to Los Angeles, which has been forced to start (or end, depending what direction you’re going in) from New Orleans since 2005 due to Hurricane Katrina.

I do miss American trains…..