This isn’t an Amtrak blog, I swear!
I don’t post much about the Pacific Surfliner train, which runs from San Luis Obispo to San Diego via Los Angeles. In fact, I’ve never been on it! But I did come across the news that they’ve just added a new round-trip to fill an odd gap in their schedule. The new train will start October 14.
Additional Trip Options: We’ve added an extra trip in each direction between Los Angeles and San Diego. New southbound Train 578 will depart Los Angeles at 1:15 p.m., arriving in San Diego at 4:12 p.m. Northbound Train 591 will be renumbered as Train 593, but will keep a similar departure time from San Diego, at 6:40 p.m. New Train 591 will depart San Diego at 5:25 p.m., and arrive in Los Angeles at 8:34 p.m. Both trains fill gaps in the afternoon schedule, providing more travel options.
This brings the number of trains between Los Angeles and San Diego to 13 every day of the week. The new service has the greatest impact in the northbound direction.
Currently, afternoon trains leave San Diego at 2:50pm, 3:58pm, 6:43pm, and 8:57pm.
The gap between 3:58pm and 6:43pm is really odd. I would guess business folks would want something around 5pm.
Well, here’s the new schedule (which looks super sleek by the way). The train highlighted in red has been slotted in to fill the gap:
Southbound, the new train slides in between a 12:33pm and 2:58pm departure, which doesn’t seem like a gap that needed filling as much. The new train is set for 1:15pm.
One reason for this choice may be that the 12:33pm train actually starts in San Luis Obispo at 6:55am, which means it is prone to delays. The new train may prove to be a preferred option due to better reliability, since it only runs from LA to San Diego.
The Surfliner should see additional trips added as the new trains are delivered over the next few years. Wouldn’t it great to have them run at least hourly?