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Old 05-20-2016, 03:00 PM   #1
Suselit
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Pacific Surfliner, have you taken this train?

Thinking about taking the Pacific Surfliner from LA to San Diego this Summer and I was wondering if anyone here has taken that trip or ridden that train?

I'm interested in knowing how crowded the train gets and if you think Business class is better than the regular fare in terms of getting a window seat so we can watch the coastline along the way.

Thanks for any personal experience you can share with me.
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Old 05-20-2016, 08:17 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Suselit View Post
Thinking about taking the Pacific Surfliner from LA to San Diego this Summer and I was wondering if anyone here has taken that trip or ridden that train?

I'm interested in knowing how crowded the train gets and if you think Business class is better than the regular fare in terms of getting a window seat so we can watch the coastline along the way.

Thanks for any personal experience you can share with me.
I have never taken the Surfliner but I am a HUGE fan of passenger trains so I pay a lot of attention to the various routes and their reviews. The Surfliner consistently gets the BEST reviews of ANY Amtrak train. The reviews on Trip Advisor are almost all in the Outstanding category with only one Poor review and no Terrible ones. Many of the reviews recommend business class. Among other things it gets you complimentary beverages and pastries... which I'm sure would be nice on an 8 hour trip... especially given snack bar prices on the train.



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Old 05-22-2016, 05:55 AM   #3
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Yes, I think it's going to be a fine trip. Traveling by train feels like you are in another era. The more research into the Pacific Surfliner, the more excited I am.
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Old 05-22-2016, 11:38 AM   #4
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Yes, I think it's going to be a fine trip. Traveling by train feels like you are in another era. The more research into the Pacific Surfliner, the more excited I am.
I love train travel. I once had an epic rail journey from the Twin Cities to Orlando. I took the Empire Builder from St. Paul to Chicago, the Capitol Limited from Chicago to DC, and then the Silver Meteor from DC to Orlando. It took two full days but I would have been fine if it took twice as long. I loved the experience. I had a bedroom accommodation the whole way... pricey, but wonderfully private. There is something special about traveling 70 mph in your own private room. Plus, you get free meals in the dining car when you are a bedroom passenger, and that is worth a considerable amount. I wish I could do something like that again, but it is beyond a retirement budget.

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Old 05-22-2016, 02:17 PM   #5
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You should think about doing this, too;

http://www.viarail.ca/en/explore-our...ouver-canadian

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I love train travel. I once had an epic rail journey from the Twin Cities to Orlando. I took the Empire Builder from St. Paul to Chicago, the Capitol Limited from Chicago to DC, and then the Silver Meteor from DC to Orlando. It took two full days but I would have been fine if it took twice as long. I loved the experience. I had a bedroom accommodation the whole way... pricey, but wonderfully private. There is something special about traveling 70 mph in your own private room. Plus, you get free meals in the dining car when you are a bedroom passenger, and that is worth a considerable amount. I wish I could do something like that again, but it is beyond a retirement budget.

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Old 05-22-2016, 08:36 PM   #6
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You should think about doing this, too;

http://www.viarail.ca/en/explore-our...ouver-canadian

Coach Man
That looks great. I talked to my wife tonight and I plan to take some money out of my mutual funds to fulfill some of my travel dreams. I don't think I have a whole lot of time left, and I want to take a really grand train trip before I die. Ann will have all she needs anyway. I've lived beneath my means most of my life. It is time to pursue a dream while I still have time and at least minimal health.

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Old 05-24-2016, 01:38 PM   #7
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Take the train to Machu Picchu. You can typically fly Spirit to Lima on the cheap connecting from Fort Lauderdale if you have a Spirit airport close by.
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Old 05-25-2016, 03:57 PM   #8
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That looks great. I talked to my wife tonight and I plan to take some money out of my mutual funds to fulfill some of my travel dreams. I don't think I have a whole lot of time left, and I want to take a really grand train trip before I die. Ann will have all she needs anyway. I've lived beneath my means most of my life. It is time to pursue a dream while I still have time and at least minimal health.

I think you will have fun planning the train trip of your dreams and then celebrating the trip with your wife. At some point in our lives sharing experiences become more important that buying more stuff.
Making memories is a worthwhile expense.

I am taking my oldest Grandchild, age 13, on the Pacific Surfliner. This will be on second annual trip together, just he and I. I know how much I treasure the time spent in his company. And as my seven younger grandchildren reach that age, I plan on making them feel special with my time, attention and travels.
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Old 05-25-2016, 06:01 PM   #9
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I think you will have fun planning the train trip of your dreams and then celebrating the trip with your wife. At some point in our lives sharing experiences become more important that buying more stuff.
Making memories is a worthwhile expense.

I am taking my oldest Grandchild, age 13, on the Pacific Surfliner. This will be on second annual trip together, just he and I. I know how much I treasure the time spent in his company. And as my seven younger grandchildren reach that age, I plan on making them feel special with my time, attention and travels.
My greatest trips when young were with my grandparents. They took me to California to visit my cousins twice when I was young. They lived in Orange County Ca (first in Anaheim and then in Buena Park). As you can guess these trips included visits to Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm. We also went to Newport Beach several times (a favorite of mine) and once we took the ship over to Catalina Island. They were wonderful trips. They also took me on a trip to the East Coast. We stayed on Manhattan Island and visited the World's Fair of 64-65. We then went to Washington D.C. and Williamsburg VA and then heading north through New England to Quebec City and then Niagra Falls. It was a magnificent trip.

Being just a kid I don't know if I ever expressed how much I appreciated those trips, but I guess they knew or they wouldn't have kept taking me. So glad to see you are doing the same... those were the most special times of my childhood.

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Old 05-25-2016, 06:19 PM   #10
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Growing up, we used to ride the Rock Island Rocket from Des Moines to Council Bluffs, to visit Gramma.

In 1962, Mom took my brother and me from Des Moines to Denver by train. I still have the proof sets from the Mint.

In the 80's, DW and I took a train to get from Gallup, NM to Kansas City.

It was a nice way to travel.
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Old 05-25-2016, 06:51 PM   #11
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Growing up, we used to ride the Rock Island Rocket from Des Moines to Council Bluffs, to visit Gramma.

In 1962, Mom took my brother and me from Des Moines to Denver by train. I still have the proof sets from the Mint.

In the 80's, DW and I took a train to get from Gallup, NM to Kansas City.

It was a nice way to travel.
My brother and I took the train with my mother to see her parents in Denver. We would take the Rock Island Rocket to Omaha, and then catch a train to Denver. We didn't have to switch cars... they would leave the Denver Cars on a siding and then would be coupled to the Denver train when it came through. That was a good thing because the transfer occurred in the middle of the night... about 3 AM if I remember properly. Many times we would sleep right through the whole thing.

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Old 05-25-2016, 08:05 PM   #12
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Magnificent train stations in Kansas City and Omaha. Not so much in Des Moines.

But, still, it was exciting to be little kid, and to go to the train station just south of downtown Des Moines. The bustle of the trains and the activity was very entertaining.

My high school buddy and I took the bus from Des Moines to SOCAL the summer before our senior year. That trip would have really great by train.
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Old 05-25-2016, 09:51 PM   #13
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Magnificent train stations in Kansas City and Omaha. Not so much in Des Moines.

But, still, it was exciting to be little kid, and to go to the train station just south of downtown Des Moines. The bustle of the trains and the activity was very entertaining.

My high school buddy and I took the bus from Des Moines to SOCAL the summer before our senior year. That trip would have really great by train.
Yes, I've seen the wonderful train stations in Chicago and Washington D.C. Many years ago the St. Paul Union Depot was a great station but it had been out of use for a long time. I believe that since I left Minnesota the depot has been restored and will once again be used by Amtrak. The St. Louis train station is a complete travesty. The original Union Station is currently a totally dead shopping mall and a Double Tree Hotel. Amtrak is served by a crappy depot a half dozen blocks away which is an embarrassment to Greyhound which shares use of the station. What the hell were people thinking??

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Old 05-26-2016, 05:37 AM   #14
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It is worth the upgrade to business class. The ride along the California coast is beautiful.

About 15 years ago, I drove a car out to my mother in California and I used Amtrak to get back home. NEVER AGAIN! I got on the train in Emeryville, CA as a shooting was happening at the depot. A bunch of drugged out people got kicked off the train in Truckee, CA. A group of minors were being served alcohol on the train and got unruly, so they were kicked off in Denver. A guy kept asking me for money every few hours over the two days I was on the train. I couldn't get off the train quick enough when it finally got to my stop 6 hours late.

Whenever my husband asks if I want to take a train tour now, I always just smile and say 'What do you think?'.
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Old 05-26-2016, 07:12 AM   #15
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It is worth the upgrade to business class. The ride along the California coast is beautiful.

About 15 years ago, I drove a car out to my mother in California and I used Amtrak to get back home. NEVER AGAIN! I got on the train in Emeryville, CA as a shooting was happening at the depot. A bunch of drugged out people got kicked off the train in Truckee, CA. A group of minors were being served alcohol on the train and got unruly, so they were kicked off in Denver. A guy kept asking me for money every few hours over the two days I was on the train. I couldn't get off the train quick enough when it finally got to my stop 6 hours late.

Whenever my husband asks if I want to take a train tour now, I always just smile and say 'What do you think?'.
My experience has been nothing like that on the Midwest and Eastern trains I have taken. I hate to rely on stereotypes, but what do you expect from a train that starts its journey in the Bay Area and goes though Denver? That is why I plan to take the Southwest Chief to CA and not the California Zephyr. LOL

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