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Partial Restoration of Pacific Surfliner Rail Service Slated

Pacific Surfliner locomotive in an undated photo.

Credit: Amtrak California

Above: Pacific Surfliner locomotive in an undated photo.

Beginning Monday, Amtrak Pacific Surfliner train service sidelined by the COVID-19 crisis will be partially restored to Santa Barbara County and San Luis Obispo, rail officials announced Thursday.

Next week's adjustments will be the first step to restoring full operation of the line, bringing back service along 100 miles of the 351-mile Los Angeles-San Diego-San Luis Obispo coastal rail corridor, known as LOSSAN.

A temporarily reduced Pacific Surfliner schedule went into effect March 23 in response to shelter-in-place orders implemented by local municipalities and the state due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Some trains and bus connections have continued to operate as authorized essential services, providing options for those who must travel. Those connections have been especially important for the San Luis Obispo region, since a portion of its airline service has been suspended, according to the LOSSAN Rail Corridor Agency.

The following changes will go into effect at the beginning of June:

  • Southbound Train 774 will depart San Luis Obispo at 6:55 a.m. and arrive in San Diego at 3:28 p.m., serving stations in between;
  • Two southbound buses will provide connections from San Luis Obispo to Trains 768 and 796, which originate in Goleta/Santa Barbara;
  • Northbound Train 777 will depart San Diego at 12:05 p.m. and arrive in San Luis Obispo at 8:36 p.m., serving stations in between;
  • Northbound train 785 will depart San Diego at 3:58 p.m. and arrive in Goleta at 10:04 p.m., serving stations in between; and
  • Two northbound buses will provide connections to San Luis Obispo from trains 763 and 785, which terminate in Santa Barbara/Goleta.

The Coast Starlight, a long-distance Amtrak train, continues to operate one trip daily in each direction through San Luis Obispo.

To help protect the health of passengers and crews, Amtrak has increased the frequency of cleaning services on all trains and at stations, in some cases performing them on an hourly basis. Additionally, passengers are required to wear face coverings at stations and aboard trains.

Travelers on the LOSSAN line are advised to check and adhere to local public health orders in effect for the areas in which they start and end their trips.

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