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Oceanside To San Luis Obispo, CA On Amtrak California's Pacific Surfliner
Fall Amtrak Vacation Trip 2008
Oceanside To San Luis Obispo, CA
On Amtrak California's Pacific Surfliner
October 29th, 2008
Pacific Surfliner Train #775 taking a break just before sunset in Santa Barbara, CA
Wednesday, October 29th, 2008
Wednesday, October 29th, 2008:

 While waiting on the platform, I saw the ticket agent come out of the baggage room of the station with my 2 bags being the only ones that would be checked from passengers boarding in Oceanside. Arriving at 12:46pm, Train #775 showed up F59PHI #462 on the lead. We departed on time from Oceanside. The consist for today’s train is as follows:

Amtrak California's Pacific Surfliner Train #775 - 24 Axles
Car/Engine Type:
Pacific Business Class
Balboa Park
Business Class Car (My Car)
Pacific Beach
Coach/Baggage - Cab Control Car

   Pacific Surfliner trains operate in Push-Pull mode. The locomotive "pushes" the train when it’s going North and "pulls" the train going South. I boarded Pacific Business Class Car #6851 - Balboa Park. I was seated next to a passenger playing some Bugs Bunny themed game on his computer. I also had a conversation with another passenger who was a software engineer for Microsoft working on something with an upcoming version of Internet Explorer. As soon as I found my seat, the car attendant handed me a package that included crackers, dried fruit, sugar cookies, a bag of chips and salsa, some cheese and a mint. He also offered me a drink, so of course I chose Diet Pepsi! It seems that AC outlets are at a premium on this route because most everyone had a window seat and most everyone had a computer! Coupled with the fact that there was only 1 outlet at each seat instead of 2 (and my 3-outlet converter plug is in my checked luggage, bummer!). Since there wasn't a window seat available in the car, I decided to sit back and listen to the iPod and relax until Los Angeles as people would likely be getting off the train and I could switch seats. Upon arrival in Los Angeles, an announcement was made that we could get off the train and smoke and/or get some air as we weren’t scheduled to leave until 2:55pm. I stepped off the train and took a few pictures before reboarding and at 2:55pm, we were out of LAX heading for our next stop in Glendale. I had some nice conversations with a passenger from San Diego who was originally from Cleveland! Things were uneventful outside of the fact that our coach attendant was nowhere to be found once we left Los Angeles. We also had to stop to let another Surfliner train pass us somewhere near Rincon Beach. I found out later that the Business class attendant got off the train and that food service for Business Class passengers was to be handled by the "Sea View" Cafe attendant in the cafe car. The train emptied out quite a bit by the time we reached Santa Barbara. I spent most of the time relaxing and sending text messages to a friend in New York while watching the ocean waves! A smoking break was permitted there so I picked up one more picture of the train there. After departing Santa Barbara, I picked up a Diet Pepsi in the lounge car and bought a cinnamon roll to keep me going until San Luis Obispo. By now, I’ve had about 12-15 hours of sleep in the past 3 days! Vacations for me are almost always a big endurance test!!! Later on, I had a conversation with the train crew about Amtrak for a bit and continued writing this travelogue. By now, there’s only a handful of people left in the Business class car. The sun has now set and you can see many oil rigs out in the ocean drilling for oil. The ocean is so peaceful and relaxing to watch! By the time the train had arrived in San Luis Obispo, there was maybe only 4 people left in the car I was in. We arrived in San Luis Obispo close to on time. I picked up my luggage on the platform and got a taxi over to my hotel, the Rodeway Inn on Olive Street in San Luis Obispo. After checking into the hotel, I headed over to a nearby Burger King restaurant and grabbed dinner then came back to the hotel, checked my E-mail and stuff and called it a day. I would spend the next day railfanning in San Luis Obispo. That story will be included in my aforementioned segment on railfanning the Surfliner route. I promise it's coming soon, but before we get to that, check out one last train ride to Fullerton, see the link below!