Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Riding the Rails: Solana Beach to Anaheim

Solana Beach is home to one of the finest little train stations in all of America. The station was designed by architect Rob Wellington Quigley, and was built in 1994 to replace the depot in Del Mar, California. The main terminal is a real gem with a sleek, modern design and the platform is sunken into the earth, creating a surreal environment in which you feel as if you are underground but you are outside, just lower than street level.

The station is served by Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner trains between San Diego and Santa Barbara via Los Angeles and Orange County; and Coaster commuter trains between North San Diego County and downtown San Diego.

Here are photos of the station:

And here is video of a Coaster commuter train departing the station, heading south towards downtown San Diego:

The ride north from Solana Beach to Anaheim on Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner provides passengers with some of the most spectacular scenery in the world. In North San Diego County and South Orange County the train tracks are placed within yards of the Pacific Ocean. The ocean and beach views are breathtaking. At times you feel as though you are riding on the water you are so close to the Pacific. In my view there is perhaps no better way to experience the beauty of Southern California then taking the train through North San Diego County and South Orange County before the tracks veer inwards towards Anaheim and eventually Union Station in downtown L.A.

Here is a video montage of the part of my train trip with the best views of the beaches and Pacific Ocean. The video starts just around Oceanside and ends at San Clemente.


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