Amtrak Surfliner
Amtrak California Surfliner train. Photo by John Schreiber.

The Amtrak Pacific Surfliner will temporarily increase service to Santa Barbara County beginning Saturday by adding one additional roundtrip between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara to help accommodate travel demand during the continued closure of the 101 freeway.

Train tracks reopened last week following the devastating mudslides near Montecito. The Pacific Surfliner has served as the only viable ground transportation option for thousands of people between Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, according to LOSSAN, the intergovernmental agency that runs the rail corridor.

In response to the unprecedented demand for train travel in the area, 15 additional railcars were secured from throughout the state to add more than 2,000 seats to the 10 daily Pacific Surfliner trains serving Santa Barbara County.

Even with the additional railcars, which have been operating since Sunday, Pacific Surfliner trains remain extremely busy, with demand exceeding available seating capacity on many trains. The added roundtrip will supplement the existing Pacific Surfliner service by adding nearly 1,000 more seats and providing an additional travel option into Santa Barbara County until the reopening of the freeway.

Due to the high demand for train transportation, passengers should continue to expect busy trains and plan accordingly, said the agency, which also said to expected “minor delays” due to personnel working near the railroad and continued cleanup efforts.

The  Pacific Surfliner travels along a 351-mile coastal rail route through San Diego, Orange, Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties, serving 29 stations.

— City News Service

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