San Diego to Los Angeles Trains

About 120 miles separate the San Diego and Los Angeles, two large southern California cities. Making the trip by car takes about two hours and can take longer if a commuter makes the drive during peak traffic hours (from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.). A convenient alternative to driving is taking a train from San Diego to Los Angeles. While the train ride takes a little less than three hours, it frees passengers to work or relax instead of sitting behind the wheel of their car.

Amtrak Pacific Surfliner

Amtrak trains run every hour from San Diego to Los Angeles. Amtrak calls its trains that service this route (which also heads north to Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo) the Pacific Surfliner. Amtrak provides twelve roundtrip routes between San Diego and Los Angeles daily, giving travelers plenty of departure options. There are two main stations in San Diego from which passengers may catch the train--Old Town and downtown. The downtown station is located at 1050 Kettner Boulevard. The Old Town station is located at 4005 Taylor Street. The roundtrip journey takes five hours and forty five minutes to complete.

Route Rates

Passengers aboard the Pacific Surfliner can purchase a one time regular one-way fare from San Diego to Los Angeles for $31 as of October, 2010. This fare provides an unreserved seat on a first come, first serve basis. Seats include fold-down trays, individual reading lamps and ample legroom. A return ticket costs the same amount, making a roundtrip fare cost $62 plus tax. For travelers that need to commute between the two cities daily, multi-ride rail passes are available. A ten-ride ticket costs $216 and provides ten one-way rides within a 45-day period. A monthly ticket provides for unlimited travel for an entire calendar month and costs $569.

Business Class Upgrade

For travelers that don't mind spending a little extra money, business class upgrades are available. A business class upgrade costs $14 per one-way ticket as of October, 2010, and raises the price of a fare from San Diego to Los Angeles to $45. Business class seating provides a reserved seat on the Pacific Surfliner, which guarantees the passenger a seat when seats are oversold and the train is at full capacity. Reserved seats include headrests and footrests, overhead reading lights, stand A/C electrical outlets for every pair of seats, and a complimentary newspaper and nonalcoholic beverage.