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Santa Barbara-San Diego Train Schedule
There are 7 daily trains from Santa Barbara to San Diego. Traveling by train from Santa Barbara to San Diego usually takes around 6 hours and 49 minutes, but the fastest Amtrak Pacific Surfliner train can make the trip in 5 hours and 47 minutes.
|Distance||188 mi (302 km)|
|Fastest train||5h 47m|
|Trains per day||6|
|Most frequent service||Amtrak|
Price trends for trains from Santa Barbara to San Diego
Average prices by travel date
Monthly average prices
Prices as travel date approaches
Which train should you take from Santa Barbara to San Diego?
2 train services operate from Santa Barbara, California to San Diego, California. Amtrak usually has more trains scheduled, with 4 trips per day. That said, it's still worth comparing the prices and trip durations:
Amtrak is the largest passenger railroad service in America, offering daily intercity trains to hundreds of destinations across the contiguous United States, as well as several cities in Canada. Every Amtrak train comes equipped with comfortable seats with extra legroom, as well as several four-seat areas with tables in the middle. In addition, each car has a freshly cleaned restroom, free WiFi and power outlets at every seat. There are also snack bars where you can purchase drinks or food during your journey. On average, there are 4 Amtrak trains from Santa Barbara to San Diego every day, as well as 9 trips on the weekends, with prices starting from $55.
Amtrak Pacific Surfliner
The Pacific Surfliner is Amtrak’s passenger train service that runs along the Pacific coast of Southern California, connecting San Luis Obispo to the north with San Diego to the south. The line is among the most famous Amtrak routes due to the unique scenic views it presents, as the train parallels the coastline for large portions of the 268-mile railroad stretch. The Pacific Surfliner offers first-class amenities like onboard restrooms, free WiFi, seats with extra legroom and power outlets, as well as storage racks for surfboards. On average, the service offers 3 train trips from Santa Barbara to San Diego every day, and prices for a one-way train ticket start from $55.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it safe to travel by train from Santa Barbara to San Diego during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Our train partners have implemented several different policies to keep you safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. From limiting vehicle capacity to enhancing cleaning protocols and upgrading air filters, train carriers are committed to maintaining a safe environment. For details on what each company is doing to ensure their fleet remains safe for travel, click here.
In addition, federal law requires all train passengers to wear a face covering for the entire duration of the trip. Please make sure you are wearing a face mask or you may not be allowed to board the train.
Please visit our COVID-19 Travel Guide for more information on all carrier policies and the latest travel advisories issued by every U.S. state, Canadian province, and European country.
Can you take a train all the way from Santa Barbara to San Diego?
How long is the train journey from Santa Barbara to San Diego?
The distance between Santa Barbara and San Diego is approximately 188 miles, or 302 kilometers. The average train journey between these two cities takes 6 hours and 49 minutes, although the absolute fastest you could get there is 5 hours and 47 minutes.
Looking for ways to pass the time? Most trains are equipped with Wi-Fi, which means you can stream music, browse social media or get some work done during your ride. That said, in case your train has a spotty signal, or is among the few without Wi-Fi, we also recommend downloading TV shows and movies to your mobile device in advance of your trip. That way the ride will fly by whatever the Wi-Fi situation.
When are trains the most crowded?
Trains from Santa Barbara to San Diego are the most crowded on Thursday. Tickets also tend to be more expensive then. If you are looking for a great deal on your train tickets or just want extra room to stretch out, consider traveling on Sunday instead, as it tends to be the least crowded day of the week.
When are the first and last trains of the day?
The earliest train departs Santa Barbara at 6:00am while the last train of the day leaves at 9:00pm. To see all scheduled departure times, use the search function on this page to get the full schedule for your specific travel dates.
Is there a direct train from Santa Barbara to San Diego?
There are 7 scheduled trains on most days. 6 of these are direct connections to San Diego. While direct trains may still make stops along the way, you will not need to switch trains at any point. If you're looking to get to your destination faster, a direct train is the convenient and time-efficient choice.
San Diego is known as "America's Finest City" for its sunny weather, white-sand beaches, and dazzling attractions from Belmont Park to SeaWorld. San Diego's 70 miles of pristine beaches include such gems as Mission Beach, Pacific Beach, La Jolla Cove, and Coronado Beach. The city's strong surfing culture may even inspire you to rent a surfboard and catch the epic waves, bro.
Visitors can spend days getting lost in Balboa Park, a 1,200-acre cultural hub which features 16 museums, immaculate gardens, and the world-famous San Diego Zoo. The historic heart of the city, Old Town, showcases San Diego's heritage and ties to Mexican culture, while other sights like the USS Midway pay tribute to the city's military and maritime history. Leave time for some evening exploring, too! San Diego is rated the #1 best city for craft beer in America, so don't miss out on the bars in the Gaslamp Quarter: 16 walkable blocks packed with nightlife and young crowds.
Where is the train station in Santa Barbara?
There are two stations in Santa Barbara where you can board the train to San Diego.
Train stations in Santa Barbara:
Where is the train station in San Diego?
The Santa Fe Depot is the main train station in San Diego and one of the end points of the Pacific Surfliner, the only Amtrak train line that serves the city. The station is also used by the Green Line of the San Diego Trolley light rail transit service and the COASTER commuter rail service that connects the city with the central and northern coastal regions of San Diego County. Opened in 1915, the Santa Fe Depot is famous for its Spanish Colonial Revival Style architecture and grand interior space that features natural redwood beam ceilings and ceramic details. The train station is located in the heart of Downtown San Diego, making it easy to reach from all parts of the city.
Train stations in San Diego:
4005 Taylor St
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