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Trains from San Diego to Los Angeles

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Trip Summary

There are 13 daily trains from San Diego to Los Angeles. Traveling by train from San Diego to Los Angeles usually takes around 3 hours and 29 minutes, but the fastest Amtrak Pacific Surfliner train can make the trip in 2 hours and 39 minutes.

Distance111 mi (179 km)
Fastest train2h 39m
Lowest price$35.00
Trains per day43
Most frequent serviceAmtrak Pacific Surfliner
Train lines2

Train Trip Reviews from Wanderu Customers

Overall score for trains from San Diego, CA to Los Angeles, CA

(Based on 20 ratings and reviews)

4.7

5.0

Rachel

August 17, 2021- Solo travel

Amtrak Pacific Surfliner

Pros: I felt safe and comfortable the whole trip. The agents at the station were very helpful and boarding was east and organized. Cons: Nothing from my end. It was a pleasant experience for me travelling for the first time. Tips: Relax and enjoy the ride.

Pros: I felt safe and comfortable the whole trip. The agents at the station were very helpful and boarding was east and organized. Cons: Nothing from my end. It was a pleasant experience for me travelling for the first time. Tips: Relax and enjoy the ride.

5.0

Charlene

August 4, 2021- Solo travel

Amtrak Pacific Surfliner

Pros: Great way to get to LA from San Diego. Cons: Signage concerning amenities on board.

Pros: Great way to get to LA from San Diego. Cons: Signage concerning amenities on board.

5.0

Luis

July 4, 2021- Solo travel

Amtrak Pacific Surfliner

Pros: Great views and comfortable ride. I dozed off during the ride. Cons: The Santa Fe station could use plugs to recharge your phone. There were zero plugs anywhere in the station. Tips: If you’re going to wait a while at the station, charge your phones. Santa Fe Sta...

Pros: Great views and comfortable ride. I dozed off during the ride. Cons: The Santa Fe station could use plugs to recharge your phone. There were zero plugs anywhere in the station. Tips: If you’re going to wait a while at the station, charge your phones. Santa Fe Station in San Diego has no Available outlets whatsoever.

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5.0

Mercedes

May 24, 2021- Solo travel

Amtrak

Pros: The view. Cons: Seat numbers so that people can’t change every time they want. I don’t think that’s safe in terms of safety. Tips: Seat by the window that faces the sea.

Pros: The view. Cons: Seat numbers so that people can’t change every time they want. I don’t think that’s safe in terms of safety. Tips: Seat by the window that faces the sea.

5.0

Arthur

April 17, 2021- Solo travel

Amtrak

Polite staff. Great experience altogether. Smooth drive. On time and very courteous people.

Polite staff. Great experience altogether. Smooth drive. On time and very courteous people.

San Diego to Los Angeles Route Map

San Diego Los Angeles

What is the price of a train ticket from San Diego to Los Angeles?

In the last month, $36.64 was the average price of a train ticket from San Diego, CA to Los Angeles, CA. This is a good price that is inexpensive compared to most train fares. You can expect to find tickets at that price or lower if you book your trip at least 4 days in advance. Otherwise, expect to pay around $0.30 more than that for a same-day booking.

Average prices by travel date

$45$30$15OctOct

Over the next four weeks, the average daily price of train tickets to Los Angeles from San Diego is expected to remain pretty much the same. As a result, a one-way train trip will cost about $37 regardless of the day you pick to travel.

Monthly average prices

$50$40$30$20$10NDJFMAMJJASO
Traveling from San Diego to Los Angeles by train will cost you about the same regardless of the time of year for which you plan your trip. In general, train ticket prices for that route don’t fluctuate much throughout the year, so expect to pay around $38 whenever you decide to board the train to Los Angeles.

Prices as travel date approaches

$50$40$30$20$103020100

Since the average price of train trips from San Diego to Los Angeles remains pretty consistent throughout the year, there’s no need to book your tickets too far in advance. However, we still recommend you purchase your train tickets at least 48 hours ahead of departure time to avoid surprise last-minute surges and the risk of the train selling out.

Which train should you take from San Diego to Los Angeles?

2 train services operate from San Diego, California to Los Angeles, California. Amtrak Pacific Surfliner usually has more trains scheduled, with 8 trips per day. That said, it's still worth comparing the prices and trip durations:

TrainDaily TripsAvg. TimeAvg. Price
Amtrak63h 59m$37.88
Amtrak Pacific Surfliner83h 13m$36.58
  • Amtrak

    Amtrak

    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 6 Amtrak trains from San Diego to Los Angeles every day, as well as 20 trips on the weekends, with prices starting from $35.

    AMT-0AMT-1AMT-2AMT-3AMT-4AMT-5AMT-6AMT-7AMT-8AMT-9
  • Amtrak Pacific Surfliner

    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 8 train trips from San Diego to Los Angeles every day, and prices for a one-way train ticket start from $35.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you get around L.A. from Union Station?

There are a number of different transportation options to get from Union Station to other parts of Los Angeles.

To get to LAX, passengers can take the LAX Flyaway bus from Bus Stop 9 at Union Station’s Patsaouras Transit Plaza. The cost is $9.75 per person.

The Los Angeles Metro Rail has a number of lines that you can take from Union Station, such as the Red Line, Gold Line and Purple Line. The Silver Line on the Metro Busway departs from Union Station as well.

The Metrolink commuter rail offers transport to five Southern California counties. Lines that pass through Union Station include the 91/Perris Valley, San Bernardino, Antelope Valley, Ventura County, Orange County, and Riverside lines.

In addition, you can summon an Uber or Lyft, or take a taxi from the taxi stand located in front of Union Station West.

Is it safe to travel by train from San Diego to Los Angeles 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 San Diego to Los Angeles?

Yes, there are trains that can take you the entire way from San Diego to Los Angeles. However, there are also some trips on this route that require you to board another vehicle, such as a bus or a shuttle, during your journey. This is worth paying attention to as you book your trip, since a direct train may be preferable for its speed and convenience.

How long is the train journey from San Diego to Los Angeles?

The distance between San Diego and Los Angeles is approximately 111 miles, or 179 kilometers. The average train journey between these two cities takes 3 hours and 29 minutes, although the absolute fastest you could get there is 2 hours and 39 minutes. Although it takes a couple of hours each way, it's still possible to make a round trip in a single day. Since most trains are equipped with Wi-Fi, you should be able to browse the Internet or get some work done during your journey.

When are trains the most crowded?

Trains from San Diego to Los Angeles are the most crowded on Tuesday. 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 Friday 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 San Diego at 4:00am 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 San Diego to Los Angeles?

There are 13 scheduled trains on most days. 43 of these are direct connections to Los Angeles. 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.

You can also take a train for your return trip from Los Angeles to San Diego. If you're not not set on traveling by train, you could always take the bus from San Diego to Los Angeles for $9.99.

City Information

San Diego

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.

Two airports, as well as many bus and train options, mean it is easy to get to San Diego from afar or from nearby cities like Tijuana, Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Las Vegas.

Los Angeles

Los Angeles is the undisputed world capital of the entertainment business. Because of that, the City of Angels is where you will find some of the most iconic landmarks of the film and music industries, including the world-famous Walk of Fame and Dolby Theatre (home of the Academy Awards) on Hollywood Boulevard, the easily recognizable Capitol Records building at Hollywood & Vine, and the LA Live complex in Downtown Los Angeles.

The best part of LA is that it has something to offer for people of all interests: outdoor enthusiasts can hike up to the Hollywood sign, fashion aficionados can go shopping in Beverly Hills, art lovers can check out the prominent Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) in the Miracle Mile district, and those looking for a fun night out can go bar-hopping in West Hollywood. Are you a Pokémon GO addict? Well then this is the place for you because LA is the best city to catch the rarest Pokémon in the U.S.. And if you want to want to experience the famed golden coast of Southern California for yourself, head west to Santa Monica and Venice for a refreshing dip in the Pacific Ocean.

With one of the biggest airports on the West Coast and several bus and train stops across the county, Los Angeles makes it easy to travel elsewhere in California, visit the neighboring Nevada, Arizona and Mexico, or take a flight to pretty much any other part of the world.

Station Information

Where is the train station in San Diego?

San Diego, CA - Santa Fe Depot (1050 Kettner Blvd) - SANAMT2-0

Image credit: Doug Letterman

Link to Creative Commons License

Departure stations

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

Where is the train station in Los Angeles?

Los Angeles, CA - Union Station - LAXUST-0

Image credit: David Wilson

Link to Creative Commons License

Arrival stations

Union Station is the main train station in Los Angeles and the largest railroad passenger terminal in the Western United States. The station was opened in 1939 and has become one of California’s busiest transportation hubs, serving more than 100 thousand passengers per day. Every Amtrak route that goes through Los Angeles stops at Union Station. In addition, the area around the station serves as the main bus stop for several bus carriers that conduct trips in and out of the city. Located in Downtown LA, Union Station offers easy transit connections to other parts of the city via three Metro Rail lines and one Metro Busway line, as well as a shuttle service to LAX airport. Union Station also serves as the main LA hub for six lines of Metrolink, Southern California’s primary commuter rail service.

Train stations in Los Angeles:

  • 10040 Old Depot Plaza Rd, Chatsworth

  • Amtrak Metrolink Station - 7724 Van Nuys Blvd

  • 592 Gayley Ave

Need a return trip from Los Angeles to San Diego?

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