Pacific Surfliner
A Pacific Surfliner. Photo courtesy of Amtrak

With a busy season ahead, Amtrak has asked travelers to schedule Pacific Surfliner travel in advance this Thanksgiving and to be aware of alerts through the holidays.

The requirements begin Wednesday, just ahead of the holiday.

Advance reservations will be a must on Amtrak Pacific Surfliner trains and connecting Thruway buses from Wednesday through Nov. 27. Extra train cars and buses will be deployed to increase seating capacity. 

Checked baggage will be reinstated for travelers from Saturday through Nov. 28 at staffed Pacific Surfliner stations in San Diego, Fullerton, Los Angeles, Van Nuys, Oxnard, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo. 

During the reservation period, Rail 2 Rail and Metrolink code share programs will be temporarily suspended, and Metrolink and COASTER passes will not be accepted. The programs resume on Nov. 28. 

Amtrak monthly and 10-ride passes still may be used from Wednesday through Nov. 27. However, those ticket holders will be required to confirm each trip (train and date) in advance through the Amtrak RideReserve program.

Also, during this time, 10-Trip tickets only can be used by a single rider at a time.

While reservations are required, passengers must ride the train listed on their tickets. If travel plans change, they must adjust the reservation in advance. This can be done online at, by phone at 800-USA-RAIL, or at a staffed Amtrak station.

Meanwhile, there’s a big change coming for the Pacific Surfliner in late December – Union Station in Los Angeles will temporarily close for track and signal upgrades from Dec. 26 to Dec. 29.

During this time, for the first time, the Pacific Surfliner will bypass Union Station to journey along the east bank of the Los Angeles River and through part of the Alameda Corridor.

Rail agencies are calling it “a historic week” that will provide passengers with “a one-of-a-kind travel experience along a never-before traveled route.” 

Train schedules during this period will be modified to provide alternate travel accommodations:

  • Shuttle bus connections to and from L.A. Union Station and Glendale Station will be provided for all 700 series trains. 
  • Shuttle bus connections to and from L.A. Union Station and Fullerton Station will be provided for trains 562, 564, 572, 586, 573, 581, 589 and 595.
  • Trains 580 and 591 will be suspended.
  • Train 587 will be suspended and replaced with a special train, 589, which will operate one hour later.

For more about these advisories, see