Review: Amtrak Coach Class Santa Ana to San Diego Old Town

Booking the Trip: Amtrak Ride to San Diego and back
Review: Amtrak Coach Class Santa Ana to San Diego Old Town
Review: Amtrak Pacific Business Class San Diego Old Town to Santa Ana

Good Afternoon from San Diego! After a two-hour train ride from Santa Ana to Old Town San Diego where we spent some time, now we sit near Seaport Village in San Diego close to the airport, which I’m enjoying several views of narrowbody aircraft landing as well as a JAL 787-8 from NRT. But today is about trains.

We arrived at Santa Ana Train Station about 15 minutes before the scheduled departure of our train, 8:13 AM. This is one of the nicer train stations I’ve been to, but it was fairly empty at this hour. Here are some pictures of the station:


Santa Ana Station entrance
Santa Ana ceiling
Santa Ana Station Courtyard
Santa Ana Station Courtyard


Train Station from passenger overpass
Train tracks from passenger overpass
Train Station from courtyard

Finally at 8:13 AM on the dot our train approached. Now if only airplanes could operate with the same accuracy.🤔

Amtrak Pacific Surfliner approaches


Amtrak Pacific Surfliner

Ok, so now for the coach carriages, pretty much all will be labeled “coach”. However, one of the coach carriages will be labeled “Coach/Cafe” like below.

Coach/Cafe cabin

This is where the onboard cafe is and there are several tables with seats set up where you can eat.  Here is what that cafe selection looks like:


Cafe selection


Cafe selection

Rather than me listing all the different menu items for you, here is a picture that lists that and the price:


Menu items

Here is the seat pair we took in the cafe area while we ate. We actually sat here the whole train ride, but there is very limited space in the cafe seating area and almost all other coach travelers will be sitting in the normal seats. So I went up to the second floor in the middle of the ride and tested the normal seats as well.

Cafe Seats

Here are the coach seats below, this particular one did not have a window, but most of the others did have one. Now to the seat itself, the padding was decent. The pad where you sit on was somewhat plush, however, the back padding was a little hard. That’s not to say it was not comfortable to sit on(it was perfectly good for a 1.5-hour train ride), but I really had to push my back in to get it to go into the seat a little. That is pretty much the only complaint about the seat, the rest are all good things.

Coach Class Seat

The legroom was very, very good. It was better than any economy class you’d find on a plane.

Coach Class Seat Legroom


Seat view

There were also footrests at every seat which is a nice touch.


Coach Seat Footrest

Additionally, there was also a 120 V power source to charge devices. One thing to note is that the cafe seats are a fun place to sit, but there are no charging ports at any of the seats there. Just something to keep in mind if you are planning on sitting in the coach cafe seats.

Power Outlet

There was also an in-seat tray-table that could be pulled out and extended towards you.


Seat Tray Table

For the rest of the train ride, there was nothing special, just the views out the right side of my window of the gloomy mornings over the ocean.




However, I eventually opted to have some cranberry juice from the bar, which turned out to be way too sweet and based on it being a Tropicana juice, I should have seen it coming. I didn’t even drink half of it because I’d rather not have the extra sugar.


Cranberry juice from the bar

Eventually, I went to check out the bathroom on the lower floor. It’s pretty basic but it definitely is spacious. However I would assume one would not spend too much time here, but nevertheless here is what it looks like.






And finally at 10:08AM sharp we arrived at the old town train station.

Old Town Train Station

Overall, I think Amtrak’s coach product is great. The seats are fairly comfortable, the conductors were friendly, and the views were fairly good since we were riding the coast down. Although train posts are rare for me, I have the return journey in their business class to talk about, so I hope you enjoy that, and then after that, back to lots of flight posts!







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