June 11, 2012 4 Comments
This is the first post in a short series based on my recent trip from Los Angeles to San Francisco by train. With an overnight stop in San Luis Obispo and a weekend in San Francisco, there were some great urbanist and transit lessons to be learned.
From the historic halls of Los Angeles’s Union Station to the platforms of San Luis Obispo’s depot is about a 5 hour journey by train. The five hours, about an hour and a half longer than driving, pass quickly and smoothly, especially when you have a traveling partner. From beautiful seaside tracks to fields of crops, the sights are amazing. The ability to relax, use the free Wi-Fi (which works better than many public Wi-Fi systems, with just a limit on downloading individual files over 10MB) make the trip extremely pleasant.
Leaving Los Angeles, the stops are often — Glendale, Burbank, Simi Valley — and seem to come right after one another. The train speeds up quickly, though, and the ocean-front ride up to and through Santa Barbara must be one of the most beautiful trips in the country. It’s even more enjoyable with a drink, some snacks, and a camera. Not long after come the hills leading into San Luis Obispo county, which were picturesquely blanketed in a thick layer of fog.