UPDATE: Amtrak Train South Service Restored

Pacific Surfliner resumed some train service between Ventura and Santa Barbara counties on Thursday morning, after deadly mudslides that shut down the 101 Freeway and closed railroad tracks on Tuesday, according to a Jan. 11 Amtrak press release.

“As drive time between the two counties could take hours due to continued closure of the 101, demand for train transportation is anticipated to be high, so passengers should expect busy trains and plan accordingly,” the release said.

The Pacific Surfliner, Coast Starlight services and Thruway Bus connections between Santa Barbara and Oxnard were suspended “indefinitely,” Amtrak spokeswoman Christina E. Leeds said in a Jan. 10 email. “We don’t have an estimate at this time,” she said. 

Thruway Bus connections are halted indefinately because of the closure of Highway 101.

Train service between Carpinteria and Santa Barbara made one Carpinteria man happy on the morning of Jan. 11. The man, who works in Santa Barbara, said he was able to catch a train around 10:40 a.m.

Although the man said the train traveled very slowly and so it took almost an hour to arrive in Santa Barbara.

Union Pacific, which owns the tracks, suspended all rail traffic in the area “until further” notice this week. “No alternate rail transportation is available at this time,” Amtrak said in a Jan. 11 statement. 

Normal rail operations continued north of Santa Barbara and south of Oxnard, Amtrak said. 

During the Thomas fire in December after the inferno jumped Highway 101 on the coastal area known as the Rincon, Amtrak stopped rail service. It resumed the week before Christmas.

Message board at Santa Barbara Amtrak station says it all.

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