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Santa Barbara-L.A. Train Cuts Its Time

Rail commuters between Santa Barbara and Los Angeles can speed to their destinations more than 20 minutes quicker with an express service launched last week, Amtrak officials announced.

One of four daily runs between Santa Barbara and San Diego now makes fewer stops and completes the one-way trip much sooner, Amtrak spokesman Charles Seifert said.

“Amtrak found that there were people in San Diego and Orange County that want to get to Los Angeles faster than the first trains,” he said. “The express cuts a total of 50 minutes off the travel time” from Santa Barbara to San Diego.

The express began seven-days-a-week service Oct. 30.

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“It’s very popular,” Seifert said. “Three or four months ago, they added the fourth train on weekends, and because it was so popular the express is being added to that during the week.”

The San Diegan Express, which leaves Santa Barbara at 2:30 p.m., no longer stops at Moorpark, Camarillo and Ventura, Seifert said. But riders still can board the train in Oxnard at 3:17 p.m. and in Simi Valley. The other three daily runs to San Diego include the stops.

The trip from Santa Barbara to San Diego is now less than 5 1/2 hours.

In addition to the faster trips, the San Diegan Express boasts a series of new, sleeker railroad cars. The new cars have on-board wheelchair lifts, wider aisles, seating for 90 people and deluxe, reclining seats.

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