I recently traveled to and from Los Angeles on Amtrak California’s Pacific Surfliner. It’s been years since I’ve been on a west coast train ride and I forgot how scenic it was (for the most part). From just outside San Diego to right after San Clemente or so, you’re traveling literally right next to the Pacific Ocean and it’s breathtaking at times. Then you head more inland and it’s all industrial blight until you hit Union Station, one of the few remaining original train stations. Walking into that station, you’re swept back in time to a bygone era when train travel was vibrant and bustling. Now? Not so much, at least not on this coast.
The train runs up the coast from San Diego through Del Mar, Carlsbad, Oceanside, San Clemente, and onward to Anaheim and finally Fullerton and Los Angeles. Along the beaches you see odd palm trees, people walking and playing, the occasional pier, and the lunar landing-like lifeguard stations. The latter always look so lonely to me, like they’re watching for something they might never see.
The photos below were taken over two separate days, to L.A. and from L.A. They’re divided by a couple of shots of Union Station. The trip up was clear and beautiful, with crisp blue skies; the trip back, cloudy and moody with purplish lingering clouds offset by the green ocean. I was lucky to have two such disparate days, so I could see the ocean calm and inviting, and tense and angry.
All photos were taken with an iPhone 6 on a moving train. Click on the thumbnails to see the photos larger on your screen and in slideshow mode. If you like my photos please follow me on Instagram @gg92101.