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Salinas, CA
Amtrak Station Code: SNS
Located in: Pacific Time

30 Railroad Avenue
Salinas, CA 93901

 

Visit the Salinas page on Amtrak's website.

Station Details: Hours | Trains | Connections | Checked Baggage | Directions | Parking
Insider's Guide: Station Facilities | Neighborhood | Station History
Local Connections: Rental Cars | Hotels | Food | Local Transit | Visitor Information

Station Hours - last updated 04.10.05
Salinas is open from 10:00am - 2:00pm and 3:00pm - 8:00pm daily.
The Amtrak ticket office is open from 10:00am - 2:00pm and 3:00pm - 7:30pm daily.

Amtrak Trains - last updated 04.10.05
Salinas is served by one Amtrak train, the Coast Starlight, on the route between Los Angeles, CA and Seattle, WA.

  # Name   Station Time Freq. Miles
11 Coast Starlight from
to
Seattle, WA
Los Angeles, CA
11:48a daily 1,032
357
14 Coast Starlight from
to
Los Angeles, CA
Seattle, WA
6:36p daily 357
1,032

Connections - last updated 04.10.05 | contributed by James B. Toy
Thruway bus service is available to the Monterey Peninsula connecting with the Coast Starlight.

# Name   Station Time  
5111 Amtrak Thruway Bus from Monterey, CA and
Carmel, CA
ar 11:30a guaranteed connection to train #11
5211 Amtrak Thruway Bus to dp 11:50a
5114 Amtrak Thruway Bus from Monterey, CA and
Carmel, CA
ar 6:15p guaranteed connection to train #14
5214 Amtrak Thruway Bus to dp 6:40p

A Thruway Bus between San Jose and Santa Barbara also stops at the Salinas station, providing connections to the Capitol Corridor and Pacific Surfliner.

# Name   Station Time Freq.
534/734 Amtrak Thruway Bus from
to
Santa Barbara, CA
San Jose, CA
10:55a daily
537 Amtrak Thruway Bus from
to
San Jose, CA
Santa Barbara, CA
4:40p Mo-Fr
737 Amtrak Thruway Bus from
to
San Jose, CA
Santa Barbara, CA
5:10p SaSu

Checked Baggage - last updated 04.10.05
Checked baggage service is available on the Coast Starlight in both directions, though not to all destinations.  Check your arrival station's service to see if through checked baggage is available.  Each passenger may check up to three items, each of which may not exceed 50 pounds.  Each item must have a baggage ID tag attached; free tags are available from Amtrak ticket counters.  Please arrive at the station at least 30 minutes prior to departure if you wish to check baggage.

Driving Directions - contributed by James B. Toy
The station is located at the northwest corner of the downtown business district. It is on West Market Street, one block west of North Main Street. The building is set back from the street a few hundred feet.

Parking Details - contributed by James B. Toy
The parking lot is in excellent condition, and is well maintained. Lighting is adequate, but could be better. The neighborhood is questionable for long-term parking safety.

 

Insider's Guide to Salinas, CA - contributed by James B. Toy

Station Facilities
  The station is owned by the city of Salinas. I'm not sure of its age, but it appears to date from the 1930s. It has quaint Spanish architecture, though it is suffering somewhat from neglect. It is still very attractive, if somewhat tarnished. It still has its original wooden doors with brass accents. A frieze mural depicts the famous streamlined Southern Pacific Daylight train passing through Salinas Valley farmland.

The ticket window has silver art-deco lettering that reads “Tickets” over the counter. Look closely at the cardboard Amtrak locomotive on the rear wall of the ticket office, and you'll see the engineer is a space alien!

Opposite the ticket window are phone booths and rest rooms. The phone booths still have wood framed folding doors. An additional pay phone is located outside, to the left of the front doors.

The rest rooms are in very poor condition, and not kept clean. Because of problems with vandalism, they are now kept locked. You must ask the ticket agent for the key.

The platform is simple asphalt, and does not maintain a consistent level with the tracks. At the north end of the platform, the step up into the train borders on excessive. The platform could do with better lighting, which is provided mostly by two large light poles at each end, and on the station building itself.

Neighborhood  
  The station sits alongside a Union Pacific freight yard. UP offices are located inside the station building. There are quite a few transients in the area, most of whom walk freely across the freight yard as a matter of routine, even though it is supposed to be off limits to the public. The transients seem to be generally harmless, but it is not a good neighborhood to be outside after dark.

Station History  
  Immediately north of the station is an old Southern Pacific freight depot, which once facilitated the transport of agricultural products. It dates to the late 19th century. It is threatened by development proposals to turn the station property into a multi-modal transit center. However, the current sentiment of the planning agencies is that it should be preserved somehow, though it may need to be moved.

Immediately south of the station is a display of a historic steam locomotive and caboose. These were donated to the city by a private collector.

Next to the caboose, is the old Railway Express Agency building which now serves as a clubhouse for the Monterey and Salinas Valley Railroad, a model railroad club. Their layout, which depicts Salinas Valley railroads, is open to public viewing one weekend each month. See their website at www.msvrr.org for the schedule.

Rental Cars - last updated 04.10.05 | contributed by James B. Toy
There is a Hertz phone in the lobby.
Passengers taking the Thruway bus to the Monterey Peninsula, may request drop off at the Monterey Peninsula Airport rental car offices.

Hotels
No information on hotels is currently available.

Food - last updated 04.10.05 | contributed by James B. Toy
There is a small hole-in-the-wall restaurant near the entrance to the parking lot. I cannot comment on its quality, as I have never set foot inside.

There is a small sampling of good restaurants on Main Street, all within a few blocks. However, crossing the very busy Market Street on foot could be a challenge.

There are snack vending machines in the station lobby.

Local Transportation
No information on local transportation is currently available.

Visitor Information - last updated 04.10.05 | contributed by James B. Toy
Check out some of these popular points of interest.  Click on the name or address for a link to the website.

  National
Steinbeck
Center
1 Main Street - 0.2 miles east
831.796.3833
The National Steinbeck Center, a museum dedicated to the life and writings of John Steinbeck, is less than two blocks east. The rear of the center faces the station, and it looks like an olive green warehouse from the station building. The entrance is on Main Street (not to be confused with nearby North Main), which ends in front of the center.
 

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