The Goleta Amtrak Station is the terminus of 3 of the 5 daily (the other two are extended to San Luis Obispo) northern Surfliner round-trips. The station platform is situated on the main line and along it is a siding used by these 3 daily trains to terminate with one trainset being stored overnight. The station is located in an industrial area situated between the freeway of US-101 (right behind the trees across from the station platform) and the northern edge of the runways (the passenger terminal is on the opposite southern side of the airport) of Santa Barbara Municipal Airport. The stations off the main road location and situation at the end of South La Patera Lane and without real suitable facilities like bus bays for bus connections (and no checked luggage, luggage can be checked through) means that the thruway bus connections up the Central Coast to SLO all connect with these three daily terminating Surfliner trains 9 miles down the line at the main Santa Barbara Station (although they pass within ). The station opened on September 21, 1998 ("San Deigan Trains now Stop in Goleta," LA Times, September 20, 1998, p. 3 Link) restoring passenger train service to Goleta that last existed in 1965 ta the end of Depot Street in downtown, about a mile away. The historic depot was preserved and moved to Lake Los Carneros Park, just across US-101 (but no place to cross the highway) north of the station.
This station tour begins along Hollister Avenue on the northern edge of the Airport where there is no sign to take South La Patera Lane a third of a mile past parking lots and small industry to the end of it where passengers are welcomed to the Amtrak Station at a turn-around loop in the middle of it. In the center of this loop is a wooden sign with a comical cut out of a steam engine pulling a train on top above that says Goleta Amtrak Station. There is a sign in the loop saying full size buses are not permitted inside the narrow area. On the NE corner is a modern gable roofed shelter with two concrete benches and a highway sign that says bus stop (I don't what connecting services stop at the station, on my visit I walked down to Hollister Avenue to catch a bus into Santa Barbara). At the SW corner is another sheltered bench alongside a sign saying Kiss & Ride. Just beyond this is a cinderblock building housing restrooms, built in 2008, across from the access road to the small 27 space parking lot is where the standard height narrow low-level concrete platform begins with a ramp up to it. The entire platform has a low green fence for its entire length, tactile warning strop and black lampposts. First it ramps up to high mini-high platform status so a Metrolink Bombardier BiLevel car can ADA legally stop at the station. This is followed by a mobile-lift attached to a lamppost. Then is the platforms small canopy, there are two additional short sets of steps up to the platform on either side of it. This has four stucco pillars that hold up a red gabled roof. Their are 3 concrete benches beneath it and the stations lone Metrolink TVM are ticket purchases. An LED service infromation sign hangs from the canopy. Wooden signs that read Goleta in green on a white background with the inverse colors beneath saying Elevation 35 feet at each end. There are six of these signs hanging from the sides of the canopies. There are also two wooden pointless arrow Amtrak logos hanging. The rest of the station signs are in the same style (minus the elevation message) of those on the canopy and are on some of the station lampposts but at odd angles (can't tell if this was intentional or not). Just west (railway north) of the canopy is a modern information panel with the panels for schedules facing the platform. At this point, the parking lot ends along the platform at a tall fence with a gate for the service road alongside it at bumper blocks for the storage and servicing siding used by the three daily Surfliner trips that terminate and reverse including where the overnight trip is stored.
All photos taken on 23 February, 2012
Last Updated: 30 March, 2011