Santa Ana has had continuous train service in the Amtrak-era from the 3 daily San Diegan trains that were operated back in 1971 that have become the 11 daily Pacific Surfliner trains today (except the northbound weekday SD to LA express train which bypasses this station) and most receive checked baggage service from a baggage office with long hours (random midday trains don't). Metrolink arrived in 1990 with the Orange County Commuter operated by Amtrak, which morphed into Metrolink in 1994 makes 10 weekday trips to Los Angeles on the Orange County Line, 7 to San Burnadino/Riverside on the Inland Empire/Orange County Line, plus the 3 evening OCTA sponsored round-trips to Fullerton. There are three total trains on weekends.
The station has two side platforms with a fence between them which begins at the grade crossing of Santa Ana Blvd. The platform for track 1, serving the San Diego-bound track is on the side of the large two three and four story Santa Ana Regional Transportation Center which is a large Mediterranean Revival building with up to five stories and was completed only in 1985 after the previous depot burned down. Inside is a large waiting area on the first floor with a wooden ceiling and tiled arched pillars holding it up. This houses the ticket counter and checked baggage service for Amtrak as well as Greyhound and an Express bus to Tijuana Express service. There are historic looking wooden benches for waiting and gift shop and concession stands. The upper floors of the depot house some conference rooms public meeting spaces and the offices of a job and workforce development service. Street side of the depot is a large parking lot, bus bays where they are required to pull in and back out (common for intercity coaches, rare for transit buses) and a parking garage. In total there are 375 parking spaces for transit users according to Metrolink, Amtrak claims 600 spaces. The depot is at an odd angle to the platform for track 1 so there is a courtyard with iron fencing (that has text reading Santa Ana) to close it off from the platform. This courtyard is dedicated to Robert L. Richardson. A long covered passageway is an extension of the depot along the platform for track 1, set back from the slightly raised platform (which has a fence), this provides the shelter to waiting passengers on this platform (there are some benches beneath it).
An over crossing dedicated on October 23, 2006 as a plaque says, connects the depot to the side platform for track two, an elevator and staircase leads down to this platform and internal elevators are used to reach track 1 in that depot. This platform has five other little canopies with two pillars holding them up in the style of the depot covering up a few benches, and also has an entrance (after walking around equipment boxes) at its northern end to the grade crossing with Santa Ana Blvd. Fruit Street ends in a dead end at the platform but has a tall fence and no entrance. Before 2006, when the overcrossing was built, the station had a different layout for the two tracks with the existing side platform for track 1 with pedestrian crossings to an island platform (with tactile warning strips) between the two tracks. (Photos from Link).
Photos 1-23 taken on 23 March, 2011 24-44 on 17 February, 2012