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Tuesday, January 22 , 2019, 5:06 am | Fair 53º


South Coast Railroad Museum Offers ‘Sweetheart Special’ Rail Excursion for Valentine’s Day Weekend

The South Coast Railroad Museum is reprising its popular “Sweetheart Special” rail excursion in 2015 on Saturday, Feb. 14 and Sunday, Feb. 15. Those taking the Valentine’s Day-themed train trip may choose to travel on either of those dates.

Exclusively for Sweetheart Special, the museum has booked the magnificent Vista Dome car, Silver Splendor. Learn more about this historic railcar and its history in the “About the Car” section, below.

Regardless of the date of travel chosen, all Sweetheart Special passengers will enjoy a delicious lunch buffet hosted aboard Silver Splendor, plus sweet treats, optional Valentine’s-themed fun activities, and unparalleled travel along the beautiful Central Coast to San Luis Obispo. Beverages and a light snack are also included with the ticket price.

Passengers on both days may board the Sweetheart Special at either the Santa Barbara or Goleta Amtrak stations. The train is scheduled to depart Santa Barbara at 10:22 a.m. (10:34 a.m. for Goleta), arriving in San Luis Obispo at 1 p.m. The return trip, aboard the same vintage railcar, will begin at 1:55 p.m., arriving in Goleta at 4:17 p.m. and Santa Barbara at 4:32 p.m.

The Sweetheart Special is a great opportunity to see and enjoy the spectacular views and sites along the spectacular ocean-side route to San Luis Obispo, including the majestic Gaviota Coast, Santa Barbara Channel Islands, Hollister Ranch, Point Conception, Vandenberg AFB, Pismo Beach, the Edna Valley wine country, a number of state and county beach parks — including El Capitan, Refugio, Gaviota, Ocean Park and Jalama — and more.

Tickets for the Sweetheart Special rail trip are $135 per person. A discount is available for purchases made through the museum’s online store by clicking here.

Additional trip information can also be found on the online store. Reservations may also be made by calling the museum at 805.964.3540.

Trip seating is limited. Early reservations are recommended.

About the Car

Silver Splendor was built for the Zephyr fleet of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad by the Budd Co. in 1956. This stainless-steel Vista Dome car raced between Chicago and Denver on a daily basis until 1980, including the final nine years under Amtrak ownership. Originally named Silver Buckle, she was part of the last two complete conventional train sets to be ordered new in the pre-Amtrak era, traveling more than 4.5 million miles.

Vista Dome cars are celebrated for their graceful glass-enclosed rooftop observation rooms, which provide unparalleled views in all directions. This makes Silver Splendor the perfect venue for enjoying the spectacular views and sites along the beautiful coastal route between Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo.

— Gary Coombs is the director of the South Coast Railroad Museum.


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