Palm Springs Station

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AM_ROAD

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I’m currently looking at possibly taking the Sunset Limited from Alpine TX to Palm Springs CA for a boys trip. That being said the arrival times for me are not the best and may force me on a plane. However, my bigger question is has anyone taken this train to this station and how do you get into town without a car at 2 am if on time? I would think taxi but no idea if anything is running at that time.
 

jiml

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The station itself is in a pretty desolate spot adjacent to I-10. There's been quite a lengthy discussion about it (with pictures) in the the thread regarding the recent minor derailment there. We used to go to Palm Springs every year and I've often wished the trains in both directions weren't at such obscure times, so although I've been to the station I've never gotten there on Amtrak (unless you count passing through).
 

jiml

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jiml

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Perhaps one of the hotels has a shuttle that you can pick you up.
Palm Springs and area is pretty quiet in the wee hours. Even the few hotels that offer shuttles to the airport don't do so overnight. The station is not very close to hotels of the quality that would offer shuttles - especially at that time of night. The term station is a bit misleading in this case. It is a parking lot and platform with a shelter at one end, surrounded by sand. There was once a payphone, but I'd guess it's long gone. The closest "civilization" is a cluster of gas stations and fast food places at the Interstate to the north. I'd guess taxi or rideshare would be the only options.
 
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Cal

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Palm Springs and area is pretty quiet in the wee hours. Even the few hotels that offer shuttles to the airport don't do so overnight. The station is not very close to hotels of the quality that would offer shuttles - especially at that time of night. The term station is a bit misleading in this case. It is a parking lot and platform with a shelter at one end, surrounded by sand. There was once a payphone, but I'd guess it's long gone. The closest "civilization" is a cluster of gas stations and fast food places at the Interstate to the north. I'd guess taxi or rideshare would be the only options.
Why did Amtrak change their station from Indio to Palm Springs? Indio is bigger, and the Indio station was closer to the city.
 

jiml

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Why did Amtrak change their station from Indio to Palm Springs? Indio is bigger, and the Indio station was closer to the city.
They used to stop at both. The old SP/Amtrak station in Indio was a shack, but at least a building. The construction in Palm Springs is much newer but for lack of a better term - sparse. Given that celebrities once took the train to this area, it's quite a downgrade.
 
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Cal

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They used to stop at both. The old SP/Amtrak station in Indio was a shack, but at least a building. The construction in Palm Springs is much newer but for lack of a better term - sparse. Given that celebrities once took the train to this area, it's quite a downgrade.
That's a shame. They really should serve Indio again
 

AM_ROAD

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Yeah I am going to fly. Too much of a pain logistically, which is always the issue. Too bad there isn't a section that separates at El Paso and heads to the DFW area. It would give passengers plenty of time to enjoy El Paso as the portion from Houston would certainly be delayed from that bottle neck. 😉
 

jiml

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Yeah I am going to fly. Too much of a pain logistically, which is always the issue.
We went to Palm Springs for years up until recently and have always had to fly. I've driven to or by the Amtrak station many times while there, as well as passing through on the Eagle/Sunset at least 4 times. Always wished it had been a viable Amtrak destination.

A tip if you're flying: PSP tends to lean expensive if not using airline miles or similar, so our secret was to always widen the search to include nearby airports. Ontario (ONT) is usually much cheaper for both flight and rental cars, and is only an hour drive, and even LAX can be a saving despite the much longer drive. That said PSP is a delightful airport.
 

Deni

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Yeah I am going to fly. Too much of a pain logistically, which is always the issue. Too bad there isn't a section that separates at El Paso and heads to the DFW area. It would give passengers plenty of time to enjoy El Paso as the portion from Houston would certainly be delayed from that bottle neck. 😉
Right there is just one example of what is wrong with train service in this country. Even a train lover on a train message board chooses to fly over the train due to a schedule and/or station location just not being workable. One daily train (or worse, three a week in this case) causes a lot of missed customers all over our system because of so many stations not having waking hours service. So many people, ones that aren't train nuts, are interested in train travel but too often it's too inconvenient to make realistic.

My wife looks like she may be getting a new job soon that will require her to travel frequently to Indianapolis from our home in Chicago. She was looking up the location of the office in Indy and she came to me and said, "Great, it's near the train station." I then explained to her the tri-weekly schedule and the arrival/departure time in Indy. Another potential Amtrak customer lost to the bus or car rental.
 
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