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Pasadena, CA

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#1 CHamilton



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Posted 28 March 2014 - 04:50 PM

Most modern train stations are little more than parking lots with platforms far away from someplace people want to go to. Your busier stations are transportation centers with good connections to other trains and other travel modes like bus and rail transit. Few train stations today are destinations. People often travel for fun to go to places that are interesting with things to see and do; not because they have to go there. More people will ride the train when it is the best way to go to popular destinations.

Great rail destinations are places that developed around their train stations. In Southern California I can name towns such at San Juan Capistrano, Clairemont, Fullerton and the City of Orange where their old train stations are near or in the heart of the historic part of town. Another city like this is Pasadena.




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#2 the_traveler



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Posted 28 March 2014 - 04:56 PM

Pasadena used to be served by the SWC, but since the reroute about 10-15 years ago it is no longer served by Amtrak trains.
Take it easy .......

Take the train instead and enjoy the ride!

The view is much better at 3 feet than it is at 30,000 feet!

#3 WhoozOn1st



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Posted 28 March 2014 - 07:16 PM

Pasadena is indirectly served by Amtrak.  It goes to Los Angeles Union Station, and from there one may board the Metro Gold Line for the prettiest trip in the Metro Rail system, mostly over the old Santa Fe right of way.  After reaching downtown Pasadena the line unfortunately runs down the middle of a freeway to the current end of track at Sierra Madre Villa, but it's well into the construction of an extension further into the San Gabriel Valley.




Gold Line Chinatown station.  First stop on the way to Pasadena, which is 20 scenic minutes from here by light rail


While Amtrak does not directly serve every city in southern California, the good and improving transit options at most of its stations make it a gateway ride to most places in the region.  So never mind that 10-15 years ago junk!  You can easily jump off Amtrak and jump into southern California! 


#4 The Davy Crockett

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Posted 29 March 2014 - 06:11 AM

I agree that Pasadena is a great railway town.
I've stayed in Pasadena a couple of times after getting off the SSL and the SWC.  As Whooz says, it is an easy transfer from LAUS to the Gold Line and the ride is very scenic.   There is a Courtyard hotel a couple of blocks from the Memorial Park station which has done a great job of accomodating my early arrivals to check in and the hotel is close to all the shops, restaurants and watering holes in Ol' Pasadena.
I've found Pasadena to be a great walking town with lots of nice neighborhoods to walk through.  I've walked over and toured the Gamble House, an incredibly nice mansion built in the California Arts and Crafts style, which was designed by the acclaimed architectural firm of Greene and Greene.  There are other houses desgned by the firm in close proximity to the Gamble House which are great to walk past too.  There is some great Mid-Century Modern architecture in town as well.
Additionally, there is the Norton Simon Museum which, as their website says:

The Norton Simon Museum is known around the world as one of the most remarkable private art collections ever assembled. Over a thirty-year period 20th-century industrialist Norton Simon (1907–1993) amassed an astonishing collection of European art from the Renaissance to the 20th century and a stellar collection of South and Southeast Asian art spanning 2,000 years.

Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately,  I've never seen the Little Ol' Lady while in town.

Edited by The Davy Crockett, 29 March 2014 - 06:17 AM.

I wish I was a headlight on a northbound of the border train.

#5 calwatch


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Posted 08 April 2014 - 11:27 AM

The former Amtrak (Santa Fe) station is a wonderfully restored restaurant, with the baggage room now a bar. Worth a visit although the prices are more big city than suburban.

#6 NorthShore



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Posted 20 April 2014 - 01:08 PM

I really enjoyed an afternoon in Pasadena last year. Wish I could have done even more. Going to have to get to Santa Anita for the Breeders Cup, perhaps.

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