There’s a story along with this.
Growing up in Del Mar, when there was a train station, meant that my dad would occasionally announce ‘We’re going to Disney Land tomorrow!’ and that meant I was skipping school and we’d get up at 5am to catch the first train to Anaheim, get in before the park opened, and spend a day of fun. The train was always a wonderful adventure for me. I loved watching everything fly by as we zipped through towns. Solana Beach, Encinitas, all the places I knew in San Diego County, and then North County, and then DISNEY LAND.
When I was a teenager in boarding school, I would take the train home for break, from Santa Barbara to Del Mar. Again, we got up way early to catch the first train down, I’d get home at noon-ish and walk the mile (probably less) from the station to home. As I walked, I’d stop and chat with people I knew, my friends if they were out of school, or just people I’d known my whole life there. Sadly, in the middle of my senior year, the station closed.
The simple fact was back in 1995, Amtrak wanted to introduce the coaster service, which is a commuter train much akin to the Metra in Illinois. The Del Mar station would be great for this, but it had a postage stamp parking lot. Rightly so, Amtrak wanted the bigger parking lot, but the owners of the land where the station was did not agree (for whatever reason). At the time, I recall the town being a little split on it, too, where some people say it as a great way to introduce more revenue to our quiet surf town, and others thought there would be too much traffic for people. Del Mar isn’t exactly super-freeway accessible, after all. In the end, the station moved to Solana Beach.
Just now, I found out Del Mar is agitating to get a stop back. The Del Mar Fairgrounds is where the race track is, it’s also where the flipping county fair is held every summer. Where the old Surf Staion is located wouldn’t be great for that, and the mayor of Mar (Carl Hilliard) said in 2012 that there wouldn’t be a formal request for a new stop until they could build it by the fairgrounds. Personally I like that idea, though there needs to be an easier way to transport people from the fairgrounds to the town, so the restaurants can get more business. Maybe a fleet of Woodys, or trollies. That would be pretty cool.