On a recent Saturday morning, Irvine resident Ian Gatti, 10, was looking forward to his very first train ride.
“I’m excited,” Ian said as he scanned the track at Irvine Station for the southbound Amtrak Pacific Surfliner that would take him and his family to San Diego.
“You’re hoping to get a window seat, right?” his mother Patty said. “So you can look at the ocean.”
The Gattis were among many waiting for trains to summertime destinations like Disneyland, San Diego, L.A.’s Union Station, California’s central coast, northern California’s wine country and beyond.
1 million served yearly — Orange County’s busiest station
Irvine Station, which opened in June 1990, is centrally located near the beach, job centers and entertainment. This busiest station in Orange County serves more than 1 million commuters annually, helping them get to and from work without being stuck in traffic.
Terry Decker takes advantage of Irvine Station about once a month, typically on weekends.
“It is very convenient,” said Decker, hopping on a train for Oceanside. “I live near Irvine and instead of hitting the freeway traffic all the way, this shortens it.”