Courtesy Jill Dutton

Jill Dutton, author of the "USA by Rail" travel blog and "Ride the Southwest Chief," a soon-to-be -completed series of twelve rail travel guides, talks with correspondent Tom Wilmer about traveling around America by train. 

Flickr member Glenn Beltz

Central Coast officials are investigating three train track fatalities that occurred this weekend.

The Sheriff's Offices in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties say three individuals were killed during separate collisions involving Amtrak trains and persons on the tracks. 

Flickr member Loco Steve

More travelers are choosing to take the train along the Central Coast than in years past, especially as part of holiday travel.

Amtrak California says it's seeing record ridership for the Pacific Surfliner, which services San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties as well as Southern California.

November ridership had levels not seen in more than a decade, despite low gas prices.

Matt Rocco is a Cal Trans spokesperson and says he believes there are several reasons why the service is seeing a jump in ridership levels.

Flickr member Glenn Beltz

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office identified the victim Wednesday morning who was fatally injured by an Amtrak train this past Saturday while taking pictures on the Gaviota Coast.

The victim is 26-year-old Mingyue Yuan, a Chinese visiting scholar at UC Santa Barbara. The Chinese Consulate and the University helped to notify next of kin in China.

In addition to Yuan, two others were also injured in the incident. The group had walked onto a railroad trestle near Refugio Beach to take pictures of the sunset.