Camarillo, CA (CML)
Named for rancher and agriculturalist Adolfo Camarillo, the town remained a small farming community until the mid-20th century and the construction of the Ventura Freeway.
Amtrak / Metrolink Station
30 Lewis Road
Camarillo, CA 93010
Annual Station Ridership (FY 2021): 11,807
- Facility Ownership: N/A
- Parking Lot Ownership: Ventura County Transportation Commission
- Platform Ownership: Union Pacific Railroad
- Track Ownership: Union Pacific Railroad
The Amtrak stop in Camarillo is at the foot of Ventura Boulevard and consists of a platform that is shared with Metrolink. The decorative paving in the parking lot, its attractive fence and landscaping are maintained by the city. The Metrolink station was completed in 1994, originally as a temporary emergency response to the January 17, 1994 Northridge earthquake, to reduce freeway congestion. As constructed by Metrolink, the station originally cost $250,000, an addition to its park-n-ride lot. The San Diegans (renamed Pacific Surfliners) began stopping in Camarillo at the end of June 1995, and service has continued since.
Once the home of members of the Chumash tribe, Camarillo’s European settlement began as a 10,000-acre Spanish land grant, created in 1837 and patented to Gabriel Ruiz in 1866. Juan Camarillo purchased it in 1875, but died in 1880 and left his 16 year old son, Adolfo, to run the ranch. Adolfo Camarillo, for whom the city is named, was the one of the last of the original Californios and a dedicated civic leader and innovative agriculturalist, employing a number of Chumash Indians on his ranch. He and his wife moved to the ranch in 1888, but their original adobe house burnt; so in 1892, with the services of architects Franklin Ward and Herman Anlauf, Camarillo built a gracious three-story, 14-room home in the Queen Anne style, which remains a proud possession of the city today. With the help of his Chumash workers, he also planted two rows of eucalyptus trees along what would become Route 101 today, some of which still stand.
Camarillo’s younger brother, Juan, donated land from the ranch for the St. Mary Magdalen Chapel and St. Johns Seminary, both completed in 1939, both of which are still standing; the chapel is within a few blocks of the train station. He commissioned architect Albert C. Martin to design the Camarillo church along the same as a favorite chapel outside Mexico City and the mission-style church was built in honor of his father, Don Juan Camarillo, and his mother, Martina Hernandez. It was named for Juan and Adolfo’s oldest sister, Magdalena.
The Camarillo family ranch is also noted for a specific breed of white horses that they nurtured for over 70 years, the Camarillo White Horses. The lineage, begun in 1921 with the purchase of Sultan, a pure white stallion with brown eyes, became well-known throughout California, as they paraded and performed at fiestas and other festivities. The Camarillo White Horses became well-known at the Pasadena Rose Parades, attended the opening of the Oakland Bay bridge, helped raise War Bonds and have gone to the Santa Barbara Fiesta parades since the 1930s. Until 1987, the Camarillo family was the only breeder; after the death of Adolfo Camarillo’s widow in 1987, the horses were disbursed for a time and sold off. However, a group of dedicated aficionados have recently sought to regroup the horses and preserves this genetically unique breed. Today there are 20 living Camarillo White Horses, with successful breeding continuing.
While the railroad came through about 1901, Camarillo remained a small farming community until the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) built the Ventura Freeway through the city in the 1950s. Originally planned to pass south of Camarillo, along Portrero Road, the city leadership lobbied Caltrans successfully for the freeway to pass through the city instead, splitting the town in two. The Old Town and agricultural lands lay to the south and new commercial developments sprang up to the north or the freeway. In the mid 1990s, the Premium Outlets—one of the largest in California—were constructed, and played a substantial part in sustaining the city’s economy, with the sales taxes alone bringing in over $6.5 million in the late 1990s. Today, about 160 retail establishments populate the Premium Outlets and the more recent addition, the Promenade.
One of the reasons for incorporation in 1964 was to allow the city to control growth. The land south of the freeway retains some of its agricultural uses, and the main residential growth has taken place to the north of the freeway. In the 1960s, many of the home buyers were military veterans who had been stationed at bases nearby. Newer residents have been commuters desiring a relatively quiet and smog-free environment, as well as workers at the 3M plant nearby. The city has meanwhile undertaken revitalization efforts for the original Old Town area, close to the Camarillo station, to push back the neglect of the older parts of the city which were one effect of the bustling commercial growth in the 1990s.
The Pacific Surfliner service is primarily financed through funds made available by the State of California, Department of Transportation, and is managed by the LOSSAN Joint Powers Authority.
Platform only (no shelter)
- ATM not available
- No elevator
- No payphones
- No Quik-Trak kiosks
- No Restrooms
- Unaccompanied child travel not allowed
- No vending machines
- No WiFi
- Arrive at least 30 minutes prior to departure
- Amtrak Express shipping not available
- No checked baggage service
- No checked baggage storage
- Bike boxes not available
- No baggage carts
- Ski bags not available
- No bag storage
- Shipping boxes not available
- No baggage assistance
- Same-day parking is available; fees may apply
- Overnight parking is available; fees may apply
- No payphones
- Accessible platform
- No accessible restrooms
- No accessible ticket office
- No accessible waiting room
- No accessible water fountain
- Same-day, accessible parking is available; fees may apply
- Overnight, accessible parking is available; fees may apply
- No high platform
- No wheelchair
- Wheelchair lift available