Palm Springs, CA (PSN)
Long known for its mineral springs, the city became a fashionable hideaway for Hollywood stars, many of whom constructed the mid-century modern houses that now define the community.
Annual Station Ridership (FY 2020): 2,217
- Facility Ownership: City of Palm Springs
- Parking Lot Ownership: City of Palm Springs
- Platform Ownership: Union Pacific Railroad
- Track Ownership: Union Pacific Railroad
Amtrak began serving Palm Springs via the Sunset Limited/Texas Eagle on June 3, 1997. The station, located about eight miles north of downtown, was built by the city two years later and consists of a shelter whose design echoes the colors and forms of the nearby desert. Attractive native vegetation surrounds it, adding a soft texture that contrasts with the structure’s bold forms.
Palm Springs has had a number of stations over the years located in various quadrants of the metropolitan area. In the late 1930s, Southern Pacific built a handsome Spanish Colonial Revival style building in West Palm Springs. With a red tiled roof and large arched windows, at one time it welcomed daily trains carrying Hollywood stars, sun worshippers and residents. Known as “America’s Winter Playground,” Palm Springs is famous for its average 354 days of sun per year. Trains of the railroads’ golden era that stopped in Palm Springs included the Golden State, Super Chief and City of Los Angeles.
Still known today for its Hollywood connections, Palm Springs had much humbler beginnings, yet always had one very popular feature: water, particularly mineral springs. Cahuilla Indians called the area “Se-Khi” (boiling water); early 19th century Spanish explorers bestowed the name “Agua Caliente” (hot water); and U.S. government surveyors in the 1850s noted the spring and palms that surrounded it, thus giving the town its modern name. In 1877, the federal government granted Southern Pacific title to the odd numbered parcels of land for 10 miles on either side of the tracks; the even parcels went to the Cahuilla Indians and became part of the Aguas Calientes reservation.
The 1920s brought Hollywood glamour as the area became a popular spot for the filming of movies. By the 1950s, the town’s experimental mid-twentieth century Modernist architecture, marked by its extensive use of glass, deep, shady overhangs, and the idea of fluid indoor/outdoor spaces provided the town with a very distinct aesthetic, which is today enjoying a great popular revival.
If the heat ever gets to be too much, visitors and residents know to take a trip on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, which travels more than 2 miles up a steep incline into the surrounding mountains. Aside from the amazing view of the Coachella Valley, the change in altitude can also result in a 30 degree temperature drop.
Platform with Shelter
- Quik-Trak kiosks not available
- No ticket sales office
- Amtrak Express shipping not available
- No checked baggage service
- No checked baggage storage
- Bike boxes not available
- No baggage carts
- Ski bags not available
- Bag storage not available
- Shipping boxes not available
- No baggage assistance
- Same-day parking is available; fees may apply
- Overnight parking is available; fees may apply
- Accessible platform
- No restrooms
- No accessible ticket office
- No accessible waiting room
- No accessible water fountain
- Accessible same-day parking is available; fees may apply
- Accessible overnight parking is available; fees may apply
- No high platform
- No wheelchair
- No wheelchair lift