The Journal of San Diego History
Spring 1988, Volume 34, Number 2
Thomas L. Scharf, Editor

by James N. Price

Santa Fe Stations


History: Another of San Diego County’s “combination” stations, this ornate beauty was built in 1887, making it one of the few pre-1900 stations left in the county. The station was originally called “Carl” to avoid confusion with Carlsbad, New Mexico. The building was used by Santa Fe until 1960 at which time it was acquired by city of Carlsbad.

Present Use: The immaculate green and gold station houses the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce. Additional rennovation marked the building’s centennial in 1987.

Location: Although not used as a train station, this building still sits at its original trackside location on Elm Avenue just west of State Street. A small park immediately to the west makes an enjoyable picnic spot and/or viewing spot for frequent Amtrak and freight trains that roll through night and day.

Carlsbad Santa Fe station in 1920.
The Carlsbad Santa Fe station in 1920. Santa Fe used the name “Carl” to distinguish this station from Carlsbad, New Mexico. (San Diego History Center – Ticor Collection)
Carlsbad's station today
Carlsbad’s station today houses the city’s Chamber of Commerce at the station’s original trackside location.