Featured graphic for the Orange County Transportation Authority

Public input needed for O.C. rail study on climate change

How could climate change and severe weather potentially affect Orange County’s passenger rail service?

That’s the question the Orange County Transportation Authority, in partnership with Caltrans District 12, is exploring in an ongoing study.

The study, known as the Rail Infrastructure Defense Against Climate Change study, will identify both the challenges and opportunities to improve service, operations, and infrastructure along Orange County’s rail corridor and ways to better withstand severe weather conditions.

As part of that study, the public is invited to participate in a short online survey that will help provide recommendations for improving Orange County’s 12 rail stations. In particular, it will explore how to better shield passengers from the effects of heat, rain, wind and other extreme weather conditions.

The survey takes only a few minutes to fill out. To access the survey, please visit www.ocrailsurvey.com between now and the end of September.

The overall study is looking at an approximately 25-mile section of Orange County railway that runs from Irvine to the Orange County border with San Diego County. Much of that rail line runs near the coast.

The study will help identify strategies for reducing the risk to the rail line from flooding, mudslides, coastal surge and sea-level rise, among other potential climate-related conditions.

It will also develop a plan for enhancing the management of vegetation near the rail line to better withstand periods of intense drought or heavy rains.

Improved shelter structures, natural shading and other amenities at rail stations will also be considered in the study.

For more information, visit www.octa.net/railstudy.

This article was released by the Orange County Transportation Authority.