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Capital improvement projects to optimize Amtrak Pacific Surfliner operations to cause closures

The Los Angeles – San Diego – San Luis Obispo (LOSSAN) Rail Corridor Agency (Agency), which manages the Amtrak® Pacific Surfliner® service, encourages passengers to plan ahead when traveling between San Luis Obispo and Goleta over the coming weeks.

The LOSSAN Agency is funding the upgrade of significant capital improvement projects on the tracks between Goleta and San Luis Obispo. These improvements, being implemented by the Union Pacific Railroad, include the upgrade of several railroad switches as well as the replacement of the Narlon Bridge. The switch modernization will significantly benefit the operational efficiency of Pacific Surfliner trains, as these switches are currently hand operated.

The Narlon Bridge, situated on the Vandenberg Airforce Base, stretches 720 feet across the San Antonio Creek. The bridge is a 125-year-old steel trestle construction and is in need of complete replacement. While these improvements will provide significant benefit to our service and passengers in the long term, it does require some operational adjustments in the near term.

These adjustments include the following:

  • Track Closures and Service Disruptions: the construction work requires the complete shutdown of the railroad at a number of locations. This will result in significant disruptions to train service between San Luis Obispo and Goleta. For the dates of August 9 – 23, 2021, there will be no train service north of Goleta. Bus connections will be available for trains 768 and 796 heading south, and from trains 763 and 785 heading north. The Coast Starlight will not operate along this corridor during this time period.
  • Temporary Layover Locations: to facilitate the continued service south of Goleta, a single Pacific Surfliner train will have nightly layovers at a temporary location in Santa Barbara. The train will spend the night of August 8, 2021, on the tracks adjacent to the Santa Barbara train station. For August 9 – 23, 2021, the train will layover nightly on a rail spur adjacent to the Chase Palm Park. The rail spur allows for the housing of the train in a location that will cause minimal disturbance to surrounding residents and businesses. All Pacific Surfliner trains run the new Siemens Charger locomotives. These are the only passenger locomotives to receive the stringent Tier IV emissions certification from the Environmental Protection Agency, making the Chargers one of the cleanest and quietest diesel-electric passenger locomotives currently in operation.

“We understand and regret these closures cause a short-term inconvenience to our passengers and the neighboring communities,” said LOSSAN Agency Managing Director Donna DeMartino. “When these improvements are complete, they will allow for faster, safer, more efficient, and even expanded service on the north end of our corridor.”

Visit the Pacific Surfliner website for additional information. To stay up to date on the latest announcements, news and information for the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner, visit news.pacificsurfliner.com.

This article was released by the LOSSAN Rail Corridor Agency.