Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley released a statement on the Orange County Transportation Authority’s announcement that the railroad tracks in San Clemente impacted by coastal erosion are deemed safe for limited passenger service on weekends following progress on the stabilization project.
Metrolink and the Los Angeles – San Diego – San Luis Obispo Rail Corridor Agency, which oversees the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner service, plans to restore weekend service between Orange County and San Diego County the weekend of February 4 and 5, 2023. Railroad stabilization efforts will continue throughout the week with completion expected in mid-March.
“Now that the railroad tracks are deemed safe for passenger service, it is time we seriously consider investing in science-based solutions to prevent these issues from inevitably happening again,” said Supervisor Foley. “Past railroad stabilization efforts have proven building ground anchors and depending on sandbags and rip rap are at best temporary fixes. Long-term solutions require leadership to implement them.”
“We must take an aggressive approach to end coastal erosion if we want to protect our coastline, our homes, our local economy, and our national security. As County Supervisor and OCTA Board member, I will prioritize using all the tools at my disposal to work with the scientific community and my colleagues across all levels of government on a permanent solution to protect our Orange County way of life.” Supervisor Foley added.
On September 30, 2022, Metrolink suspended the service lines between Laguna Niguel/Mission Viejo and Oceanside, and
Amtrak suspended service for their Pacific Surfliner trains between Irvine and San Diego due to coastal erosion impacting the train tracks along the San Clemente area. The impacted tracks are part of the second busiest intercity passenger rail corridor in the country as well as a designated national defense rail corridor within the Strategic Rail Corridor Network by the Department of Defense. The corridor sees more than 150 daily passenger trains and more than 70 freight trains per day.