OCTA’s emergency construction work has been successful in stopping slope movement and stabilizing the tracks in south San Clemente, clearing the way for weekend rail service to safely resume.
The LOSSAN Rail Authority, which operates Amtrak’s popular Pacific Surfliner, is expected to restart weekend service Saturday, Feb. 4.
Metrolink will continue to operate weekend passenger rail service only as far south as the San Clemente Pier Station.
“Even with the recent heavy rain and high tides, our approach to this project has proven effective in keeping the track from moving and we’re pleased to announce that passenger service can safely resume on weekends,” said OCTA Chairman Gene Hernandez, also the Mayor of Yorba Linda. “I want to thank the public for their patience and I hope everyone can understand that ensuring passenger safety guides all of our actions.”
To ensure worker safety and for the most efficient completion of the project, rail service will not operate on weekdays. The beach area is constrained and the work requires the operation and movement of large construction equipment with personnel on and around the tracks.
Recent heavy rains led to delays in the construction schedule. The current schedule estimates work will be completed by the end of March and weekday passenger rail service also could be restored at that time. That schedule is subject to change depending upon additional rain.
OCTA is working with state and federal officials to secure necessary funding to pay for the emergency construction, estimated at $12 million. In October, the OCTA board approved the emergency construction and, on the same day, the California Transportation Commission met in a special session and approved $6 million in emergency funding.
OCTA is the owner of 40 miles of track stretching through Orange County, including the 8 miles along the coast through Dana Point and San Clemente. To date, OCTA has invested more than $2 billion in the rail corridor, including $1.3 billion in capital improvements.
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