Orange County: Train service through San Clemente will remain closed through February as railroad repairs begin

SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. (KABC) — Since late September, travelers traveling to and from San Diego on Amtrak have been required to make a pit stop in Irvine.

Passengers headed south get off at the train station. They board buses, which then take them to the San Diego border.

There they change to another train and continue to their final destination. Angela Russo does the hike often.

“You explain very well,” she said. “They get you from point A to point B safely and on time.”

People who travel north like Liz Villarial experience the same journey.

“Well, it wasn’t really that bad, you know? From San Diego. And then we had to stop and then we got on the bus and everyone was polite and they’re nice and clean,” she said.

Amtrak and Metrolink trains were forced to halt service through San Clemente.

“With rail service currently suspended, we want to make sure this work gets done as soon as possible,” said Eric Carpenter, spokesman for the Orange County Transportation Authority.

He said OCTA has the right-of-way and said it was too risky to continue rail passenger service through this area due to bank erosion on one side and an unstable slope on the other.

He said over the past 14 months the rail line has been pushed about 28 inches closer to the ocean.

Carpenter said emergency work began this week on the track and hillside.

“We’ve been working to place large boulders known as riprock on one side, on the coast side, and what we’re doing now is working along a 700-foot beach in San Clemente to ensure.” “That slope stabilized and won’t affect the track,” said Carpenter.

However, he said construction work must keep the popular route closed until early February.

“I’d rather be on a safe track than a track that has been accelerated and falls back into the ocean within two years,” Russo said.

Also, Carpenter said, halfway through the project, they plan to re-analyze progress made, and when safe to do so, they plan to reopen it ahead of the February target date.

Copyright © 2022 KABC Television, LLC. All rights reserved. Orange County: Train service through San Clemente will remain closed through February as railroad repairs begin

Laura Coffey

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