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The San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) will use $66 million in state funds to expand Coaster, Metrolink and Amtrak services, as well as improve the efficiency and capacity of freight operations. The funds were part of a recently announced $390 million grant package awarded through California's "cap-and-trade" auction proceeds.The money will be leveraged with local dollars to accelerate double-tracking of the entire coastal rail corridor in San Diego County, SANDAG officials said in a press release. The three projects that will receive funds from the state grant are:• the Elvira to Morena Double Track, which calls for adding 2.6 miles of track, replacing bridges and improving signals from California State Route 52 to south of Balboa Avenue in San Diego;• the San Diego River Double Track, which calls for adding 0.9 miles of track to connect to existing double track, resulting in a continuous 7-mile double track segment for the southernmost portion of the Los Angeles-San Diego-San Luis Obispo rail corridor; and• Poinsettia Station Improvements in Carlsbad, Calif., which calls for building new station platforms and a grade-separated pedestrian undercrossing, as well as lengthening the platform to accommodate longer trains."An improved rail line will attract more ridership and enhance freight movement, taking pressure off Interstate 5," SANDAG Chair Ron Roberts said.
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