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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Rail service cleared to resume in San Clemente

Metrolink and Amtrak passenger-rail service stopped April 27 when the hillside beneath the track began to slide.
Photo – Icomera


Effective May 27, Metrolink and Amtrak were cleared to resume passenger-rail service through San Clemente, California, following emergency work to stabilize a sliding hillside that resulted in debris falling on the track.

Service on the Southern California rail line stopped April 27 when the slope behind Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens began to slide, prompting the city to conduct emergency stabilization work, Orange County Transportation Authority officials said in a press release.

Crews have finished the bulk of the work, and Metrolink has worked with a contractor to clear debris near the track, allowing service to safely resume, they added.

Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner — operated by the LOSSAN Rail Corridor Agency — runs on the track. BNSF Railway Co. also operates freight trains there.

Late last year, the railroads discovered slope movement underneath the track along the coastline. Storm surge and sand erosion caused the track to shift as much as 28 inches between September 2021 and September 2022. The $13.7 million emergency project began in October 2022 and wrapped up in April after crews installed more than 200 ground anchors into the bedrock along 700 feet of track.