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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

North County Transit District proceeds with passenger-rail line


San Diego’s North County Transit District (NCTD) recently awarded a $187.2 million contract to West Coast Rail Constructors, a joint venture between FCI Constructors and Flour Enterprises, to construct the 22-mile SPRINTER passenger-rail system.

West Coast Rail Constructors will reconstruct track in an existing east-west rail corridor now owned by NCTD. The project includes replacing track, ties, ballast, bridges and culverts; installing new grade crossing equipment, communication and control systems, signaling systems, right-of-way fencing, retaining and earth walls; improving drainage; and replacing signage and utilities. The project also includes constructing 14 stations with platforms, canopies, adjacent parking lots, lighting and surveillance equipment.

The entire $375.5 million SPRINTER budget includes $18 million to construct 1.7 miles of new right of way to serve the California State University San Marcos campus. NCTD is accepting bids until Aug. 25.

The budget also includes $9.7 million to construct the Escondido Maintenance Facility. In March, NCTD awarded a $50 million contract to Siemens Transportation Systems to manufacture 12 diesel multiple unit vehicles, scheduled to be delivered in March 2006. The remaining funds were used to acquire right of way, and complete engineering and design.

Traveling along the Highway 78 corridor through Oceanside, Vista, San Marcos and Escondido, Calif., the SPRINTER line is expected to begin service in late 2007.

NCTD will fund the project through "gap" financing while it awaits $80 million from the state in Traffic Congestion Relief Program funds, which were approved in 2001 but not yet allocated because of the state’s budget crisis.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 7/16/2004