U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced the award of $21 million for the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) for engineering to begin on three projects to improve Southern California's Pacific Surfliner Corridor, one of the nation's most popular passenger corridors.
Highlights of the rail projects include:
- Pacific Surfliner Corridor in the City of Oceanside: $4 million for preliminary engineering and environmental work for the construction of second main track and replacement of an aging railway bridge over the San Luis Rey River. This project will help alleviate residual train delays in the area and provide on-time performance benefits to intercity passenger trains. The project will also connect two existing sections of double track.
- Pacific Surfliner Corridor in the City of Del Mar: $7 million for preliminary engineering and environmental work for the construction of a 1.1 mile section of second main track, replacement of a timber trestle railway bridge built in 1916 and signal improvements. This project also includes a permanent seasonal rail platform with direct access to the Del Mar Fairgrounds, a major trip generator in San Diego County. When constructed this project will help alleviate current train delays, increase operational flexibility and improve on-time performance for intercity, commuter and freight operations.
- Pacific Surfliner Elvira to Morena Double-Track Project: $10 million for design, environmental and engineering work. When constructed, this project will connect two sections of double track, resulting in a 10.3-mile stretch of double track. This is part of the long-range plan to double track the San Diego segment of the corridor that will alleviate train delays, increase operational flexibility, improve on-time performance, and remove a capacity constraint to future intercity passenger rail service on the Los Angeles-San Diego-San Luis Obispo (LOSSAN) Corridor.
Secretary LaHood also announced that the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) was awarded $5.6 million for planning and environmental work to advance the development of the Oklahoma City-South Texas Corridor.
Future intercity passenger rail service will connect Oklahoma City, Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio and South Texas. The analyses funded by the grant will examine future ridership and revenue forecasts, capital costs, environmental issues, and routing and station location options, among other important planning considerations.
Earlier this year, Secretary LaHood announced a similar planning grant for high-speed rail service between Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston.