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The rail line serving Amtrak and Metrolink through San Clemente, Calif., is set to reopen for regular passenger rail service March 25 as emergency work to build a catchment wall to protect the track is wrapping up.

The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA), which owns the track through San Clemente, worked in partnership with Metrolink, which operates regional passenger rail service, to build a 200-foot-long wall at Mariposa Point, to safely re-establish service on the track.

Metrolink and the LOSSAN Rail Corridor Agency, operator of Pacific Surfliner, are each planning to resume full service. Passengers are being updated through social media, station messages, and direct communication.

Restoring Pacific Surfliner Service

Full passenger service is being restored ahead of the initial schedule because of expedited work made possible with strong cooperation between the transportation agencies and the State, including the California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA).

In the past week, the construction team working at the San Clemente site finished the catchment wall and have continued to work on a more comprehensive drainage system and trenching along the rail right of way.

The team also worked in coordination with the City of San Clemente to adjust a sewer access point. This week, additional tie replacement and track resurfacing will take place.

The emergency construction work was necessitated by a Jan. 24 landslide from a privately-owned hillside that littered the rail right of way below with soil and debris halting rail service.

After extensive work, limited Pacific Surfliner passenger service resumed in early March, but the re-opening of the line will mark the first time regular passenger service has resumed through the area since the initial slide.

For the longer term, OCTA and its rail partners will continue to work with local, state, and federal stakeholders on both near-term and long-term solutions for protecting rail movement along this critical corridor.  -  Photo: OCTA

For the longer term, OCTA and its rail partners will continue to work with local, state, and federal stakeholders on both near-term and long-term solutions for protecting rail movement along this critical corridor.

Photo: OCTA

Working on Longer-Term Solutions

For the longer term, OCTA and its rail partners will continue to work with local, state, and federal stakeholders on both near-term and long-term solutions for protecting rail movement along this critical corridor.

Work is already under way on the first of two studies. Listening sessions with stakeholders and the public have begun on the OCTA-led Orange County Coastal Rail Resiliency Study, which aims to protect the rail line in place for the next 10 to 30 years.

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