NCTD brings rail operations for Coaster and Sprinter services in house

June 28, 2022
The move will see train operations and maintenance of equipment handled by NCTD staff, while maintenance-of-way work will continue to be contracted.

The North County Transit District (NCTD) completed insourcing of its rail equipment maintenance and train operations functions. The transition to bring rail operations and equipment maintenance in house impacts the Coaster rail and Sprinter hybrid rail service and includes nearly 100 employees.

The NCTD Board voted in April 2021 to bring these services in house from Bombardier Transportation/Alstom to improve overall service efficiency.

“This transition will allow NCTD to have a direct and proactive relationship with the employees performing train operations and maintenance of equipment who work to support our goals,” said NCTD Executive Director Matthew O. Tucker. “Our vision is to build a solid team culture, create new efficiencies, continuously improve safety and provide the highest quality service for our customers.”

NCTD previously brought rail dispatch and certain safety and security functions in house. Effective June 26, NCTD assumes rail equipment maintenance and train operations functions, including personnel performing the primary functions of train operations and maintenance of equipment for Coaster and Sprinter services, as well as preventative maintenance, minor reactive maintenance and work order requests.

The Coaster commuter rail service consists of seven locomotives and 28 bi-level passenger rail coaches covering 41 directional miles through eight stations from Oceanside to downtown San Diego. The Sprinter hybrid rail includes 12 diesel multiple unit (DMU) trains covering 22 directional miles through 15 stations between Escondido and Oceanside.

NCTD is responsible for maintaining the entire San Diego portion of the Los Angeles – San Diego – San Luis Obispo Rail (LOSSAN) Corridor and work to maintain this corridor will continue to be outsourced. The corridor supports NCTD’s rail service, BNSF freight services, Metrolink regional rail service and LOSSAN’s Amtrak Pacific Surfliner train.

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Group Editorial Director

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine and group editorial director of the Infrastructure and Aviation Group at Endeavor Business Media. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the editorial direction of the group and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.