OCTA, Metrolink to study long-term solutions to protect San Clemente rail line

March 27, 2024
Regular passenger service on the rail line resumed March 25 following a near two-month suspension of passenger rail traffic due to soil and debris sliding into the rail right of way, the fifth suspension of service on the line in the past three years.

Regular passenger rail service through San Clemente, Calif., resumed March 25, restoring a critical link in southern California’s transportation system with the completion of a 200-foot-long catchment wall at Mariposa Point that will protect the track from soil and debris from a privately owned slope that slid into the rail right of way in late January.    

The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA), which owns the track through San Clemente, is working with Metrolink, which operates regional passenger service, to address other potential problem areas along the coastal rail line and to further study longer-term solutions for protecting the track that connects passengers and freight from San Diego to Orange County and farther north. 

The suspension of service on the rail line in late January was the fifth service interruption in the past three years.   

The LOSSAN Rail Corridor Agency, which operates Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner service, worked closely with OCTA and Metrolink to safely restore passenger service. Limited passenger service on the Pacific Surfliner began March 6.