As the work to stabilize the railway in south San Clemente continues, commuter train service aboard the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner is scheduled to resume weekend service between Orange County and San Diego starting on Feb. 4, Amtrak announced this week.
Passenger rail operations between the Laguna Niguel/Mission Viejo Station and Oceanside have been suspended since Sept. 30, a result of movement on the track following the heavy rains that battered Southern California last fall.
“Emergency construction work has successfully stabilized the area, and a safety assessment has cleared the way for rail service to resume,” Amtrak said in its announcement.
While the Surfliner will shuttle passengers to and from San Diego on the weekends, Metrolink said it would continue to operate weekend commuter service as far as the San Clemente Pier. It added that it intends to resume service to Oceanside “only when we can offer the full schedule—on weekdays, as well as weekends.”
Metrolink’s current weekday service schedule takes passengers only as far south as the Laguna Niguel/Mission Viejo station.
The Orange County Transportation Authority began the roughly $12 million emergency construction project in November that’s had crews driving large metal anchors into about 700 feet of the slope adjacent to the railroad track. The work is meant to keep the slope from pushing the track further toward the coast.
The construction was initially estimated to be completed by February, but with the recent rainstorms hitting California, the stabilization project slowed, with transportation officials recently forecasting the work to be completed by the end of March.
Passengers can check with both Amtrak and Metrolink for any updates regarding service at pacificsurfliner.com/alerts and metrolinktrains.com, respectively.