Amtrak has indefinitely suspended trains to San Diego on the Pacific Surfliner, the second busiest route in its network after the Northeast Corridor that connects Boston, New York, and Washington, D.C.
The suspension of all trains south of Irvine, Calif., on the line that connects Los Angeles and San Diego was due to “safety concerns to the right-of-way” related to erosion, according to the Pacific Surfliner’s website and twitter feed. The Southern California regional rail operator, Metrolink, that shares the tracks added that “movement to the right of way” in the vicinity of San Clemente, Calif., was at fault for the suspension.
Amtrak’s latest schedule shows 11 daily trains between Los Angeles and San Diego along the corridor impacted by the closure.
The Pacific Surfliner operates on 100-plus year-old tracks that sit on bluffs along the beach in San Clemente. While these offer impressive views to riders, it also presents risks, like erosion, to the right-of-way and the ability to operate large passenger trains.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that was enacted last year includes $66 billion in funding to both upgrade and expand the U.S. passenger rail system. Potential uses of those funds include hardening rail infrastructure against climate change, and threats like coastal erosion.
“Amtrak is working to restore limited service between Irvine and San Diego,” a spokesperson for the railroad said.