SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. (AP) — Metrolink and Amtrak train services will be restored next week following months of stabilizing repairs due to shifting ground beneath a stretch of seaside track in Southern California, transit officials said Monday.
Service between Orange and San Diego counties was halted Sept. 30 after a storm surge caused waves that shifted the tracks near the coastal community of San Clemente.
The Orange County Transportation Authority said Amtrak Pacific Surfliner and Metrolink commuter rail services will roll again starting April 17. The restoration will re-connect Los Angeles, the Inland Empire and Orange County to San Diego County.
Originally, the tracks were expected to be reopened by February, the Orange County Register reported.
“This emergency work has posed an unprecedented challenge, especially with the heavy rainfall this season, and we’re very pleased to announce that passenger service can safely resume on this key stretch of Southern California rail,” OCTA Chairman Gene Hernandez said in a statement.
In 2021, the area faced a similar problem and the tracks were shut down for two weeks. Workers brought in additional boulders to help shore up the eroding coastline.
Amtrak provided bus service to cover the route during the most recent shutdown. Metrolink trains were unavailable south of the Laguna Niguel/Mission Viejo Metrolink station during the suspension.