• Pacific Surfliner

  • Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.
Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, mtuandrew, Tadman

  by STrRedWolf
eolesen wrote: Wed Jun 14, 2023 11:37 am The same Amtrak with literally billions of liability for old bridges and right away in the Northeast, and tunnels too?

Let's be clear, the recent problems in San Clemente are from above the tracks. That's not the railroads responsibility.

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That's for the lawyers to sort out.
  by eolesen
Not really. We just saw the same story unfold in Albany.

San Clemente has always been a geological disaster waiting to happen. They built up to the edge on unstable ground 70 years ago, and nobody thought to keep a buffer zone because all the people with the money to buy up that land wanted their Ocean View. The bluffs in the State Park zone are probably the only safe area not in danger of imminent collapse because they have no buildings, but even there you still see many collapses where idiot hikers ignore the fences and dozens of signs saying 'unstable - don't hike here'....

San Clemente State Park used to be one of our favorite places to camp when we lived in Tucson, and then my son moved to San Onofre for a couple of years.

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  by Jeff Smith
https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/co ... -suspended
Temporary wall proposed to protect railroad tracks from San Clemente landslide

A temporary wall will be built to protect the railroad tracks from the “still slowly creeping” landslide in San Clemente that has suspended passenger rail service between San Diego and Orange counties, a transportation executive said this week.
Cracks in the slope show layers of clay and beach sand, so there’s “exceptionally low cohesiveness of the soil,” he said in a presentation Monday to the OCTA board of directors. There’s also water seeping from the slide, which is being investigated by San Clemente city officials.

No estimate was available of when passenger service might resume. Periodic freight trains continue through the area at speeds of 10 mph to 15 mph.
  by Jeff Smith
https://www.thrillist.com/news/nation/a ... nia-events
Amtrak Is Adjusting the Pacific Surfliner Schedule for California’s Comic-Con & X Games

This July, California will draw crowds of fans to some of its most anticipated events. San Diego's iconic Comic-Con is coming back July 20, and the X Games California Finals are set to take place in Ventura from July 20 through July 23. And don't forget the start of the Del Mar Summer Racing Season, which will welcome racing aficionados on July 21.

For such big events, it's expected that huge crowds will take over Southern California, and luckily, Amtrak is ready to accommodate. After completing a railroad protection project by the San Clemente Pier, the company's Pacific Surfliner will finally get back to full daily train service through south Orange County starting Monday, July 17. In short, that means no more shuttle bus connection between Irvine and Oceanside, saving travelers some time and making their commute smoother.

To better serve the summer event crowds, the Pacific Surfliner will increase service by adding three trains to the schedule from July 21 through July 23. All additional trains will make all the stops in between the departing station and destination. Here are the schedule details:
  by Jeff Smith
Tunnels: Fox5SanDiego - STAY CLASSY!

Train tunnels plan to move tracks from bluffs one step closer to reality
With the move, the tracks will be upgraded to create a double track, so trains don’t have to wait for one another to pass, plus creating straighter tracks, both would cut down on travel time. The plan details speeds up to 110 mph.

“The kind of high-speed transit that’s provided on the East Coast,” SANDAG Deputy CEO Coleen Clementson said. “There’s been a lot of discussion around a tunnel in Del Mar, but really what that tunnel is about, is a larger project, it’s the whole rail corridor from downtown San Diego that goes up the coast, all the way to San Luis Obispo.”
The two frontrunners so far, according to SANDAG, are the plans that run along Camino Del Mar and Crest Canyon. Both plans include a 33-foot diameter tunnel 290 feet below the ground.
  by west point
It appears that either persons putting forward these different tunnels do not realize what the tunnel project will cost or do not want to tell others. Tunnel over a mile long is going to require an escape tunnel with access every ~800 feet. Escape tunnel needs only 10 - 12 feet in diameter. It can be built first to be a pilot tunnel to find any problems with soils.
  by Jeff Smith
State of Emergency Declared: NBCSanDiego
State of Emergency declared for San Clemente rail line

A State of Emergency was declared Thursday for the landslide threatening the rail line in San Clemente, allowing access to emergency funding toward restoring service as soon as possible.

The declaration will allow the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) to access up to $10 million in immediate emergency funding for protecting the track and restoring service.

“I’m grateful for the State’s partnership and for recognizing what an important issue this is for regional mobility,” said OCTA CEO Johnson.
  by electricron
D.S. Lewith wrote: Tue May 21, 2019 3:11 am The LOSSAN corridor is the most travelled Amtrak route outside of the Northeast Corridor. However, to get it to remotely the standards seen on the Northeast Corridor, a lot of improvements would have to be made. These improvements include dual-tracking (at minimum), grade separation to eliminate all grade crossings, and electrification.

Phase 1 (Los Angeles-San Diego): This is where much of the ridership comes from so I expect this is where the rebuilding will first take place.
* Track relocation from Del Mar to La Jolla: At Del Mar, the tracks run dangerously close to the coast line, and at La Jolla, they go through a hairpin turn, so the tracks will be relocated.
* San Diego freight bypass: This would reroute freight radiating from the San Diego area to follow Interstate 15 and Interstate 215 into Riverside, redirecting freight traffic radiating from the San Diego area, and also making the LOSSAN tracks between Fullerton and San Diego virtually freight-free. This can work as a public-private partnership with BNSF similar to Norfolk Southern's Heartland Corridor.
* San Juan Capistrano Tunnel: At near Dana Point, there is a near 90 degree turn, which will hamper speeds. A new tunnel between San Clemente and San Juan Capistrano will have to be build.
* New ROW between Santa Ana and LA Union Station. Amtrak California can acquire the lightly-used Anaheim Subdivision from UPRR between Santa Ana and Norwalk and redevelop the ROW. Between Norwalk and Commerce, a new ROW following Interstate 5 will be built (can certainly make better use of that widening they've been doing), and between Norwalk and the Redondo Junction Grade Separation, a new elevated ROW will be built following the existing ROW.
* New maintenance facility: Amtrak has an existing maintenance facility (8th. Street Yard). While it's currenly fine as it, should the LOSSAN line and its radiating lines be modernized, the rail yard would be insufficient to handle the increased frequencies (this issue would also likely plague Metrolink). A reactivated Taylor Yard could have happened but G2 (where the majority of it is) has been earmarked for redevelopment as a residential community. This would make finding space for a new maintenance facility extremely difficult. A new maintenance facility in Commerce would be impractical as it's too far out from LA Union Station. The closest would be the existing ex-SP rail yard, but Amtrak and the SCRRA would have to negotiate with UPRR to gain a piece of it to remake it into a new maintenance facility. Such a development can happen best in tandem with a new route following I-10 via a redeveloped El Monte Busway.
Salinas-San Jose: Amtrak is planning on extending Capitol Corridor services to Salinas. Modernization and improvement of this route can happen in tandem with the Los Angeles-San Siego modernization.

Phase 2 (Los Angeles-San Luis Obispo): Compared to the Los Angeles-San Diego, this section will be more difficult to build as there will be a lot more ROW acquisitions as the existing route is too winding for even a modern higher (like 125 mph) speed rail line (particularly on the ROW that parallels UP's Coast Line as UP is clingy with their tracks but I can see them benefit from a rebuilt and modernized rail line)
* New Los Angeles-Camarillo rail line: Between Camarillo and Los Angeles, a new rail line will be built, largely parallelling US Route 101. Much of this new rail line will be either elevated (such as through Ventura Boulevard) or underground (such as from LA-Studio City amd much of the Conejo Valley). Upon being built, all Amtrak and Metrolink services will relocate to the new line. This would end up supplanting Metrolink services through the Simi Valley, so a DMU will be used for the old Ventura County line.
* New Gaviota-San Luis Obispo track: Similar to the new Camarillo-Los Angeles track, a new ROW will be built parallelikg US Route 101. This will bypass Lompoc and Vandenberg AFB and enable Amtrak to serve Santa Maria

Phase 3 (San Luis Obispo-Salinas): This section has no corridor service, being only served by the long-distance Coast Starlight. Currently along this section, Amtrak plans to add stops to Soledad and King City. This section will likely be the last to be completed in the modernization program.
* Cuesta Base Tunnel: The existing route has a very long and winding segment north of San Luis Obispo as it asends the Cuesta Pass. Building a new tunnel will shave off a sizeable portion of time.
If you desire higher frequencies and faster speeds to match the 125 mph NEC, quad tracking is a must. Quad track the corridor so you will not need to build a new freight bypass line away from industries already, or might be, on this corridor. Too many think illuminating everything but TODs, high density communities, will be the best for any corridor. They forget industries provide good paying blue and white collar jobs that every community needs.

If you are not going to upgrade the train speeds on this specific corridor over 110 or even 125 mph, quad tracking most of the way solves every issue.
  by Jeff Smith
Tunnel alternatives: CBS8
Del Mar train tunnel | SANDAG reveals 3 possible routes

The alternative routes would move nearly 2 miles of tracks off the edge of the eroding seaside bluffs.

DEL MAR, Calif. — SANDAG is moving full steam ahead with the next phase of the San Diego LOSSAN Rail Realignment Project.

The project aims to move the tracks off the coastal bluffs and place them inland.

SANDAG has revealed three possible alternative routes that would move nearly two miles of tracks off the edge of the eroding seaside bluffs

"The three most routes that we think are the most viable, the three routes that we think have the greatest potential to minimize environmental harm and community impact," said Keith Greer, the agency’s deputy director of regional planning.
  by STrRedWolf
I dug through to find an Alternatives Document here:
https://www.sandag.org/-/media/SANDAG/D ... -09-01.pdf

  • A Tunnel under Camino Del Mar (a road) between the Del Mar Fairgrounds (Milepost 243) and the Los Penasquitos Lagoon.
  • A tunnel further west between the Del Mar Fairgrounds, under a good chunk of San Diego, all the way to MP 248.
  • A tunnel still further west, with the southern end aligning with I-5 (with various points to place the opening as variants)
  • A tunnel that hugs or is under I-5 for most of the way south.
The first two got forwarded to the next round of study.