Does anyone have any details about the suspension of AmTrak service between Los Angeles and San Diego? John
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The failed soil section is in San Clemente, south of the pier. It is the same section of ground that failed in 2021resulting in the track shifting 28". More rip rap is now being added between the rail and the water line plus temporary large soil anchors are being drilled into the rock as an interim fix. The line is expected to reopen mid November. The most recent movement was small but of great concern. The plan is to install "permanent" soil anchors early next year. Permanent just means they are corrosion resistant. Ultimately this track will need to be relocated because the bluff erosion will continue. There used to be a nice beach at the foot of this bluff, it is now completely gone so the waves and tides are directly eroding the base of the bluff.
There are articles on the OC Register website and a good one on the ENR (Engineering News Record) website.
Thanks for that, Tom. Having lived in San Diego County back in the 1980s, I've taken the trip from San Diego up to Los Angeles and back many times. The wife and I have also taken Amtrak's Surfliner in recent years with the newer equipment. It's a beautiful ride and the train is closest to the ocean north and south of San Clemente.
But I remember thinking, even back in the 1980s, how much longer it would be before they have to relocate that section of track, due to its very close proximity to the shoreline. I think these "fixes" will be temporary and expensive, until the real estate is secured so the line can be moved, if ever. Meanwhile, the beach erosion will continue.
I don't know about this particular area but in general it will be hard to relocate the surf line inland because much of the land is fully developed with housing, businesses, etc. People like to live close to the beach just like in FL. NH Joe
The challenges with a new route are not the housing density along the beach in San Clemente and Dana Point. The rail line uses the I-5 ROW across Camp Pendleton north to SONGS where it diverts to the coastline at Trestles Beach. The problem area is from Trestles north to T Street Beach in San Clemente. From T Street north the line is along the beach (actually Route 1, Pacific Coast Highway) to San Juan Creek where it turns inland. To bypass the San Clemente bluff area area requires a new ROW across Camp Pendleton to get inland. The military has said "NFW!" There have been routes looked at that require several miles of tunneling plus bridges. It could follow the now cancelled 241 Toll Road routing part of the way. That still requires a new ROW across the north end of Camp Pendleton. When the bluff finally collapses this will be a national emergency since it is the only rail line to San Diego. A solution may be to build two miles of elevated rail above the ocean to connect the two ends of the track. The water gets deep a short distance from shore, this is possible but very expensive.
When the bluff finally collapses this will be a national emergency since it is the only rail line to San Diego. A solution may be to build two miles of elevated rail above the ocean to connect the two ends of the track. The water gets deep a short distance from shore, this is possible but very expensive.
Meanwhile, further up the road in the San Joaquin Valley...
...which in the quest for dreams coming true is, apparently, not a "national emergency".
It's just money.
Latest estimates are that the water level at the California coastline will continue to rise 6 more inches in the next approximately 7 years, up to 12 inches by 2050, and up to 7 feet (!) by 2100, so whatever is done for the rail line will have to be significant to withstand the growing effects of climate change.
NOT TRUE> Cause is unstable ground. Climate change has nothing to do with it.
The area of failure is unstable. That section of land is the site of an ancient landslide which makes it almost impossible to stabilize long term. The loss of the beach along with higher tides and wave action exacerbates the problem.