The Los Angeles-San Diego (LOSSAN) rail corridor is the second-busiest intercity rail corridor in the United States, serving 7.6 million passengers and moving $1 billion in goods and services each year.
Yet in some places, the line consists of a single track on century-old wooden bridges or on crumbling coastal bluffs. A San Diego Association of Government’s fact sheet identified almost $3 billion in needed double-tracking, bridge replacements, and other improvements just within San Diego County.
In recent years, sections of the bluffs in Del Mar have collapsed causing Coaster and Amtrak services to be temporarily delayed for hours or days at a time. While transit officials assure the public that passenger and cargo trains along the 1.7-mile stretch of tracks are safe, landslides are a constant cause for concern.
Recently, the San Diego Association of Government (SANDAG) secured $300 million dollars to help relocate the train tracks off of the eroding cliffs in Del Mar as part of Gov. Newsom’s $308 billion state budget.
While this is an excellent start, some are making the case for additional funding to accelerate the relocation of the tracks as soon as possible.
In an op-ed for the San Diego Union-Tribune, Brian Yanity, Vice President-South of the Rail Passenger Association of California and Nevada, and David Grubb, Transportation Chair of Sierra Club San Diego, make the case for the Legislature to provide additional funding. They argue that “one-time investments in upgrading this important rail link will continue to pay dividends for hundreds of years in reduced travel times, increased mode shift from driving to trains, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.”
Read more at the San Diego Union-Tribune.
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