Metrolink, Amtrak suspend service between LA area and San Diego indefinitely because of shifting ground


Metrolink and Amtrak announced the suspension of train services linking San Diego to the Los Angeles area over safety concerns in the community of San Clemente, located on the border of Orange and San Diego counties.

Service was suspended indefinitely starting Friday because the ground underneath a stretch of seaside track in southern California has shifted, officials said.

This comes after a recent ocean surge connected to Tropical Storm Kay led to high tides and waves that shifted the coastal tracks, which serve as the only viable link from San Diego to Los Angeles and the rest of the country.

The Orange County Transportation Authority, which owns the tracks, is expected to hold a special meeting on Monday to discuss possible solutions.


“The emergency plan will likely involve driving large ground anchors into the bottom of the slope next to the track to prevent movement,” OCTA spokesperson Eric Carpenter told the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Metrolink said service will continue to be suspended until it receives “confirmation from the experts the slope movement has stopped.”

“Working with geologists, geotechnical engineers, and surveyors, we have determined to ensure passenger safety service suspension is necessary,” the company said in a statement. “Until we have confirmation from the experts the slope movement has stopped, we will not resume Metrolink service.”

amtrak service suspended


Metrolink spokesperson Scott Johnson told the San Diego Union-Tribune that the company has placed over 20,000 tons of rock and boulders along the tracks to secure the right of way.

And Amtrak said in a statement that this is a “temporary track closure in San Clemente that will allow crews to repair and strengthen areas near the tracks – a team of geologists and engineers noticed a need for repairs after recent storms.”

Amtrak passenger train departs in Chicago

“We plan to run modified service while repairs are made,” the statement said, adding that this could take several weeks.

Amtrak said it is working with transportation partners to offer train service for the route. The company said train service between Oceanside and San Diego will resume next week with a bus bridge connecting Oceanside and Irvine.

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