Significant Rail Improvements to Occur in North County and San Diego
A scheduled closure of the region’s coastal rail line will be in effect this weekend to allow SANDAG crews to work on rail and station improvements and conduct rail maintenance.
The rail closure affects four railroads operating on the San Diego segment of the Los Angeles-San Diego-San Luis Obispo (LOSSAN) coastal rail corridor: North County Transit District (NCTD), Metrolink, Amtrak, and the freight carrier BNSF.
SANDAG is double-tracking much of the rail corridor to improve capacity for all four operators.
The planned rail closure, called an Absolute Work Window (AWW), will take effect just after midnight on Saturday, February 9, and continue through 5 a.m. on Monday, February 11.
Regular passenger rail service is scheduled to resume in time for the morning commute on Monday. Riders are encouraged to allow for more travel time on Monday, as trains could be delayed in arriving at their destinations.
In Encinitas, construction crews will perform rail grinding operations to restore and extend the life of tracks, adjust track ballast for track stability, replace insulated joints, and replace rail ties.
The $76.8 million San Elijo Lagoon Double Track Project will add 1.5 miles of new double track from Cardiff-by-the-Sea to the southern border of the San Elijo Lagoon. In addition to replacing the wooden trestle bridge over the San Elijo Lagoon with a modern concrete bridge, a new pedestrian undercrossing will be constructed at the south end of the lagoon. Improvements to the rail signal and grade crossing at Chesterfield Drive were recently completed as part of this project.
The San Elijo Lagoon Double Track Project is expected to be complete in 2019. View project map.
In Carlsbad, at Poinsettia Station, crews will conduct rail surfacing work to prepare the area for the new western alignment of the existing track. For the safety of the public, pedestrian detours will be in place while crews complete work on the rail line.
The $33.7 million Poinsettia Station Improvements Project will lengthen and elevate passenger platforms, install a fence between the tracks within the station, relocate a section of the existing tracks, and replace the existing at-grade rail crossings with an undercrossing featuring stairways and ADA compliant ramps on both sides of the tracks. Additional station enhancements will include new shelters, signage, and updated lighting.
The Poinsettia Station Improvements Project is expected to be complete by 2020. View project map.
In San Diego, crews will work on rail and bridge structures near and within the railroad right-of-way along Morena Boulevard and Santa Fe Street for the Elvira to Morena Double Track Project.
The $192 million Elvira to Morena Double Track Project will add a 2.6-mile second main track from State Route 52 to just south of Balboa Avenue. This new track will connect to existing double track, resulting in 10.3-miles of continuous double track from Tecolote Road to just north of the Old Town Transit Center. View the project map.
This project is being constructed concurrently with the Mid-Coast Trolley Project. Ongoing construction activities are planned throughout the Mid-Coast Corridor. Crews will be building walls, installing overhead contact system foundations, working on flyover and bridge structures, and preparing for fuel line work. There will also be rail distribution throughout the site. The Mid-Coast Corridor Project expected to be completed in 2021. View the project map.
At the San Diego River Bridge Double Track Project near Friars Road, crews will be removing shoring beams, installing casing for fuel lines, installing counterfort walls, installing and removing falsework, and continuing on-going bridge construction activities.
The $93.9 million project involves the addition of a second main track across the river. The new 0.9-mile track will connect to existing double track at each end, resulting in a continuous 7-mile double track segment for the southernmost portion of the LOSSAN corridor. The project includes a new double track bridge, construction of associated site improvements, and signal modifications.
The San Diego River Bridge Project is expected to be complete in 2019. View the project map.
During construction, nearby residents and businesses can expect intermittent noise and lights.
About SANDAG…The San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) is the San Diego region’s primary public planning, transportation, and research agency, providing the public forum for regional policy decisions about growth, transportation planning and construction, environmental management, housing, open space, energy, public safety, and binational topics. SANDAG is governed by a Board of Directors composed of mayors, council members, and supervisors from each of the region’s 18 cities and the county government.