Skip to main content


San Clemente Rail Closure Daily Update: Monday, Feb. 12

Additional slope movement prompted decision to stop freight train movement overnight; OCTA and Metrolink team will explore whether some soil can safely be removed from bottom of slope

ORANGE – On Monday, the OCTA and Metrolink project team observed that soil and debris from the privately owned slope above the rail line near Mariposa Point (Milepost 204.2) in San Clemente continued to move toward the track, reaching a point that triggered freight traffic to be halted.

While the movement of soil had slowed, it had crept close enough to the track that BNSF freight trains would not have sufficient track clearance to make nightly trips through the emergency work area. Freight trains had been running most nights at reduced speeds during overnight hours.

The OCTA and Metrolink team was taking numerous measurements at the site Monday afternoon and will continue to assess slope movement. The team will also discuss the best approach to address the soil closest to the track, to allow enough room for freight trains to pass. Before beginning any additional clearing or clean-up, the team must determine whether some soil from the toe of the slope can be removed without triggering further slope movement.

Passenger service remains stopped, as well, as the safety of passengers and workers on the emergency site continues to guide every decision the team makes.

Potholing for utilities is also scheduled to resume on Tuesday. Metrolink and OCTA are reviewing the proposal received on Friday to construct a barrier wall, and the goal is to be able to award a contract this week. At that point, the goal is to establish a timeline for safely resuming at least some passenger rail service.

For the latest updates and background, visit

For Updates on Rail Service: Passengers are asked to check and for real-time updates.

Background: The rail line was closed through San Clemente the evening of Wednesday, Jan. 24, when a landslide on private property above the city-owned Mariposa Trail Pedestrian Bridge caused major damage to the bridge and scattered debris onto the track.

OCTA, which owns the track, worked with partners at Metrolink and contractors to quickly mobilize emergency crews, who used heavy machinery on the rails to remove debris and haul away two large spans of the bridge, each weighing 24,000 pounds. The OCTA and Metrolink team continues to work to resume safe passenger rail service as soon as possible.

Over the past three years, San Clemente’s eroding bluffs – on both city and private property – have repeatedly forced the closure of the rail line which has operated largely uninterrupted for more than 125 years.

slope soil
Back to News Releases

Meet the Team

Joel Zlotnik

Communications Manager
(714) 560-5713

Adam Raley

Communications Specialist, Principal
(714) 560-5510

Media Contacts

Eric Carpenter

Communications Specialist, Senior
(714) 560-5697

Megan Abba

Communications Specialist, Senior
(714) 560-5671


Get Connected

Sign up to receive OCTA press releases straight to your email.

OCTA Media Team on Twitter
Media Resources

Stock photos and logos, and links to annual reports, board agendas and more.


The Orange County Transportation Authority’s Public Information Office responds to media inquiries, issues press releases and provides information about OCTA to the public and stakeholders.