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San Clemente Rail Closure Daily Update: Friday, Feb. 9

Another 12 inches of slope movement but freight trains will continue to run overnight; Metrolink received proposal to build barrier wall, will review with goal of contract award next week

ORANGE – On Friday, the OCTA and Metrolink project team observed up to an additional 12 inches of movement of soil and debris from the privately owned slope above the rail line near Mariposa Point (Milepost 204.2) in San Clemente.

Because the track itself remains stable, BNSF is again scheduled to move freight trains through the area overnight at reduced speeds of up to 10 mph.

Also on Friday, Metrolink received a proposal from its contractor to build a barrier wall between the slope and the track. The proposal is currently being reviewed by Metrolink and OCTA with the goal of awarding a contract early next week. Once the design-build contract is awarded, the team will work together to explore the possibility of resuming limited passenger service as soon as possible. No timeline has been set at this point.

Potholing for utilities has begun at the emergency site in anticipation of the barrier wall being constructed.

The emergency work is being funded by the recent award of $2 million by the California Transportation Commission (CTC) for the ongoing cleanup and pre-construction activities. The OCTA and Metrolink team will continue to work toward securing additional funding for construction of the barrier wall.

For the latest updates and background, visit

(Additional media updates will be provided on Monday, or sooner if warranted.

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.

san clemente Feb 9, Image a

san clemente Feb 9, Image b
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