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Rail Infrastructure Study

The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA), in partnership with the State of California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) District 12, completed a study in January 2021 about how climate change affects the Orange County rail corridor.


The study identified opportunities and challenges to improve service, operation, and infrastructure to better withstand severe weather conditions. In addition, the study identified preventive measures that can be used in developing near-term, mid-term, and long-term strategies.

The study area is the approximate 25-mile section of railway from Jeffrey Road in Irvine to the Orange/San Diego county border. It also included evaluation of all 12 Metrolink Stations in Orange County.

Study objectives included:

  • Identify implementation strategies to reduce the risk to rail infrastructure from mudslides, flooding, severe storm/weather events, coastal surge, and sea level rise;
  • Develop enhanced vegetation management and sustainable vegetation strategy for periods of drought and high precipitation; and
  • Recommend improvements to amenities at rail stations for passengers against weather, such as shelters, natural shading and drinking functions.

The final report established a plan for OCTA to respond to and prepare for future climate-related risk. The recommendations indicate which strategies should be prioritized in the near-term to mitigate climate risks and which strategies can be implemented in the long-term to further strengthen the resilience of the rail system. 

Final Report


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Outreach and Survey Results Infographic

Study Map