Amtrak, Metrolink service suspended in southern Orange County due to coastal erosion

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IRVINE, Calif. (KABC) – Coastal erosion in San Clemente could be the cause of emergency maintenance temporarily suspending rail services in southern Orange County.

Passengers on trains crossing southern Orange County should check their routes.

Aric Liesenfelt was glad he did it at the last minute on Thursday night.

“Last night at 2:00 am I checked my emails and saw that my trip was accidentally canceled,” Liesenfelt said.

The last Amtrak stop on the way back to Solana Beach on Friday was Irvine.

Metrolink only went south to its Laguna Niguel / Mission Viejo station.

The suspension of services went into effect on Thursday, and no train system will operate between the aforementioned stations and Oceanside until at least October 4 due to emergency repairs to the tracks below the community of Cypress Shores in San Clemente.

Metrolink spokesman Paul Gonzales said on Friday the tracks moved here due to the interaction between sea, sand and land, making the underlying land unstable.

“This is the movement that was measured by the surveyors. We had planned to do some work in the track area next month, but noticing that this movement had occurred, we decided to move this schedule and to start working right away, ”Gonzales said. noted.

According to a spokesperson for the Orange County Transport Authority, the cause behind the lane change was still under investigation on Friday.

Over the weekend, Gonzales said at least 65 cars loaded with rip-rap, or large boulders, would provide the tracks with additional support.

Gonzales said it affects about 350 average daily boardings for Metrolink alone, but safety comes first.

“It is not insignificant that these people are inconvenienced, but it is important for us to resolve any issues that may affect security in the future and resolve them immediately,” said Gonzales.

Maintenance left some passengers at Irvine station looking for options.

William Wilson said no one at Union Station warned him that he couldn’t take a bus in Irvine. Wilson had to wait for a train to Santa Ana from Irvine on Friday, hoping to catch a bus, but his chances were not good.

“There’s nothing but to go to San Diego and now I have to go and sit up there and wait all night probably because there’s no bus to San Diego that doesn’t. are not full, ”Wilson said.

Liesenfelt decided to call a Lyft, which Wilson said would be too expensive.

“You know, I kind of roll with the punches, so it’s okay, but yeah, that was definitely a drawback for other people I’ve met on the train,” Liesenfelt said.

Gonzales said Metrolink only informed passengers of suspended services, but did not provide other modes of transportation because there were not enough buses to meet demand.

According to its website, Amtrak will provide bus services from Irvine station starting Monday.

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