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Train Service Halted As Workers Shore Up California Cliffs

Pacific Surfliner locomotive in an undated photo.
Amtrak California
Pacific Surfliner locomotive in an undated photo.

Train service was halted Thursday for the next two weeks as crews shore up unstable ground along cliffside railroad tracks in coastal Southern California.

The planned closure between the Laguna Niguel/Mission Viejo station in southern Orange County and the Oceanside stop in northern San Diego County is expected to last until Oct. 3.

“Between the sea, the sand and the earth, there has been some movement of the railroad tracks" in southern San Clemente, Metrolink spokesperson Paul Gonzales said.

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There are 43 Metrolink and Amtrak passenger trains a day that go through that area, the Orange County Register reported.

Workers will bring in several hundred tons of rip rack rocks to stabilize that stretch of track, officials said. The boulders, called “hard armoring,” are usually put in as emergency measures when erosion damage is severe, according to the Register.

Amtrak said bus connections will be provided for passengers on its Pacific Surfliner trains.

The closure will affect Metrolink’s Orange Line that runs between Los Angeles and Oceanside and the Inland Empire-Orange County Line which connects San Bernardino to Oceanside via Orange. Metrolink said bus connections will not be offered.