Full rail service restored between San Diego and Orange counties

Passenger rail service between San Diego and Orange County is back on schedule after months of repair work to stabilize the tracks.

Rail service came to a halt after shifts in the San Clemente tracks were detected. Since October, travelers have had to take “bus bridges” while emergency repair work was underway.

“It was a lot of jumping back and forth, especially the first week it shut down,” said Viet Vu, a CSU San Marcos student.  

Viet Vu wasn’t fond of the bus bridge. He doesn’t have a car and relies on the train to visit family in Orange County.

“I was waiting here from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. It was really hard and it got really confusing,” he said.

Transit officials had hoped to have service restored in February, but winter storms delayed the work.

“We’re really excited to reach this point after many months of construction, and we very much appreciate the public’s patience on all of this,” said Eric Carpenter with the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA).

The emergency repairs were estimated to cost $13 million.

Carpenter said the OCTA board is looking into funding sources for studies that will look into long term fixes for this part of the rail line.

“This was an emergency fix, and we know that it is for the short term. We’ve already started looking at the longer term fixes,” Carpenter said.

While rail service is restored, some construction work will continue in San Clemente for several more weeks.

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