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Rail Service Halted Through San Clemente — Again

A train runs along the California coast a short distance from the ocean.
An Amtrak Surfliner arrives at the San Clemente Pier.
(Jonathan George/Getty Images
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All rail service through San Clemente in Orange County has been halted because of a landslide — just 10 days after passenger service was fully resumed after the last time the slope above the tracks began to crumble. This includes all Metrolink, Amtrak and freight trains through the area.

Where is it? The Orange County Transportation Authority said the area where debris is falling from a slope along the tracks is two miles north of the area that the county recently spent more than $12 million to stabilize.

Are any homes impacted? Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley said an apartment building near the slide had been red-tagged and residents were displaced on Thursday. This follows the red-tagging of four buildings last month after another nearby slide.

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Will the slope along the tracks keep falling? Geologists say it's likely. Coastal erosion is a natural process that's been sped up by rising seas and more intense storms, including this year's big rains. County, state and federal leaders recently created a task force to study longer term solutions to stabilizing OC's coastal rail corridor, including moving the tracks inland.

When will service resume? Passengers can check for updates from Metrolink and Amtrak.

Updated April 27, 2023 at 5:57 PM PDT
This story was updated with details from Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley.
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