Metrolink and Amtrak train services could be suspended through December during repairs due to shifting ground beneath a stretch of seaside track in Southern California, transit officials said.
Service between Orange and San Diego counties was halted Sept. 30 after a recent storm surge caused waves that shifted the tracks near the coastal community of San Clemente.
Initially, officials said service would be restored in November, but the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday that the work could keep passenger trains off the tracks through the end of the year.
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“The new timeline of mid-January for the completion of construction — and a mid-December decision on the restoration of passenger rail service — came about in discussions with the signed contractor, Condon-Johnson, which was not the original construction firm contracted,” Orange County Transportation Authority spokesman Eric Carpenter said in an email to the Times.
He said the timeline is subject to change depending on factors including right-of-way negotiations, permitting and securing necessary construction materials.
Last year, the area faced a similar problem and the tracks were shut down for two weeks. Workers brought in additional boulders to help shore up the eroding coastline.
Amtrak is providing bus service to cover the route. Metrolink trains are unavailable south of the Laguna Niguel/Mission Viejo Metrolink station during the suspension.