Rail service resumes through San Clemente after second landslide

Passenger rail service through San Clemente, which has been halted since early June due to debris and dirt falling on the tracks from an unstable hillside above, is set to resume Monday.

Metrolink and Amtrak Pacific Surfliner trains will again be able to travel through the area thanks to emergency construction of a temporary barrier wall protecting the tracks from debris, transit officials said.

The board of the Orange County Transportation Authority, which owns the tracks, voted June 12 to declare an emergency to expedite construction of the barrier.


San Clemente officials have been working for months to stabilize the hillside above the track near Casa Romantica Culture Center and Gardens, which have also been affected by the sliding hill.

The first mudslide near Casa Romantica happened on April 27. Rail service was shut down, but resumed again on May 27. But another mudslide on June 5 compelled another closure.

The temporary barrier wall is 250 feet long and 12 feet high, with pilings dug 32 feet into the ground, according to transit officials.

Officials noted that the reopening will occur as summer travel season heats up, and days ahead of the Comic-Con Convention in San Diego.