Bluff failure, drivers strike affect North San Diego County transit services


An Amtrak Pacific Surfliner train runs through Oceanside. (OsideNews file photo)

North Coast Current

Train and local commuter services are facing disruptions at the end of April with a coastal bluff failure in south Orange County and a San Diego Metropolitan Transit System strike.

Amtrak and Metrolink services from Oceanside to Orange County are affected by a bluff failure near the historic Casa Romantica in San Clemente, which occurred on April 27. It’s the second time that rail service from Oceanside has been affected by a bluff failure in recent months.

“Debris falling from a slope north of the San Clemente Pier has resulted in a temporary track closure,” Amtrak stated in a notice. “Pacific Surfliner service is affected between San Juan Capistrano and San Diego.”

The tracks below the bluff will remain closed until further notice, according to a Metrolink notice.

“Unfortunately, movement to a hillside north of Metrolink’s San Clemente Pier Station has resulted in an immediate track closure affecting Metrolink’s Orange County Line and Inland Empire-Orange County Line, along with Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner,” Metrolink stated.

Amtrak updates can be found online at its Service Alerts and Notices page. Metrolink updates can be followed using the system’s Train Status page.

Service along the coastal tracks had just been restored in mid April after bluff stability concerns closed the tracks in the same region at the end of September. Repairs took several months.

In addition to the Amtrak and Metrolink disruption, the North County Transit District’s Coaster commuter rail-related service has been affected by a San Diego transit workers strike as of April 26.

Although the stoppage prompted an alert from NCTD to travelers that alternative transit from the Sorrento Valley station would be necessary, MTS reported on April 28 that bus service was running. (

“​​As of now, all bus service is running as scheduled,” MTS’s April 28 notice stated. “However, contract negotiations between contractors (First Transit, Transdev) and employees are ongoing. As such, please continue to keep an eye on Alerts & Detours.”

In the case of MTS bus stoppages affecting Coaster access, NCTD is directing travelers to its NCTD+ program.