Del Mar Bluffs & LOSSAN Rail Improvements

Moving nearly eight million passengers and $1 billion worth of goods each year, the 351-mile Los Angeles-San Diego-San Luis Obispo (LOSSAN) Corridor is vital for passenger, freight, and military movement through the San Diego region and beyond. As one of the busiest intercity rail corridors in the nation and the only rail connection between San Diego and the rest of the state and nation, the LOSSAN Corridor supports national and international commerce, including a growing crossborder trade market with Mexico.

In Our Region

The San Diego LOSSAN Corridor spans the 60 miles between our border with Orange County and Santa Fe Depot in Downtown San Diego. It passes over six coastal lagoons, along the coastal bluffs, and through Camp Pendleton and six cities (Oceanside, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Solana Beach, Del Mar, and San Diego). Operations on the line include approximately 50 trains per day from Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner, the Southern California Regional Rail Authority’s Metrolink, North County Transit District’s COASTER and SPRINTER, and Union Pacific and BNSF Railway freight rail services.

What We’re Doing

Because this rail line is so essential, we are working on short- and long-term responses to landslides, erosion, and seismic activity which have caused collapses along the coastal bluffs in Del Mar and temporary shutdowns of the rail line. Over the next two decades, SANDAG plans to construct nearly $1 billion in improvements to keep the corridor safe, including double tracking, stabilization of the Del Mar Bluffs, and rail line relocation.

To date, we’ve double tracked two-thirds of the regional segment, completed four bluff stabilization projects, and started to study the options for rail relocation. Other infrastructure improvements include bridge and track replacements, new platforms, pedestrian undercrossings, and other safety and operational enhancements.

Improving resiliency and safety tops the list of reasons we are identifying and implementing solutions. Additionally, these solutions further the goals of the California State Rail Plan and SANDAG Regional Plan to increase track capacity, reduce travel times, and provide more service. The resulting increase in ridership will support local, state, and national economies and help us meet greenhouse gas emission reduction targets set by the California Air Resources Board.

Frequently Asked Questions

The LOSSAN Corridor connects Mexico and the San Diego region to the rest of the country. It is vital for moving people and freight. It also plays an important role in the Defense Department’s Strategic Rail Corridor Network (STRACNET). The rail line provides access to Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton and the Port of San Diego, and the line is required to be available to move troops and equipment during a national emergency. Local businesses also depend on the goods that move in and out of the Port of San Diego. One in every 10 new imported automobiles sold in the United States arrives by ship at the Port of San Diego and then moves north via LOSSAN.

The North County Transit District (NCTD) owns the tracks and rail right-of-way for the section of rail corridor between the Orange County boundary line and the southern end of Del Mar. The San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) owns the right-of-way for the section of the corridor within the City of San Diego.

Two passenger train operators service the San Diego section of the LOSSAN Corridor: Amtrak (Pacific Surfliner) and North County Transit District (COASTER and SPRINTER). Metrolink provides trips into the region from Orange County, arriving at Oceanside Transit Center.

Between 2021 and 2022, the San Diego segment of the LOSSAN Corridor had 1,152,509 total passenger boardings. A total of 503,342 passengers boarded the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner at San Diego County stations, accounting for around 34% of that system’s ridership. The COASTER had 588,409 passenger boardings. Metrolink experienced 60,758 passenger boardings.

Email to request a copy of the Infrastructure Development Plan for the LOSSAN Rail Corridor in San Diego County and the LOSSAN Corridor San Diego Subdivision Engineering Standard Drawings.