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Two miles of second rail track completed in Carlsbad

Another major step has been taken to improve coastal rail service in the San Diego region with the completion of an $18.4 million project to add nearly two miles of second main track from Carlsbad Village Drive to south of Cannon Road and build a companion rail bridge over Agua Hedionda Lagoon.

“This project reflects Amtrak's commitment to improving travel times and reliability on the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner corridor, the second busiest route in our national network,” Amtrak Southwest/Pacific Division Engineer Harry Steelman said, referring to the LOSSAN (Los Angeles-San Diego-San Luis Obispo) rail corridor which stretches for 60 miles through San Diego County. “We appreciate the patience and cooperation of the citizens of Carlsbad during the construction.”

The Carlsbad Double Track Project is part of a $6.5 billion program of rail, highway, and other coastal improvements in the North Coast Corridor between Oceanside and La Jolla. Over the next five years, SANDAG will engineer or construct eight miles of new double track in this segment of the coastal rail line. These improvements, combined with the Express Lanes planned for I-5, will help ease traffic congestion and provide more travel choices.

“Double tracking the San Diego coastal rail corridor is a key component of our strategy to create a multi-modal regional network, and it’s critical for moving people and goods,” said Jerome Stocks, SANDAG chair, NCTD board member, and Mayor of Encinitas. “More efficient rail services have the potential to take some of the passenger and freight burden off Interstate 5.”

The Carlsbad Double Track Project cost $17.1 million to construct and was funded, managed, and built by Amtrak through its Oceanside Engineering Office. The design and engineering was funded with $1 million from the state Traffic Congestion Relief Program provided by the Caltrans Division of Rail. SANDAG also provided approximately $300,000 from TransNet, a regional half-cent sales tax for transportation. The North County Transit District, the operator of the COASTER and SPRINTER services, owns the track and helped facilitate the construction effort. Kiewit served as the general contractor.

The Carlsbad Double Track Project is one of 20 rail improvement projects underway in the San Diego County portion of LOSSAN. To date, about half of the local coastal rail corridor has been double tracked to help speed passenger and freight services by allowing trains to pass each other freely.

SANDAG and NCTD are looking ahead to the next double tracking effort in Carlsbad – 1.1 miles of new track stretching north from Carlsbad Village Drive, including a new rail bridge across the Buena Vista Lagoon. So far about $6 million has been allocated for the design of the project, which is slated to begin this year and conclude in 2014. Funding has not yet been dedicated for construction.

Fore more information on the North Coast Corridor program visit www.keepsandiegomoving.com.

Project Manager(s)

For media inquiries, please contact the SANDAG Public Information Office at (619) 699-1950 or pio@sandag.org.