Del Mar Rail Realignment Workshop

Written by Jennifer McLawhorn, Managing Editor
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Del Mar Bluffs
File Photo

DEL MAR, Calif. – The city of Del Mar will hold events for the rail relocation project on November 6th and 15th.

The city of Del Mar will hold another event for the rail relocation project, according to the Del Mar Times. A workshop for the proposed new rail alignment for 2035 will be held November 6th at Del Mar City Hall. A second workshop will take place at the Carmel Valley Middle School on November 15th. The project would move the current line from eroding bluffs. RT&S has previously reported on the plans from San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), the agency responsible for the project. Now, Del Mar residents are reportedly frustrated because they want more of a say in the process.

The report goes on to state there are currently five options for the realignment project, and of those, there are two preferred options. These two options cut through Del Mar, and the “Del Mar City Council has encouraged continued outreach by SANDAG but hasn’t officially supported any of the options.” Residents of Del Mar support one option that “runs along I-5, which would bypass major construction impacts within the city.”

Terry Gaasterland, a city councilmember, serves on the SANDAG board of directors, “asked for further consideration of a tunnel alignment through the Del Mar Fairgrounds – although that option does not have support from leaders at the fairgrounds.” Gaasterland went on to say that the “process will need to be transparent.” Currently, $300 million has been seured for the project, but it still needs $3-4 billion. 

SANDAG planner, Danny Veeh said: “It’s our only rail connection to the entire region, so there is no other option. . . If this rail corridor doesn’t exist, everything is going to be stuck on the freeway, essentially,” and that “1 in 7 intercity rail passengers in California begin or end their trip in San Diego, signaling ‘strong ridership’ locally.”

However, not all are supportive of rail. Deputy Mayor of Del Mar, Dan Quirk has “advocated for replacing the rail with a trail and making bigger investments in autonomous vehicles.” Del Mar city council members and SANDAG board members, on the other hand, “have not supported any effort to eliminate rail,” because “it’s not going away for freight, so it’s really silly to think about the notion of getting rid of the train,” according to Encinitas Mayor and SANDAG board member Tony Kranz.

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