Tropical storm causes ground shift, prompting Metrolink to secure area around San Clemente track even more

Written by Bill Wilson, Editor-in-Chief
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The southern California coast continues to deal with dangerous erosion that is impacting train travel.

With the southern California coast continuing to wither away there continues to be an effort to save the railroad.

Tropical Storm Kay pounded the seaboard earlier this month, shifting the ground along the track in San Clemente. An “ancient landslide” and severe erosion are making the area dangerous.

According to the California Coastal Commission, the sand has been buffering the base of the landslide, and as sand is lost it causes more movement on the ancient landslide. Development has impacted the sand and soil, which has been a natural buffer from the ocean, and the absence of the resupply of sediment from nearby rivers or after-rain runoff has only made the situation worse. California is experiencing one of the worst droughts in history.

Late last year Metrolink dropped over 10,000 tons of rip rap to act as a barrier between the railway and ocean, and after Tropical Storm Kay raised havoc another 1,600+ tons of rock were added, and more material is expected to be used over the next few days.

Monitoring devices are keeping an eye on the right-of-way, and Metrolink staff are conducting constant inspections.

The instability of the Del Mar bluffs has been in the news for a couple of years now. Track also runs along the stretch in San Diego.

Read more articles on track maintenance.

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