There is no timetable to reopen train service through San Clemente after landslide

Train service between Orange and San Diego counties remains disrupted after a landslide in San Clemente and there is no timetable for reopening tracks in the area, a spokesman for the regional rail authority said Saturday.

Wednesday's grade failure sent debris onto tracks in the south Orange County city, halting service between the Laguna Niguel/Mission Viejo and Oceanside stations and leaving Metrolink and Surfliner passengers stranded.

Efforts to repair the damage will continue through the weekend, Metrolink spokesman Scott Johnson said, and have required the removal of two “large sections” of the Mariposa Pedestrian Bridge so workers could access the affected hillside.

“The earth is currently being removed, but they are doing it very methodically to ensure that another landslide does not occur,” he said.

This weekend, Metrolink trains will operate as far south as San Juan Capistrano. Starting Monday, weekday trains will operate only to the Laguna Niguel/Mission Viejo station. Metrolink does not offer alternative transportation methods to stations that its trains cannot access.

Amtrak Pacific Surfliner train service is operating as far south as San Juan Capistrano, and buses are being used to transport passengers between Irvine and San Diego, Johnson said.

The landslide is one of several recent ones that disrupted rail service in the area. Another in 2022 caused a complete disruption of passenger service for six months.

The weather forecast for next week could slow down repair work in San Clemente. Casey Oswant, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service's San Diego office, said precipitation is expected Thursday and Friday.

“There will be wetter, colder and windier weather,” he said.

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