The Inland Rail Trail is a proposed 21-mile Class I bikeway located through the cities of Oceanside, Vista, San Marcos, and Escondido, as well as within a portion of the unincorporated County of San Diego. The Inland Rail Trail is an important element of the SANDAG Regional Bike Plan and is considered a priority project. Completion of the Inland Rail Trail and other similar Class I bikeways will help create an interconnected regional bike network throughout the region. A Class I bikeway is a bike path that is physically separate from motor vehicle traffic.
In 2009, the eastern most portion of the bikeway was constructed in the cities of Escondido and San Marcos; that portion of the Inland Rail Trail begins at the Escondido SPRINTER Rail Station and ends at the intersection of West Mission Road and North Pacific Street in San Marcos.
The current project, the San Marcos to Vista segment of the Inland Rail Trail, is a 7-mile Class I bikeway passing through San Marcos, Vista, and the County of San Diego. This segment begins at the intersection of West Mission Road and North Pacific Street in San Marcos and ends at the intersection of North Melrose Drive and West Bobier Drive in Oceanside. View project area and typical cross section.
Construction of the project is expected to be accomplished in four phases. The first phase, a 1-mile segment in the City of San Marcos, was completed in February 2017.
Phase 2, which runs through an unincorporated part of the County of San Diego, began construction in late 2016 and will be completed in early 2018. Work will take place mostly within the North County Transit District (NCTD) right-of-way, between the City of San Marcos and City of Vista boundaries in unincorporated San Diego County. Most work will occur Monday through Friday, holidays excluded, between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. During construction, crews will operate heavy machinery and trucks, and will level slopes within the construction area for the new bikeway, as needed. Landscaping, lighting, and retaining walls will be installed throughout the bikeway, as well as a new fence along the NCTD tracks.
A portion of phase 3 in the City of Vista is anticipated to begin in summer 2017 and be completed in 2018. The remaining three miles of Phase 3 are anticipated to begin construction in late 2017 and be completed in 2019. Phase 4 in the City of Oceanside is anticipated to begin construction in early 2018 and be completed in summer 2018.
The entire San Marcos to Vista segment of the Inland Rail Trail is anticipated to be complete and open to the public in 2019. When completed, the path will provide access to five SPRINTER stations. The project is generally located in the NCTD right-of-way.
The western most portion of the Inland Rail Trail, which will extend the bikeway from the intersection of North Melrose Drive and West Bobier Drive to Wisconsin Avenue in Oceanside, will be part of a future project.
The Inland Rail Trail is an important element of the SANDAG Regional Bike Plan and is considered a priority project. Completion of this trail and other similar Class I bikeways will help create an interconnected regional bike network throughout the region.
More information is available on the Inland Rail Trail fact sheet in English and en Español.
Emilio Rodriguez, PE
Senior Engineer/Project Manager
SANDAG TransNet Project Office