San Dieguito Double Track and Special Events Platform

Photo Credit: Brett Shoaff

SANDAG's San Dieguito Double Track Project will replace the 100-year-old plus wooden trestle San Dieguito Railway River Bridge, add over a mile of second mainline rail track from Solana Beach to Del Mar, and construct a special events platform at the Del Mar Fairgrounds for Amtrak Pacific Surfliner and North County Transit District (NCTD) COASTER trains. 

Other project improvements include construction of new turnouts, signals, retained embankments, utility relocations, and drainage facilities. Some realignment of the tracks to the east is required to accommodate the improvements and future rail needs. All of the double tracking falls within the NCTD right-of-way. The new bridge and tracks will be elevated above the 100-year flood plain level to reduce potential damage to the rail line and bridge during severe storms, high water levels (king tides) and sea level rise flooding.

The second main track will start in Solana Beach trench, just north of Dahlia Street. It will continue over a mile south across the San Dieguito Lagoon, resulting in a continuous 2.1-mile stretch of double track. A universal track crossover also will be installed between the tracks to enable trains to reach the new platform from either direction.

The new special events platform will be located on the west side of the fairgrounds to reduce vehicular traffic congestion and provide improved transit options for special event attendees. The platform, upper passenger connection ramps, and stairs will be constructed within the existing North County Transit District (NCTD) owned railroad right-of-way. The lower section of the easterly access walkways will be constructed on the fairgrounds site which is owned by the State of California and operated by the 22nd District Agricultural Association (22nd DAA). The platform will provide attendees a safe and reliable transit option for special events, including the Del Mar horse racing season and the San Diego County Fair.

In January 2020, when the Full Project's 90% design level was completed, it was decided to split the project into 2 phases to increase the chances for obtaining grants to fund the construction of the project. Phase 1 is the north segment and consists of double tracking the Solana Beach Trench segment down to the north end of the proposed new San Dieguito Railway River Bridge with associated signals work. Phase 2 includes replacement of the San Dieguito Railway River bridge, a new special events platform, and additional double track, signal, and communications improvements to complete the new passing track for the LOSSAN corridor. In 2021, the Phase 1 Project received funding grants for construction. SANDAG and NCTD are now working cooperatively seeking Phase 2 construction funding.

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