South Carlsbad Double Track
In cooperation with SANDAG and the North County Transit District (NCTD), Amtrak finished building a 1.9-mile second main track from Carlsbad Village southward past Cannon Road and a new rail bridge over the Agua Hedionda Lagoon in February 2012. With the completion of this double track project, Carlsbad now has a five-mile stretch of continuous double track.
Amtrak, SANDAG, and NCTD would like to thank the citizens of Carlsbad for their patience and cooperation during construction.
The Carlsbad Double Track project is part of a larger effort to improve Amtrak and COASTER passenger services by adding a second track to the 60-mile segment of the LOSSAN (Los Angeles-San Diego-San Luis Obispo) rail corridor in San Diego County.
As a companion to I-5, the rail system plays a critical role in the movement of people and goods in the San Diego region, as well as between San Diego, Los Angeles, and points further north. NCTD’s COASTER commuter rail service, Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner inter-city service, and BNSF Railway freight service all rely upon the tracks to serve their customers.
Besides track construction, the Carlsbad project included installing new switches to allow trains to change tracks efficiently and wiring and infrastructure to accommodate potential Quiet Zone technology in the future.
During the next 20 years, more than $800 million in improvements are planned in the San Diego County section of the LOSSAN corridor. These projects include double tracking, bridge and track replacement, new stations, grade separations, and other improvements to shorten trip times and increase passenger rail service.
SANDAG and NCTD are looking ahead to the next double tracking effort in Carlsbad – 1.1 miles of track from Carlsbad Village Drive to the north, including a new rail bridge across the Buena Vista Lagoon. So far about $6 million have been allocated for the design of the project, which is slated to begin this year and conclude in 2014. Funding has not yet been dedicated for construction.
The project cost was $18.4 million. It was funded primarily by Amtrak, with additional funds from the state Traffic Congestion Relief Program and revenues from TransNet, a regional half-cent sales tax for transportation projects in San Diego County.