Amtrak cancels Central Coast train routes due to storm repairs. When will tracks reopen?

Photo provided courtesy of LOSSAN Rail Corridor Agency

Several Amtrak train routes have been canceled or adjusted between San Luis Obispo and Goleta due to storm repairs.

They are expected to reopen in early February.

The railroad tracks are closed as crews repair damage caused during recent storms, according to Union Pacific, which owns the tracks in the area.

“Heavy rainfall washed out the bottom rocks and fill of a railroad bridge near Goleta, California, prompting us to shut down service,” Union Pacific spokesperson Robynn Tysver told Noozhawk. “Crews are on site, working to repair the bridge. We hope to have it reopened in about a week.”

Amtrak suspended the southbound 774 line between San Luis Obispo and Los Angeles, and the southbound 794 line suspended operations between San Luis Obispo and Goleta.

The northbound 761 line is canceled, and the northbound 777 line will end in Goleta rather than San Luis Obispo, according to Amtrak.

The track repairs are taking place between Goleta and San Luis Obispo, with most of the repairs occurring in San Luis Obispo County, according to Roger Lopez, administrative officer of the LOSSAN Rail Corridor Agency (Los Angeles-San Diego-San Luis Obispo).

According to Lopez, most of the repairs are to restore the rip-rap — rock manually added to protect shoreline infrastructure — that washed away during the storm.

Lopez recommended that passengers use Amtrak’s bus routes between Goleta and Northern California if they are hoping to travel to the Bay Area.

Amtrak travelers also have to plan around the ongoing track closure in Orange County.

In addition to the rail closures, the rain disrupted the San Clemente track stabilization project, which was initially set to be complete in November. According to Lopez, the project will be delayed for at least another week.

“The good news is that there was no movement on the hill through those rain events that we had, which means that the solutions are working,” Lopez said. “The bad news is it added about a week to the construction schedule because it was basically just a giant mud pit.”

Lopez said he believes the entire track will be repaired and open as early as the end of February.

“Fingers crossed, we’re hoping by maybe the end of February, beginning of March, we’re going to have the entire track open for daily service,” Lopez said.

To see the current time table for Amtrak passenger rail service, go to pacificsurfliner.com.