Process to stabilize Del Mar cliffs and save the train tracks continues
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – It may be the most scenic train ride in Southern California, but over the years it’s also become one of the most fragile train rides. The latest reminder happened during a strong rain after Thanksgiving when the cliff collapsed and the Del Mar train tracks were closed for two days.
“Well, it was the rain and the bad drainage system. The drains are all clogged up and all that water soaks into the cliffs,” said Del Mar Councilmember David Druker.
This is a problem as old as the train tracks themselves. On New Year’s Eve 1940, a freight train tumbled over the cliffs during a strong rain. Three people were killed and the tracks were closed for weeks. Fast forward 80-years and the same issues on the same stretch of train tracks.
“Eventually we need to move these tracks off the coast. Until then, there are things we can do to make them safer,” said Druker.
One of these things is the drain pipes. Work will begin immediately to improve the drains and allow the water to flow into the ocean. The second temporary fix, reinforce the support beams that currently support the tracks along the coast.
“This is going to happen, there is money available for this, about 60-million dollars,” said Druker.
But in the long term, the tracks must go. It’s going to take Billions of dollars and at least two decades, but there is now an urgency to get them off the coast.
Again, the tracks will be closed for both days of the weekend, while some temporary repairs are happening. Until the tracks are considered safe again, there will be a ‘train track monitor’ on the scene 24/7.