Rep. Mike Levin Hosts Federal Railroad Administrator Bose to Examine LOSSAN Challenges
Oceanside, CA -- Today, U.S. Representative Mike Levin (CA-49) hosted Administrator of the U.S. Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Amit Bose to highlight the challenges facing the Los Angeles – San Diego – San Luis Obispo Rail Corridor (LOSSAN Corridor) due to coastal erosion.
Rep. Levin, Administrator Bose, and local officials rode the COASTER commuter train from San Diego to Solana Beach and discussed the urgent need to secure the bluffs and relocate a section of the tracks in Del Mar. They also visited San Clemente to discuss the temporary closure of rail service in South Orange County, which will reopen on April 17th, and view the track stabilization project. Rep. Levin also announced that he submitted a federal Community Project Funding request for $4 million to support the Orange County Transportation Authority in conducting a study for long-term rail line relocation spanning 11 miles.
“It’s an honor to host FRA Administrator Bose in my district and to show him one of the most pressing transportation and infrastructure challenges we are facing in our nation,” said Rep. Levin. “This visit was timely because we’re seeing the detrimental effects of coastal erosion on this rail corridor in San Clemente and Del Mar right now. The LOSSAN Corridor is the second busiest intercity passenger rail corridor in the United States and supports $1 billion in goods and services annually. That’s what’s at stake. I was glad to have Administrator Bose visit our district and to show him first-hand the urgency of this situation. I look forward to a continued partnership on solving this challenge.”
“Ensuring the LOSSAN Corridor remains a key transportation link and economic engine for Southern California is vital,” said Administrator Bose. “I appreciate Congressman Levin’s invitation to see first hand issues facing the Corridor, and am pleased to highlight ways President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law can provide opportunity to the region.”
“I want to thank Congressman Mike Levin for taking the lead to bring us together and formally requesting $4 million in urgently needed federal funding. Time is up and we cannot wait any longer to act. For decades there were warning signs, but neglect and lack of action took its toll and the consequences are now at our doorstep. Our eroding coastline in South County threatens our homes, businesses, and the way of life we have enjoyed for generations in this beautiful community. We must work together to replenish sand, protect our beaches, and maintain our important rail system along our coast,” said Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley, 5th District.
“We are grateful for the continuing work and partnership of our congressional delegation and the Federal Railroad Administration to promote and invest in the nation’s second busiest rail corridor, which is right here in the San Diego region,” said SANDAG Second Vice Chair Lesa Heebner. “The leadership of Rep. Levin, Pro Tem Toni Atkins and Administrator Bose is critical to our continuing work to create a modern, resilient rail corridor that will serve our region and the nation for decades to come.”
“It takes every level of government working together to address these complex and critical infrastructure projects along the LOSSAN Corridor,” said state Senator Catherine Blakespear, D-Encinitas. “Through the Senate Transportation Subcommittee on LOSSAN Rail Corridor Resiliency, I’m seeking state support and investment to ensure that rail operations continue for generations to come.”
“Investments we make in this corridor and collaboration across the region allows us to improve safety, increase capacity, and drive economic development – connecting more people to more places, and moving more goods and services throughout Southern California,” said NCTD and LOSSAN Rail Corridor Agency Chair Jewel Edson.
In March 2023, Rep. Levin sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Transportation urging full consideration of LOSSAN’s application to the DOT’s Corridor Identification and Development (ID) Program. The Corridor ID Program aims to guide intercity passenger rail development in the US and create a pipeline of projects ready for implementation and was created through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
In November 2022, Rep. Levin hosted U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to see the challenges facing the LOSSAN Corridor, specifically in Del Mar where the rail line sits on eroding coastal bluffs. Rep. Levin, Secretary Buttigieg, and local officials rode the COASTER commuter train from San Diego to Solana Beach and discussed the urgent need to secure the bluffs and relocate a section of the tracks. They also discussed the temporary closure of rail service in San Clemente due to coastal erosion.
In November 2021, Rep. Levin voted in support of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which includes the largest investment in rail since Amtrak’s creation. For more information on how the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is addressing California’s infrastructure needs, click here.
In 2020, Rep. Levin helped secure a federal grant of $11.5 million from the Department of Transportation for SANDAG and the North County Transit District to stabilize the eroding coastal bluffs in Del Mar. That funding announcement followed a letter Rep. Levin led with the San Diego Congressional Delegation to the DOT urging the agency to award funding for the Del Mar Bluffs Stabilization project.
He also passed $9.3 million this year as part of federal government funding legislation for the San Clemente Shoreline Protection Project, which will protect the LOSSAN Corridor tracks that run immediately adjacent to the San Clemente coast where the current closure is happening. The project involves placing about 251,000 cubic yards of sand on the City beach, which will widen the beach about 50 feet to provide storm damage reduction.