The LOSSAN Agency continues to work with partners on initiatives that will advance service expansion and enhancement goals for the Pacific Surfliner. To optimize equipment utilization, increase maintenance capabilities, and reduce operating costs, the capacity and capability of layover and maintenance facilities along the corridor are being expanded. As part of this effort, a new San Diego County Maintenance and Layover Facility, which will be located south of the Santa Fe Depot, will become the primary maintenance location for Pacific Surfliner trains by 2030.
Current Layover Capabilities
The current Amtrak layover facility in San Diego is at the Santa Fe Depot in downtown. The depot has four platform tracks that serve both Pacific Surfliner and COASTER commuter trains. Due to space constraints, a small number of Pacific Surfliner trains start out of the depot each morning and are stored there overnight. The primary maintenance facility for all Pacific Surfliner trains is currently in Los Angeles. This facility is located the middle of the corridor, which creates significant operating inefficiencies since all trains must stay there overnight every three to four days for servicing and maintenance.
Maintenance facility in Los Angeles.
Benefits of an Expanded Facility
The proposed location of the new San Diego County Maintenance and Layover Facility is approximately 1.5 miles south of Santa Fe Depot on the site of an existing BNSF Railway (BNSF) freight yard. The additional space offered in the new facility will allow primary maintenance activities for Pacific Surfliner trains to take place at the southern end of the route, which will resolve the current need to shuffle equipment mid-route for maintenance every few days. This will improve equipment utilization and reduce overall operating and maintenance costs. The facility will also improve other regional train services, allowing COASTER trains to also be stored and serviced there. The added layover capabilities will allow for North County Transit District (NCTD) to operate reverse peak COASTER services. There are also plans incorporate some green space at the project site to complement a planned bikeway along Harbor Drive.
Partners and Funding
The LOSSAN Agency is leading the project - managing the planning, environmental clearance, and preliminary design of the project with the support of a consultant. The design and initial phase of construction for the facility is funded through a $28.4 million Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program grant award received in April 2020. The LOSSAN Agency continues to coordinate with partners at all stages of this project, including the California Department of Transportation, the California State Transportation Agency, BNSF, Port of San Diego, Amtrak, the San Diego Association of Governments, NCTD, and the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System.
In December 2020, the project wrapped up the site selection study, and in February 2021, the Request for Proposals should be released to initiate the competitive process for selection of a team to perform the preliminary engineering and environmental clearance of the project. The environmental clearance and preliminary engineering phase will start in summer or fall of 2021, and should be complete in early 2023 with the adoption of the environmental document. The goal is to have the final design of the project completed by early 2024, with construction beginning in early to mid 2025.
Maintenance activities at the Los Angeles facility that are planned to also be supported at the new San Diego facility.