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San Clemente landslide forces rail passengers to find alternatives between San Diego and LA
People traveling by train between San Diego and Los Angeles will have to add a little extra time to their commute follow a landslide in San Clemente. Debris from a landslide just north of the San Clemente Pier near the Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens has once again forced the closure of passenger rail service between Irvine and Oceanside. Amtrak's Irvine Station is serving as a transfer station for commuters traveling on either side of the closure. The closure has since been causing a disruption for travelers like Rafael Joseph, who spoke with Eyewitness News on Wednesday as he was traveling with his wife Amie. "It's been very, very confusing, very difficult ... we're on a vacation trip," he said. "We went from San Diego to Oceanside on the train and then a bus from Oceanside to here and now we're supposed to get on a train and take that up to Anaheim." Passengers have to get off the train and jump onto buses that will connect them to trains and both sides of the unstable slope. "It's an extra hour but it's ok," said Judith Escales. "I think everything is well organized. I come from France and there it's much more chaotic." Others don't quite feel the same. "It's just a hassle with how packed and crowded the buses are," John Bragiel said. Amtrak said the track will reopen once the debris is cleared and it's safe to operate trains through the area. "We're not in a hurry but I feel for the people that are," said Amie Joseph. "People that have to make this commute to go to work and for their livelihood and all that so I feel for them but it's kind of a pain." OCTA, who owns the rail line, said it will continue working with the city of San Clemente as well as Metrolink and Pacific Surfliner to assess the situation and reopen the line as soon as possible.