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Approaching storm leads to Amtrak cancellations to, from, and in Southern California

LOS ANGELES, Aug 19 ( — A rare tropical storm warning for Southern California is leading to a series of cancellations on Amtrak routes to and from Los Angeles beginning today.

Commuter service on the San Diego-Oceanside Coaster will also be affected and LA-area Metrolink service is also likely to see changes.

All three-long distance routes serving Los Angeles — the Sunset Limited, Southwest Chief, and Coast Starlight — are being impacted. Today’s departure of the Sunset Limited from New Orleans was cancelled, as Sunday’s eastbound departure out of Los Angeles. Today’s westbound Southwest Chief is now slated to terminate in Albuquerque on Sunday, while Sunday’s scheduled departure from Los Angeles will instead originate in Albuquerque on Monday. And today’s southbound departure of the Starlight from Seattle will terminate in Emeryville, Calif., on Sunday morning, while Sunday’s scheduled Starlight departure from Los Angeles will instead originate in Emeryville on Sunday night.

Additional cancellations and schedule changes may occur as Hurricane Hilary, currently approaching the coast of Baja California, reaches Southern California. The storm is expected to be reduced to tropical storm status by that time, but the National Weather Service has forecast 2 to 4 inches of rain across Southern California with up to a foot of rain in the wettest areas, with a substantial amount of that rain falling in a 12-hour period Sunday and Monday.

Meanwhile, the Pacific Surfliner website indicates a number of changes today through Monday, Aug. 21.

Today, two trains, northbound No. 573 (departing San Diego at 10:01 a.m., arriving Los Angeles 12:57 p.m.) and southbound No. 580 (departing Los Angeles 3:10 p.m., arriving San Diego 6:04 p.m.) were cancelled because of equipment issues, and train No. 794, which originated in San Luis Obispo at 4:12 p.m., will be cancelled between Los Angeles and San Diego. Also, northbound train No. 591 will originate in Solana Beach at 7:40 p.m. rather than San Diego at 7:01 p.m.

On Sunday, trains 562 (a 6:10 a.m. departure from Los Angeles), 573, 580 and 591 will all be cancelled, while train 794 will be cancelled between Los Angeles and San Diego and train 761 (normally a 4:01 a.m. departure from San Diego to San Luis Obispo) will be cancelled between San Diego and Los Angeles. The LOSSAN Agency, which operates the Surfliners, will provide mutual assistance for Coaster and Metrolink passengers on Sunday.

Currently, the only change planned for Monday is for train 761, which will not operate between San Diego and Los Angeles. But the LOSSAN Agency advises that additional cancellations may be necessary. More information is available here.

In the San Diego area, Coaster service will be reduced to four round trips between San Diego and Oceanside from the usual 10, while the Sprinter line between Oceanside and Escondido will run hourly, with the 4:33 a.m. and 5:33 a.m. departures cancelled. More information is available here. In the LA area, Metrolink has reduced by half the number of trains it plans to operate on its Antelope Valley, Orange County, and Inland Empire-Orange County lines. Details are available here.

Metrolink is cautioning passengers that “if conditions worsen, further service reductions and cancellations may occur.”

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