Grinding in San Clemente in the SC Open

  • Parents and friends watch as skaters compete during the 20th Annual San Clemente Open skate contest which promotes local skaters 17 and under and fundraises for the Friends of San Clemente Beaches, Parks and Recreation Foundation Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021 in San Clemente.
    (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Swag and skateboard prizes await skaters as they compete during the 20th Annual SC Open skate contest which promotes local skaters 17 and under and fundraises for the Friends of San Clemente Beaches, Parks and Recreation Foundation Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021 in San Clemente.
    (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Skaters wait their turn as they skate on some wooden ramps during the 20th Annual SC Open skate contest which promotes local skaters 17 and under and fundraises for the Friends of San Clemente Beaches, Parks and Recreation Foundation Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021 in San Clemente.
    (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Skater Callie Carman warms up in the male and female 6-7 years old category during the 20th Annual SC Open skate contest which promotes local skaters 17 and under and fundraises for the Friends of San Clemente Beaches, Parks and Recreation Foundation Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021 in San Clemente.
    (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Skaters warm up during the 20th Annual SC Open skate contest which promotes local skaters 17 and under and fundraises for the Friends of San Clemente Beaches, Parks and Recreation Foundation Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021 in San Clemente.
    (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Skater Happy Sager competes in the male and female 6-7 years old category during the 20th Annual SC Open skate contest which promotes local skaters 17 and under and fundraises for the Friends of San Clemente Beaches, Parks and Recreation Foundation Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021 in San Clemente.
    (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Skater Happy Sager competes in the male and female 6-7 years old category during the 20th Annual SC Open skate contest which promotes local skaters 17 and under and fundraises for the Friends of San Clemente Beaches, Parks and Recreation Foundation Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021 in San Clemente.
    (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Skaters watch the competition during the 20th Annual SC Open skate contest which promotes local skaters 17 and under and fundraises for the Friends of San Clemente Beaches, Parks and Recreation Foundation Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021 in San Clemente.
    (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Skater Colton Rocklage competes in the male and female 6-7 years old category during the 20th Annual SC Open skate contest which promotes local skaters 17 and under and fundraises for the Friends of San Clemente Beaches, Parks and Recreation Foundation Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021 in San Clemente.
    (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Skater Ryatt Collins gets some air as he competes in the male and female 6-7 years old category during the 20th Annual SC Open skate contest which promotes local skaters 17 and under and fundraises for the Friends of San Clemente Beaches, Parks and Recreation Foundation Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021 in San Clemente.
    (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

  • A skater competes in the male and female 6-7 years old category during the 20th Annual SC Open skate contest which promotes local skaters 17 and under and fundraises for the Friends of San Clemente Beaches, Parks and Recreation Foundation Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021 in San Clemente.
    (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

  • A skater warms up in the male and female 6-7 years old category during the 20th Annual SC Open skate contest which promotes local skaters 17 and under and fundraises for the Friends of San Clemente Beaches, Parks and Recreation Foundation Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021 in San Clemente.
    (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Kaydin Chastain competes in the male and female 6-7 years old category during the 20th Annual SC Open skate contest which promotes local skaters 17 and under and fundraises for the Friends of San Clemente Beaches, Parks and Recreation Foundation Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021 in San Clemente.
    (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

of

Expand

All day Saturday, local skaters showed their talents during the annual SC Open.

The skate contest, now in its 20th year, features skaters 17 and younger, giving them a place to compete with others their age.

The event, held at Ralphs Skate Court, also raises money for the Friends of San Clemente Beaches, Parks and Recreation Foundation.

Fryer’s First and 10 for high school football’s Week 5

Starting the football week in Orange County with notes, comments and observations …

1. The top 25: We have five voters for the Orange County football top 25. How my ballot might have differed from others this week: I placed Santa Margarita at No. 3 because of the way the Eagles played in the second half of their 42-21 comeback win over Los Alamitos. Santa Margarita outscored Los Alamitos 42-7 in the second half, and that was good enough to beat out Mission Viejo for the No. 3 spot.

Figuring out the bottom five slots in the top 25 was challenging. I went this way: 21. JSerra; 22. El Toro; 23. Brea Olinda; 24. Sunny Hills; 25. El Modena. Although I might pick El Modena to beat Brea when they play each other Oct. 7, Brea beat Sunny Hills and Sunny Hills beat El Modena. JSerra has a 20-0 win over Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks, a team Orange Lutheran beat by 18 points.

2. Taking in the Sunset: The top three Sunset League teams, in order: 1. Edison; 2. Los Alamitos; 3. Corona del Mar. Edison would not get outscored 42-7 in the second half by Santa Margarita, which happened to Los Alamitos last week in the Griffins’ 42-21 loss to Santa Margarita. Also, Edison beat San Clemente 42-0 after Corona del Mar beat San Clemente 7-3.

3. Good byes, good games: We’re at about the halfway point of the regular season (already?!?!) so this is a week that many teams take their byes, a week in which they don’t play a game and gives them a break to rest and recuperate before league play starts.

Even in a bye-heavy week, Orange County football has several good games on the schedule, like county No. 12 Foothill (4-0) vs. No. 14 Orange (2-2) at El Modena on Thursday, No. 13 Cypress (3-1) at No. 17 Capistrano Valley (3-2) on Friday, No. 16 Tesoro (1-3) at No. 22 El Toro (5-0) on Friday and Vista Murrieta (3-1 and No. 23 in the Cal HiSports.com state rankings) vs. No. 9 Villa Park (4-0) on Saturday at El Modena.

4. Looking ahead: The Sept. 30-Oct. 2 schedule has plenty of fine league games when league play starts in the six-team leagues. We get Trinity League opener Orange Lutheran vs. Servite at Orange Coast College on Sept. 30 and on Oct. 1 Mater Dei at St. John Bosco, plus Tustin vs. Pacifica at Bolsa Grande High (Empire League), La Habra vs. Sunny Hills at Buena Park High (Freeway League) and Corona del Mar at Los Alamitos (Sunset League).

5. Unexpected: Teams exceeding preseason forecasts include Brea Olinda (3-0), El Toro (5-0), JSerra (2-2), Orange Lutheran (5-0). Teams not as good as anticipated, with plenty of time for improvement, are La Habra (0-4) and San Juan Hills (0-5).

6. Can Servite beat Mater Dei?: That’s the most asked question this season, although Servite-Mater Dei is weeks away. Mater Dei, even with ace cornerback Domani Jackson out for the season because of a knee injury, will have more outstanding players at more positions than Servite will in their game Oct. 23 at Santa Ana Stadium. But it’s always how you play on the day you play.

7. High on the Pacific Hills: That’s a good league. The four teams in it – Irvine, Dana Hills, Laguna Hills and Portola – are a combined 15-2 and all four have very winnable games this week. Of the four, Dana Hills has the most-impressive win, a 29-28 victory over Aliso Niguel.

8. This is the place: Saddleback College’s renovated stadium is the best venue for high school football in Orange County, and maybe Southern California, too, and would be a great setting for CIF Southern Section and CIF State championship games with its separate TV and radio booths and a large room for entertaining CIF business partners.

9. Light that scoreboard up: On Friday, Orange County teams that won their games combined for 1,158 points over 31 games. That’s an average of 37.4 points a game just from the winning team.

10. Silent treatment: The Pro Football Hall of Fame has guys who did less talking in their 15 years in the NFL than some Orange County high school players do in one quarter.

Cross country preview: Woodbridge Classic is back, a bit smaller but still a cool event


Support our high school sports coverage by becoming a digital subscriber. Subscribe now


It will be the coolest cross county meet so far this season.

The Woodbridge Classic is being held Friday and Saturday at Silver Lakes Sports Park in Norco.

Friday’s first races are scheduled to start at 5 p.m. and the final race of the night on the mostly flat, lighted course is set for 9:52 p.m. Saturday’s schedule starts at 3:50 p.m., with the Bob Day Girls Sweepstakes race at 9:34 p.m. and the Doug Speck Boys Sweepstakes race at 9:54 p.m.

The idea is to avoid the heat that usually is prevalent in this area in September.

CROSS COUNTRY PREVIEW | BOYS PREVIEW | GIRLS PREVIEW |

It’s the 48th year of the meet, which was not run last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Meet director George Varvas launched the meet when he was the coach at Morningside High of Inglewood, kept it going when he became coach at Pacifica, then brought it to Woodbridge when the school opened in the 1980-81 school year when Varvas began coaching there.

COVID-19 has affected this year’s race as it has affected most everything else.

“Especially with the traveling teams,” Varvas said. “We have 378 teams in the meet, but it would have up to more than 400. Some parents don’t feel comfortable sending their kids to the meet.”

Varvas said around 11,300 runners will be in the meet, compared to around 15,000 two years ago.

“It’s different,” he said. “But the quality of the meet looks great.”

While out-of-state teams and runners might not be as plentiful as in previous years, the Woodbridge meet for the first time will include teams from Arkansas and Ohio, giving it teams from 13 states.

Newbury Park, which has the No. 1 teams in the CIF Southern Section boys and girls Division 1 rankings provided by PrepCal.Track.com, is in the Woodbridge Classic. So is Great Oak of Temecula, which has the No. 2 teams in the boys and girls Division 1 rankings.

Outstanding Orange County teams are entered, including San Clemente’s teams and El Toro’s teams.

Varvas said he is looking forward to seeing what Newbury Park might accomplish at the meet. In 2019, Newbury Park’s boys team time was 1 hour, 11 minutes and 13.7 seconds to set a Silver Lakes course record for the meet.

“I think Newbury Park’s boys average individual time is going to be under 14 minutes,” Varvas said. “Their team time is going to be around 1:09, which would be something that is unheard of.”

NOTES

• San Clemente was the boys team champion at the Laguna Hills Invitational last week with a team time of 1:23:05.7. Capistrano Valley finished second and Santa Ana was third. Foothill’s girls team finished third.

Laguna Hills freshman Holly Barker had a successful high school debut at the Laguna Hills Invitational. Her time of 16:59.20 was the best time of the day for girls. Aliso Niguel senior Brennan Foody ran the fastest time among the boys at 15:43.20 at the Laguna Hills Invitational.

• Other top meets coming up are the Dana Hills Invitational (Sept. 25) and the Clovis Invitational (Oct. 9) on the course that will be used for the CIF State Championships. The Orange County Championships are scheduled for Oct. 15-16 at Oak Canyon Park.

• Four Orange County girls teams are ranked No. 1 in their CIF-SS division: Canyon in Division 2, Brea Olinda in Division 3, JSerra in Division 4 and St. Margaret’s in Division 5.

• Several county teams are at or near the top of their division in the CIF-SS boys rankings. In boys cross country, Orange Lutheran is No. 1 in Division 4. The Division 1 top 10 includes San Clemente (No. 4), El Toro (No. 3) in Division 2, Capistrano Valley (No. 2) in Division 3 and St. Margaret’s (No. 2) and Sage Hill (No. 3) in Division 5.

• The CIF-SS Championships (Nov. 20 and prelims (Nov. 12-13) will be held at Mt. San Antonio College. The CIF State meet will be held Nov. 27 at Woodward Park in Fresno.

Edison football starts fast, beats San Clemente behind defense, special teams


Support our high school sports coverage by becoming a digital subscriber. Subscribe now


HUNTINGTON BEACH — Edison football has long believed in playing a challenging schedule as one of the best ways to improve. The Chargers saw the benefits of the strategy once again Friday.

No. 7 Edison forced four turnovers and recovered a pouch kick to race past No. 10 San Clemente 42-0 in a nonleague game at Huntington Beach.

  • San Clemente QB Lachlan Van Rosmalen is sacked by Edison’s Nicholas Dipietro, left, and Austin Grbic in a nonleague football game at Huntington Beach High Friday, Sept. 17, 2021.
    (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Edison’s Peyton Gregory intercepts a pass intended for San Clemente’s Blake Allen in a nonleague football game at Huntington Beach High Friday, Sept. 17, 2021.
    (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Edison’s Troy Fletcher, right, is congratulated after scoring against San Clemente in a nonleague football game at Huntington Beach High Friday, Sept. 17, 2021.
    (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Edison’s Hudson Letterman recovers an onside kick and spikes the ball in celebration and earns a 20 yard penalty for unsportsman like conduct for spiking against San Clemente in a nonleague football game at Huntington Beach High Friday, Sept. 17, 2021.
    (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Edison’s Tyler Hampton catches a touchdown pass against San Clemente in a nonleague football game at Huntington Beach High Friday, Sept. 17, 2021.
    (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Edison’s Tyler Hampton catches a pass on the one yard line against San Clemente’s Blake Allen in a nonleague football game at Huntington Beach High Friday, Sept. 17, 2021.
    (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Edison’s Tucker Tripp gains yardage against San Clemente in a nonleague football game at Huntington Beach High Friday, Sept. 17, 2021.
    (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

  • San Clemente’s Ethan Rea tackles Edison’s Nico Brown in a nonleague football game at Huntington Beach High Friday, Sept. 17, 2021.
    (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Edison’s Peyton Gregory strips the ball from San Clemente QB Lachlan Van Rosmalen on the Edison one yard line and runs 99 yards for a touchdown in a nonleague football game at Huntington Beach High Friday, Sept. 17, 2021.
    (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Edison’s Troy Fletcher dives into the end zone for a touchdown against San Clemente in a nonleague football game at Huntington Beach High Friday, Sept. 17, 2021.
    (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Edison’s Carter Hogue gains yardage against San Clemente in a nonleague football game at Huntington Beach High Friday, Sept. 17, 2021.
    (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Edison’s Jared Schnoor gains yardage against San Clemente in a nonleague football game at Huntington Beach High Friday, Sept. 17, 2021.
    (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

  • San Clemente QB Lachlan Van Rosmalen is sacked by Edison’s Dom Lopez in a nonleague football game at Huntington Beach High Friday, Sept. 17, 2021.
    (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Edison fans cheer for their team in a nonleague football game against San Clemente at Huntington Beach High Friday, Sept. 17, 2021.
    (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Edison football players carry 13 portraits and 13 American flags for the U.S. service members recently killed in Afghanistan in a nonleague football game against San Clemente at Huntington Beach High Friday, Sept. 17, 2021.
    (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Edison cheerleaders perform in a nonleague football game against San Clemente at Huntington Beach High Friday, Sept. 17, 2021.
    (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

  • San Clemente cheerleaders perform against Edison in a nonleague football game at Huntington Beach High Friday, Sept. 17, 2021.
    (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

of

Expand

The Chargers (3-2) turned four of the plays into touchdowns and led 35-0 going into the fourth quarter against the Tritons (3-2), showing their strides after losses to undefeated Trinity League teams Servite and Orange Lutheran.

Outside linebacker Dominic Lopez intercepted two passes and recorded a sack and middle linebacker Peyton Gregory returned a strip fumble 97 yards for a touchdown and added a late interception.

“If we want to be the best, we got to play the best,”  Gregory said of the Servite and Orange Lutheran games. “We came up big (tonight) and we came ready to play. And that’s what we practiced all we week and we just came and executed.”

Running back Troy Fletcher capitalized with three touchdown runs, giving him 10 on the season. Quarterback Parker Awad completed 19 of 24 passes for 312 yards, including a 19-yard connection in the second half to Nico Brown, who made a slick, one-handed catch.

One of the main storylines entering the game was the contrast between the offenses the past three weeks. While Edison’s offense averaged 35 points, San Clemente’s attack struggled with a 10.3 average.

The Chargers’ defense and special teams made sure the Tritons’ woes continued while also helping their own cause.

On San Clemente’s game-opening drive, Gregory stripped the runner on first-and-goal from the 1 and returned the ball 97 yards for touchdown.

The senior raced along the Edison sideline and narrowly reached the end zone before being tackled by hustling running back Blake Allen.

“That’s probably the biggest moment of my football career,” Gregory said. “I just used my football instincts, and made it happen. That’s what the team needed. … Huge adrenaline rush.”

The dramatic play wiped out a promising opening drive by San Clemente, which appeared headed for an 80-yard scoring drive.

It also set the tone for the game, Edison coach Jeff Grady said.

“It absolutely sparked us,” he said. “Those are big, emotional shifts.”

On the ensuing possession, Lopez intercepted a pass near his 10-yard line and returned it to the Chargers 38. A few plays later, Fletcher rushed for a 3-yard touchdown as Edison opened a 14-0 lead on the first play of the second quarter.

On the ensuing kickoff, Edison’s special teams contributed. Hudson Letterman recovered a pouch kickoff by Nicholas Preston at the San Clemente 39. On the next play, Awad hit Tyler Hampton in stride in the end zone for a 39-yard touchdown pass and a 21-0 lead.

The touchdown highlighted Hampton’s first game back since being injured against Servite.

Letterman also helped lead the Edison defense with a tackle for a loss. Defensive end Austin Grbic also recorded a sack and tackle for loss.

Edison led 21-0 at halftime and opened the third quarter with an 80-yard scoring drive that leaned heavily on Brown, who made five catches on the march. Fletcher capped the drive with a 5-yard TD run.

On the next San Clemente drive, Lopez grabbed his second interception to setup a 23-yard TD run by Fletcher.

“He’s a really good athlete,” Grady said of Lopez, a junior. “He can easily play receiver for us, and he has. He did all summer, and all spring. … Great, natural hands.”

Fletcher rushed for 59 yards and added three catches for 30 yards.

Edison’s defense held San Clemente to 170 yards offense.

“They’re a good team,” Grady said. “We expected this to be a fourth-quarter football game because they’re a physical team. They’re physical every year and they’re well coached. … Things just went our way.”

Next week, San Clemente plays host to former playoff rival Murrieta Valley while Edison takes a bye before opening the Sunset League against Newport Harbor on Sept. 30.

In 2018, San Clemente beat Murrieta Valley and quarterback Hank Bachmeier, now starting at Boise State, in the first round of the Division 1 playoffs. San Clemente also defeated Murrieta Valley for its first and only CIF section title in 2016.

Work to stabilize railroad on OC coast underway while commuters scramble to find rides

  • Workers dump rocks along the railroad tracks as waves crash on the rip rap in south San Clemente, CA on Thursday, September 16, 2021. Train service between Mission Viejo and Oceanside was suspended through October 4, 2021 for emergency track repairs. (Photo by Paul Bersebach, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Gina Tursini scrambles to change her plans after learning train service between Mission Viejo and Oceanside was suspended through October 4, 2021 for emergency track repairs. Tursini was at the San Juan Capistrano station on Thursday, September 16, 2021. (Photo by Paul Bersebach, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A man walks along a Metrolink train at the station in Mission Viejo, CA on Thursday, September 16, 2021. Train service between Mission Viejo and Oceanside was suspended through October 4, 2021 for emergency track repairs. (Photo by Paul Bersebach, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A sign at the Metrolink train station in San Juan Capistrano, CA warns of suspended service on Thursday, September 16, 2021. Train service between Mission Viejo and Oceanside was suspended through October 4, 2021 for emergency track repairs. (Photo by Paul Bersebach, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Hoda Mostafa and her mom Shahista buy Metrolink tickets at the station in Mission Viejo, CA on Thursday, September 16, 2021. The pair were heading north, toward Orange. Train service between Mission Viejo and Oceanside to the south was suspended through October 4, 2021 for emergency track repairs. (Photo by Paul Bersebach, Orange County Register/SCNG)

of

Expand

Rose Zadan stood waiting at the train station in north San Clemente, unsure of what to do.

Most days, the same 10 or so commuters gather at the platform early in the morning as part of their daily routine, but the others had already left after learning the train wasn’t coming.

Zadan was supposed to be on her way to downtown Los Angeles for her job at her sister’s store. An Uber would cost her at least $100. Even finding one to take her back home in San Clemente was proving hard so early in the morning.

“It’s a problem,” she said of Wednesday’s announcement that train services have to halt until likely early October for repairs to nearby tracks.

Big waves and high tides have caused the tracks to shift in an area of south San Clemente near Cyprus Shores, a private community tucked behind gates and dotted with multi-million dollar homes.

Workers were already on the train tracks Thursday, Sept. 16, with heavy equipment dropping boulders down to add a layer of protection from the sea. Service between south of the Laguna Niguel/Mission Viejo station – including San Juan Capistrano and San Clemente – and Oceanside is expected to be halted through Oct. 3 for the repairs.

There are 43 passenger trains a day that go through that area. Based on recent Metrolink ridership numbers for July and August, there are about 150 passengers a day who board trains in San Juan Capistrano and San Clemente, and another 191 riders a day from Oceanside, Metrolink spokesman Paul Gonzales said.

The closure will affect commuters using Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner and Metrolink’s Orange Line, which runs between Los Angeles and Oceanside, and its Inland Empire-Orange County Line, which connects San Bernardino to Oceanside.

“This came upon us pretty quickly. We moved rapidly yesterday to come up with a plan to marshal the resources we had, to start the work in a timely matter and to communicate to our riders and the community as a whole,” Gonzales said.

Conductors made announcements through the morning about the change in service and emails were sent out to riders, he said. Notifications were also made on social media.

“We know there’s a general sense of disappointment, but this what we can do as a responsible agency to keep this track in a state of good repair, to provide safety for people who are on it,” Gonzales said.

The plan in coming days is to drop in “riprap,” large boulders, to try to protect the seaward side of the tracks.

The track movement from the ocean’s force illustrates the vulnerability of beachfront infrastructure as the ocean inches closer to the coast, with eroding sands no longer offering a buffer against the sea.

While the tracks stay dry when ocean activity is moderate, if a big swell and high tide happen to combine, as they did this week, water starts pushing onto the tracks more frequently, especially with sand disappearing at a rapid rate in recent years.

Waves overtop the railroad tracks in south San Clemente on Sept. 15, 2021, the same day the Metrolink and Amtrak announced it would stop service for repairs after track movement. (Photo courtesy of Tony Prince)

The Orange County Transportation Authority, along with the Caltrans District 12, earlier this year completed a study assessing how future climate change would affect the Orange County rail corridor.

The OCTA study says “sea level rise and relevant coastal hazards, including storm surge and shoreline erosion, pose a threat to almost all (of) the approximately 7-mile coastal rail corridor in Orange County.”

Slope failure and erosion were also addressed, with the study looking at changing precipitation patterns as well as changing coastal storm patterns that can affect erosion and increase the likelihood of slopes being unstable.

Along the coastal rail corridor, there are various bluff failures and erosion threats on the land side of the tracks and shoreline erosion threats on the coastal side, the study says.

The combination of sea level rise, erosion and flooding could threaten not only the rail and embankment, but also associated infrastructure, such as bridges, culverts and stations, the report says.

The most exposed sections of tracks are the very southernmost portion of Orange County, as well as the Mariposa Promontory, the report says. That’s the same section where a landslide happened late 2019 and closed a pedestrian bridge for months.

The OCTA studied options for protecting vulnerable areas, including adding varying levels of seawall and rocky riprap and boulders that can serve as barriers to the sea. That is the current plan as an emergency measure to protect the tracks.

Noaki Schwartz, spokeswoman for the California Coastal Commission, said there’s two emergency railroad revetment projects pending in San Clemente. One is smaller in North Beach, where a slope failure caused boulders to drop onto the beach.

The other is for the south end of town, the site where movement was detected this week, and calls for an additional 1,000-foot-long, by 20-foot-wide layer of rocks to be put in on the seaward side of the tracks.

There are some who have wondered if the railroad system should relocate, away from the sea’s reach.

Toni Nelson, who created the advocacy group Capo Cares, has had the railroad issue on her radar for some time; she is concerned about the Serra Siding Project plans that would extend a side track in Capistrano Beach – along an area suffering severe erosion, she said.

Metrolink and OCTA propose extending 1.2 miles of the side track in Dana Point, adjacent to the existing main line from Victoria Boulevard running south and connecting to the main track near the rail crossing at Beach Road.

But Nelson believes instead of expanding along the vulnerable coast, the whole southern stretch of railroad should be relocated.

“There are no big job centers to commute to down here,” she said. “There’s a good argument for just beefing up electric bus transport.”

The OCTA explored relocation of the train inland to run along the 5-freeway in its climate change assessment, though that option would come with a high price tag in the billions of dollars, the study says. The two-segment rail tunnel could be built along Interstate 5 from San Onofre State Beach to Avenida Aeropuerto in San Juan Capistrano for an estimated $5.9 billion.

San Clemente Mayor Kathy Ward said the coastal railroad was built before the city even existed.

“Before everything was built, that train worked well. Now, with what’s going on with the ocean, I’m not sure it’s a long-term thing,” she said. “Is it something that is viable?”

San Clemente has been waiting for nearly 20 years for a major sand replenishment project, called the San Clemente Shoreline Project. Approval of $9.3 million in federal funding is set to go before the Senate this year.

The project would add 251,000 cubic yards of sand from Linda Lane beach to T-Street beach south of the pier.

While that’s north of where the track movement occurred, that sand should be fed by waves and currents into the more southern area to help protect the railroad, Ward said. “We need sand. The sand all moves around and it would benefit the area as it moves south.”

In additional to Metrolink and Amtrak, the rail system is also used by freight operator BNSF Railway, which ships goods to the region’s ports.

“It’s a very important rail corridor,” Gonzales said. “This is as vital link for Southern California.”

While long-term solutions are still unclear, commuters and travelers are left wondering what to do while the current repairs are made.

Janet Link, visiting her daughter in Orange from Pennsylvania, thought it would be a nice outing to take the train down to San Juan Capistrano to explore.

She jumped on early morning in Orange, only to be told to exit the train at the Mission Viejo stop.

“I didn’t realize I couldn’t get there. There was nothing posted,” she said. “Why is it even selling me a ticket there, if I can’t get there?”

She was able to hitch a ride to San Juan Capistrano, but expected later to have to Uber back to Mission Viejo to catch the train back to Orange in the afternoon.

She planned on having a long, leisurely lunch.

“Sunny California is beautiful,” she said of her outing. “Once you get to where you’re going.”