Rail platform in Del Mar Fairgrounds’ future

By Joe Tash

A platform to allow Coaster and Amtrak trains to stop at the Del Mar Fairgrounds during the annual county fair and horse racing season is in the works, but don’t expect the project to be completed any time soon.

Environmental studies and preliminary design work are moving ahead on the $140 million project, but funding for construction still has not been secured, Linda Culp, a planner with the San Diego Association of Governments, told the 22nd District Agricultural Association board on Monday, June 2.

Culp said her best estimate is that construction of the project — which includes replacement of the existing rail bridge over the San Dieguito Lagoon and double-tracking of the rail line — will be completed prior to 2030.

No permanent station or parking is planned. Instead, the platform would strictly be used for access to the fairgrounds during the fair and races.

Culp said public open houses will be held this fall for review of environmental documents, technical studies and design of the bridge and platform.

A bicycle and pedestrian underpass is planned as part of the project, Culp said.