Crews removing and paving over the tracks on Cleveland Avenue on July 17. Courtesy OnScene.TV

The San Diego Metropolitan Transit System is removing some of the last tracks used by of an old steam railway in National City and Chula Vista to prevent accidents.

The tracks were laid for steam trains of the old National City & Otay Railway, which began running from downtown San Diego to Tijuana before the turn of the last century. The line was later electrified for use by early trolley cars.

The remaining tracks on Cleveland Avenue in National City and F Street in Chula Vista are being removed and paved over because of safety concerns.

“There have been a number of pavement/rail flangeway issues reported involving pedestrians, motorcycles and bicycle riders, thus necessitating the removal,” according to MTS.

There were reportedly at least seven accidents at Cleveland Avenue attributed to the tracks in the last year and a half.

The work is expected to continue through the end of July.

The old railroad’s downtown San Diego terminal remains as part of the Hard Rock Hotel at 6th and L streets. Some tracks remain in the Sweetwater National Wildlife Refuge, and a restored passenger car is located in a memorial building at the west end of 23rd Street in National City.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.