NCTD Sprinter train
A Sprinter train operated by the North County Transit District. Photo courtesy NCTD

The North County Transit District celebrated the tenth anniversary Friday of its unique Sprinter rail line from Oceanside to Escondido.

The Sprinter, which serves 15 stations along a 22-mile route, carries 8,400 riders on a typical weekday and has provided 23 million trips since its debut. It connects with Amtrak, Metrolink and Coaster trains in Oceanside.

“The Sprinter is a significant asset for North San Diego County providing transportation, economic and environmental benefits,” said NCTD Board Member Bill Horn. “We are proud of the safe and convenient trip that the Sprinter offers our customers and we are happy to celebrate this anniversary!”

The line uses the old Escondido branch of the Santa Fe Railroad. It cost $477 million to construct, including 12 train sets and a maintenance facility.

Sprinter trains are diesel-electric hybrid units that are common in Europe but rarely used in the United States.

Chris Jennewein

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