An Amtrak train on the Del Mar bluffs. Photo by Chris Jennewein

The North County Transit District plans to erect fencing along portions of the railroad tracks in Del Mar, Encinitas and Oceanside to reduce accidents and deter suicides.

The railroad right-of-way is private property, but surfers and hikers regularly cross the tracks to get to the beach, and accidents are common.

The NCTD said in a report released earlier this month that the corridor is the second busiest in the nation, with 60 passenger and freight trains daily and over 100 expected by 2030, with higher speeds and quieter locomotives adding to the danger.

“Trespassers are common in the right-of-way along the bluffs of Del Mar and have lead to numerous tragic accidents, including many deaths,” the agency said in a legal petition filed in August.

The petition cited 112 fatalities on the COASTER commuter line from 2010 to the present, including 8 in Del Mar alone.

“These tragic accidents place significant stress on train crews who witness these incidents,” the agency said, adding that railroad infrastructure is damaged and it takes several hours to restore service after each event.

Fencing is proposed for .8 miles of track in Oceanside, 2.5 miles in Encinitas and 1.4 miles in Del Mar.

The City of Del Mar said it has not agreed to the proposed fencing and will be working “to ensure NCTD respects the rights, property, environmental and safety considerations along the Del Mar bluffs.”

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