Pacific Surfliner: Ride from San Luis Obispo to Los Angeles — in 6 minutes
San Luis Obispo County residents hoping to ride Amtrak's popular Coast Starlight train to Northern California, Oregon or Washington have been unable to travel past Sacramento for the last week — and the closure will last at least for a few more days.
A May 29 tunnel collapse in rural Oregon forced Amtrak to suspend train service between California and the Pacific Northwest. It was temporarily able to bus southbound passengers from Eugene to Klamath Falls, but that service ended last Wednesday.
On Tuesday afternoon, Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari said the company expects northbound service to resume Saturday, with southbound routes to follow Sunday.
During the closure, Amtrak is running a limited Coast Starlight route in California, with no dining or sleeping cars, between Los Angeles and Sacramento, according to the company's website.
Magliari said Union Pacific is still working to repair the partially collapsed tunnel, located between Oakridge and Odell Lake near Highway 58.
Union Pacific spokesman Justin Jacobs said debris from the tunnel's ceiling fell onto the tracks during maintenance operations, and a 50-foot stretch of the tunnel was affected. No one was injured during the collapse, Jacobs said.
Union Pacific announced last week that it has made progress on the repairs, but "due to the remote location and severity" of the damage, the company anticipated the tunnel would not reopen until Saturday.
"As far as I know, that has not changed," Jacobs said late Tuesday afternoon.