Proposed train stop near Del Mar Fairgrounds could ease traffic nightmare during busy events

Stop would only be used for high-traffic events

DEL MAR - There is a possible solution to a traffic nightmare: a train stop could be added near the Del Mar Fairgrounds.

If you have ever been stuck in traffic getting to the Del Mar Fairgrounds, you know how frustrating it can be.

A $100 million plan to build a train stop perched up high along the railroad tracks to the west of the Fairgrounds could be a possible solution. It is called the San Dieguito Double Track and Special Events Platform Project and calls for replacing the nearly 100-year-old wooden trestle bridge over the San Dieguito Lagoon, adding one mile of a second mainline track from Solana Beach to the fairgrounds and adding a special events platform.

The proposed stop would only be used for high-traffic events such as the San Diego County Fair, during horse racing season and other large events. The plan is designed to get hundreds of thousands visitors to busy events at the fairgrounds each year. 

"It would be a fabulous thing for everybody… for us here at the fairgrounds, for our guests who come to our events and for the neighboring cities as well because it will mitigate the traffic situation," said Linda Zweig, a spokeswoman for the Del Mar Fairgrounds.

It is not a new plan but a continued and improved plan. 10News has been reporting on a similar plan to get a train to the fairgrounds since at least 1995. But train travel to the track dates back even further than that.

"In the olden days, we didn't start the races until that train showed up from L.A.," said Joe Harper, the president of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club.

Harper told 10News he believes the plan is a good idea.

"We're always trying to come up with new ways to get folks here: bus, carpool or train, sounds good," he said. 

Local business owner Ivan Ditmars told 10News that any kind of mass transit to the area is welcomed.

"That would be great," said Ditmars, who is one of the owners of Antiques On Cedros.  "That would bring better business, more business and I think it's a fantastic idea."

However, shopper Joella Martin, who lives in Scripps Ranch, is not so convinced.

"No, I don't think it would be helpful to me at all," she said. "Being that I live inland, I would have to drive anyway so I might as well drive directly to the fairgrounds, rather than drive to a get on a train to get to the fairgrounds."

If and when the plan is approved, SANDAG said construction will not begin for at least another seven years.

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