The North County Transit District (NCTD), a Surface Transportation Board (STB) designated rail common carrier, announced on June 27 the completion of insourcing of its rail equipment maintenance and train operations functions, bringing “the primary functions of NCTD’s commuter rail and hybrid rail services under its direct management, including nearly 100 operations and maintenance employees,” according to the District.
Under the new model, NCTD, which is responsible for safety and maintenance of the entire San Diego portion of the Los Angeles – San Diego – San Luis Obispo Rail Corridor (LOSSAN), will assume rail equipment maintenance and train operations, including personnel performing the primary functions of train operations and maintenance of equipment for its Coaster (commuter) and Sprinter (hybrid) services, as well as preventative maintenance, minor reactive maintenance and work order requests. Maintenance-of-way functions will continue to be outsourced. LOSSAN includes more than 82 directional miles of railroad right-of-way from the San Diego-Orange County border to downtown San Diego and supports NCTD’s rail service, BNSF freight services, Metrolink regional rail service and LOSSAN’s Amtrak Pacific Surfliner train.
Prior to insourcing, Bombardier Transportation (now Alstom) had operated COASTER service and maintained rolling stock under an O&M (operations and maintenance) contract.
Combined, NCTD’s Coaster and Sprinter services provide public transportation to approximately four million passengers annually in a typical year. The Coaster commuter rail service consists of seven locomotives and 28 bi-level passenger rail coaches covering 41 directional miles through eight stations from Oceanside to downtown San Diego. The Sprinter hybrid rail includes 12 Siemens Mobility Desiro diesel multiple-unit (DMU) trainsets covering 22 directional miles through 15 stations between Escondido and Oceanside.
“This transition will allow NCTD to have a direct and proactive relationship with the employees performing train operations and maintenance of equipment who work to support our goals,” said NCTD Executive Director Matthew O. Tucker. “Our vision is to build a solid team culture, create new efficiencies, continuously improve safety and provide the highest quality service for our customers.”