COASTER 25th Anniversary

Press Release

February 27, 2020 is the COASTER 25th Anniversary!

Ride FREE on the COASTER all day long!

Anniversary Events

Thursday, February 27

  • FREE RIDE DAY on COASTER – All rides free! Just hop on board at any station and ride for free from Oceanside to San Diego! (Rail 2 Rail not included)
  • Giveaways at Oceanside Transit Center from 7:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.


Friday, February 28

  • Giveaways at Carlsbad Village COASTER Station & Encinitas COASTER Station from 7:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
  • Radio station appearances with live on-air talent from 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
    • Sunny 98.1 & Susan DeVincent at Carlsbad Village
    • Alt 94.9 & Jeremy Pritchard at Encinitas
    • Spin the wheel & win a prize!


On-Going Giveaway Events

  • Visit these COASTER stations for prize giveaways on the following dates:
    • April 9 – Solana Beach
    • May 14 – Carlsbad Poinsettia
    • June 11 – Oceanside Transit Center
    • August 13 – Sorrento Valley
    • September 10 – Encinitas
    • October 8 – Carlsbad Village
    • November 12 – Solana Beach
    • December 10 – Carlsbad Poinsettia
    • January 14 – Sorrento Valley

History of COASTER

In 1982, planning began for the Coast Express Rail commuter rail service. On June 2, 1994, the NCTD Board of Directors created a non-profit corporation called the San Diego Northern Railway (SDNR) to maintain, enhance, and operate what is now known as the COASTER. On February 27, 1995, COASTER service commenced with six morning trains and six evening trains. Twenty-five years later, the COASTER continues its Oceanside to downtown San Diego service with 22 weekday trains and eight weekend trains servicing eight stops along the way including stations in Carlsbad, Encinitas, Solana Beach, Sorrento Valley, and Old Town San Diego.

Today, COASTER has an annual ridership of more than 1.4 million and an average weekday ridership of nearly 4,900.  The COASTER provides a service which helps the environment, provides a necessary travel option for many commuters, and works to alleviate congestion on the surrounding roadways. Throughout its 25 years of service, the COASTER has reduced travel on our congested roads and reduced harmful emissions by transporting customers over 927 million passenger miles.

NCTD currently operates a fleet of seven locomotives on the San Diego Subdivision of the Los Angeles-San Diego-San Luis Obispo (LOSSAN) corridor to support COASTER operations. The fleet is composed of two F-59 locomotives and five F-40 locomotives. NCTD will receive five new locomotives by the end of 2020 and plans to purchase four additional locomotives, 11 new rail passenger cars, and complete the overhauls of the current fleet of rail cars to support increasing the number of trains operated from 22 to 42 trains per day over the next 36 months. The new locomotives are more environmentally friendly and will help NCTD achieve its goal of zero passenger delay.

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