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Downtown COASTER Platform

Downtown COASTER Platform Downtown COASTER Platform
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The Downtown Platform Project will add a new COASTER station in downtown San Diego parallel to Harbor Drive in downtown San Diego near the Gaslamp Quarter and the San Diego Convention Center.

The Project improves access for passengers throughout the San Diego region, creating a one-seat ride from Oceanside to Petco Park, the San Diego Convention Center, the Gaslamp Quarter, The Rady Shell, and other downtown destinations.

This station will improve passenger and freight operations along the Los Angeles-San Diego-San Luis Obispo (LOSSAN) corridor, which is the second busiest intercity rail corridor in the country.

Project Details

The Project includes the construction of a new 850-foot station platform with the capacity to accommodate eight passenger cars. The platform will stretch between 1st and 5th Avenues near two existing San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) Trolley stations. In addition to the platform, the Project will reconfigure the existing track used by BNSF Railway, construct a new siding track, and extend NCTD’s signaling and dispatching systems.

Key elements:
• 850-ft passenger platform
• New siding track (pocket track)
• Signal equipment upgrades at five grade-crossings: Kettner Blvd., Market Street, Front Street, First Avenue and Fifth Avenue
• Railroad switch and signal upgrades at Broadway
• Realignment of Martin Luther King, Jr. Promenade/Bayshore Bikeway
• Pedestrian and cyclist safety improvements at First Avenue and Fifth Avenue to Project Elements

Project Area


The Project extends regional passenger rail service to the center of San Diego’s downtown, providing direct transit access to the San Diego Convention Center, Petco Park, the Gaslamp Quarter, and The Rady Shell, among other attractions.

San Diego Convention Center: hosted over 836,000 individuals attending 143 events with a total tax revenue of $29M in fiscal year 2019

Petco Park: approximately 2.4M individuals attended 81 baseball games in 2019

Gaslamp Quarter: draws an average of 9M visitors from 166 countries annually

The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park: open-air amphitheater and “architectural wonder” opened in 2021

Project Benefits

This Project is part of a group of Trade Corridor Enhancement Program (TCEP) projects funded by the California Transportation Commission (CTC). The primary benefit of the TCEP program of projects is increased freight frequencies, which is key to improving the supply chain, reducing inflation, and meeting climate action goals.

Status and Timeline

The Project has completed the preliminary design phase and received the necessary environmental permits.

Design of the Project is planned to be completed in October 2023. Construction is expected to start in early 2024, and the station is anticipated to be open to passengers in early 2026.

Cost and Funding


The Project, which costs $33 million for design and construction, is fully funded. It was included in a December 2020 grant for $106 million, NCTD received from the California Transportation Commission to fund a slate of improvement projects to the LOSSAN corridor.

NCTD has entered into a design-build project management contract with BNSF for the construction of the Project.