California IN BRIEF : SAN DIEGO : Commuter Line Start Date Canceled

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Transit officials have scrubbed the late 1992 start-up date for an Oceanside to San Diego commuter train and canceled plans for buying rail equipment. No new timetable will be posted until transit agencies manage to buy the Santa Fe Railway tracks, they said. Optimism over a purchase of several hundred miles of Santa Fe tracks and right of way in Southern California faded after Santa Fe negotiators walked away from the bargaining table and vowed not to return until the transit agencies made a counteroffer. The combined transit agencies in Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, Riverside and San Diego counties have offered $300 million for what they estimate as 240 miles of track right of way. Santa Fe first offered to sell the rail lines for $1.3 billion, then last month offered to start negotiations at $800 million.

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