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San Diego Metropolitan Transit System, Orange Line Improvement Project

Burns leads overhead catenary system improvements as part of the light rail service’s signaling and grade crossing overhaul.

San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) operates the 17.6-mile Orange Line from Downtown San Diego to East County. MTS is upgrading signaling and grade crossing warning systems to support bidirectional operations between Massachusetts Avenue Station and El Cajon Transit Center. Planned improvements will enhance service reliability, maintain grade crossing safety, and uphold the 35-year-old infrastructure’s State of Good Repair.

Burns is supporting Pacific Railway Enterprises (PRE) throughout design and construction of overhead catenary system (OCS) modifications. OCS reconfiguration accompanies the creation of five new crossovers, providing MTS with greater operational efficiency and flexibility.

Burns’ engineering services include:

  • Design of OCS structures, foundations, conductors and hardware
  • Sectionalizing power supply for all new crossovers
  • Field surveys, phasing plans, and construction management

Burns is a trusted partner delivering OCS design services for multiple MTS trolley lines. Previous projects include OCS designs for a new, fully sectionalized double scissor crossover near Middletown Station and OCS upgrades for a sectionalized double crossover north of Santa Fe Depot.

Orange Line OCS upgrades are scheduled to complete construction by 2027.


San Diego, CA


San Diego Association of Governments

Learn more about Burns’ rail electrification solutions

Rail Electrification

Key Team Members

Jamie Dickinson, PE

Railroad & Transit Project Manager

Michael Anderson, PE

Mechanical Engineer

Randy Winks, PE

Principal Catenary Engineer