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San Diego and Arizona Eastern Railway Company
Overview
HeadquartersJames R. Mills Building
1255 Imperial Avenue
San Diego, CA
Reporting markSDAE
LocaleCalifornia and Mexico
Dates of operation1932–Present
Technical
Track gauge4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Route map

The San Diego and Arizona Eastern Railway Company (reporting mark SDAE) is a short-line American railroad founded in 1906 as the San Diego and Arizona Railway (SD&A) by sugar magnate, developer, and entrepreneur John D. Spreckels. Dubbed "The Impossible Railroad" by many engineers of its day due to the immense logistical challenges involved, the line was established in part to provide San Diego with a direct rail link to the east by connecting with the Southern Pacific Railroad lines in El Centro, California.

The SD&A's 146.4-mile (235.61 km) route originates in San Diego, California, and terminates in El Centro, California.

The SD&AE uses about 108 miles (174 km) of the original SD&A system, broken into four segments:[1]

SD&AE took over the SD&A's operations in 1933 after financial troubles led Spreckels' descendants to sell their interests in the railroad to the Southern Pacific. Through the years, natural disasters and vandalism rendered sections of the line unserviceable, and portions of the line have been sold to various interests.

In 1979, the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) bought the SD&AE from Southern Pacific to establish the San Diego Trolley, an intra-county light rail passenger line. The remaining track into Imperial County is available for freight service, as part of the sale condition to MTS by Southern Pacific.

As of 2021, the San Diego and Imperial Valley Railroad has exclusive trackage rights on the SD&AE Main Line and La Mesa Branch to move railcars from the end of the BNSF Railway in Downtown San Diego to industrial customers in the San Diego area and the Mexico–United States border at San Ysidro. The Baja California Railroad holds the rights to operate over the SD&AE Desert Line in the Imperial Valley.

Timeline

Fallen Southern Pacific Railroad cars in Carrizo Gorge, 2010.
Fallen Southern Pacific Railroad cars in Carrizo Gorge, 2010.

Early 20th century

Late 20th century

2000s

2010s

See also

References

  1. ^ "San Diego & Arizona Eastern Railway Fact Sheet" (PDF). April 2013.
  2. ^ "San Diego MTS determined to rehab 'Impossible Railroad' despite latest setback in the desert". San Diego Union-Tribune. 2021-11-13. Retrieved 2021-11-16.
  3. ^ Gargrove, Dorian (10 September 2014). "Crazy Train". San Diego Reader. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  4. ^ Earl Spencer Pomeroy (21 October 2008). American Far West in the Twentieth Century. Yale University Press. p. 462. ISBN 978-0-300-14267-9.
  5. ^ "Genesee & Wyoming to pay $1.39B for RailAmerica". STL Today.com. Associated Press. July 23, 2012. Retrieved July 23, 2012.[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ "UPDATE 4-Genesee & Wyoming to buy RailAmerica for $1.4 billion". Reuters. July 23, 2012. Retrieved July 23, 2012.
  7. ^ "OpenDocument Decision, Case No. 42772". Surface Transportation Board. December 19, 2012.
  8. ^ "Pacific Imperial Railroad, Inc.—Change in Operator Exemption—Rail Line of San Diego and Arizona Eastern Railway Company" (PDF). Department of Transportation.
  9. ^ "Meeting of the Metropolitan Transit Authority Board of Directors" (PDF). Metropolitan Transit System. December 13, 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 25, 2015.
  10. ^ MTS SD&AE Board Document http://www.sdmts.com/MTS/documents/2013-4-16FinalPkg.pdf[permanent dead link]
  11. ^ MTS SD&AE Board Document http://www.sdmts.com/MTS/documents/2013-4-16FinalPkg..pdf[permanent dead link]
  12. ^ Stewart, Joshua (June 9, 2016). "Border rail line to connect U.S., Mexico". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved June 10, 2016.
  13. ^ Hargrove, Dorian (2016-10-27). "Pacific Imperial Railroad opts for bankruptcy". San Diego Reader. Retrieved 2017-02-04.
  14. ^ Hargrove, Dorian (2017-02-03). "MTS responds to Baja Rail charges". San Diego Reader. Retrieved 2017-02-04.
  15. ^ "San Diego MTS determined to rehab 'Impossible Railroad' despite latest setback in the desert". San Diego Union-Tribune. 2021-11-13. Retrieved 2021-11-16.

Further reading