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Western Railroad Discussion > Pacific Imperial Railroad, Inc.

Date: 07/09/12 19:05
Pacific Imperial Railroad, Inc.
Author: fulldynamics

The Surface Transportation Board released a statement of a new company to take over the San Diego & Arizona Eastern Railroad Company's Desert Line. I believe this company is some people that were kicked out of Carrizo Gorge Railway. The question is if CZRY is destined to dissapear or survive. It appears the new Mexican operator has been performing much better than what Carrizo did previously.

Date: 07/09/12 19:29
Re: Pacific Imperial Railroad, Inc.
Author: rehunn

Do you believe in curses?? And bad luck?? It would be really nice to see someone with some people
and a real funding source take a run at that thing. The present operator has tried and is still trying but
the property already has two strikes against it, might be the bottom of the ninth and somebodies
black cat keeps walking around.

Date: 07/09/12 20:45
Re: Pacific Imperial Railroad, Inc.
Author: msdgbar

I think this railroad needs a class 1 influance.And not just another shortline with no money and limited resources.We need a true vision here.And not more of the same old B.S.This railroad needs to also be a seamless operation from San Diego to Calexico and or Niland and not a bunch of hodge podge shortlines with a lot of beaurcratic connection hastles.We need to get the freight from here to there ASAP.So lets get the right railroad company with the money and build this thing right.Please.

Date: 07/10/12 09:45
Re: Pacific Imperial Railroad, Inc.
Author: iliketrains

For what traffic????? BNSF brings in loads for the port, gas for Tijuana and some raw material for Tecate Beer. They truck all other loads up I-15/I-215 to San Bernardino to speed up the transit times.

This line is shared with San Diego Trolleys, crosses the border into Mexico (which requires set crossing times and delays), travels through Mexico with all that goes with that international effort, crosses back in America at Campo for another border delay, has very old rail, very old ties, very old timber bridges, very old tunnels, travels through a Gorge which is hard to keep open, across the desert with sand blows, and interchanges with UP at Plaster City, with more transit delays. They take the loads to El Centro, then to Colton (could be set out at Niland), for forwarding to the rest of America.

So - no traffic and very expensive railroad to operate - why would anyone invest real money in this? Not to mention that there are over 20 lawsuits over the past 10 years dealing with lack of payment, ownership questions, return of locomotives off lease, ......

Date: 07/10/12 16:40
Re: Pacific Imperial Railroad, Inc.
Author: rehunn

Excellent questions and like most houses of cards don't breathe too hard. If the Port of Ensenada or somewhere
thereabouts was ever developed it would be easier to go South from Tecate than down the Laguna Flats and over
the hill. Would be a preemptive strike by the UP and yes, the line would require extensive work but the ROW is
there. If KCS wanted in to a Western port (or whoever acquired same) there would be a way through their Mexican
influences to possibly do so. All this is blue sky at the moment but so were a lot of other things years ago. As
to today's requirements, some, not enough to justify the line, but who knows. Vision and money can do some
interesting work.

Date: 07/10/12 16:46
Re: Pacific Imperial Railroad, Inc.
Author: erielackawanna

I can find zilch on the internet about this operation? Anyone know if there is a parent firm (like WATCO) involved?

Date: 07/10/12 17:42
Re: Pacific Imperial Railroad, Inc.
Author: rehunn

Don't feel too bad, I can't find any STB mention of a filing by Pacific Imperial.

Date: 07/11/12 13:05
Re: Pacific Imperial Railroad, Inc.
Author: iliketrains

rehunn Wrote:
> Vision and money can do some interesting work.

Like moving from someones pocket to another one's pocket!!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/12/12 13:23 by iliketrains.

Date: 07/12/12 15:18
Re: Pacific Imperial Railroad, Inc.
Author: 2720

After following this thread for awhile and reading the different responses regarding the need for a major company to come in and
take over this line to operate it properly, I wanted to add a little history!!

After all the disaster related damage to this line over the years, and the fact that the SP went from planning a major overhaul for this
line in the late 1940s, to it becoming the "Red Headed Stepchild" for the SP system, which then used it as the holding company for all
the SP system 'Write-offs'!!

After the line suffered major damage from Tropical Storm Kathleen in 1976, the SP threw in the towel, applied to the ICC to abandon
the SD&AE and being turned down because customers still wanted rail service, SP decided to offer the line for sale.

The California Department of Transportation (CalTrans) considered buying the line, leave it dormant for awhile and then scrap it to
remove the competition with truck traffic on Interstate 8. This info was supplied to me by a retired CalTrans Civil Engineer.

The new Metropolitan Transit Development Board (MTDB) in San Diego took an interest in the portions of the line in San Diego, contacted SP
and said they would like to purchase only this portion of the railroad.

The SP responded, "Buy it all or Nothing", so a deal was consummated in which MTDB would purchase All trackage in San Diego County, which
encompassed the 2 sections that MTDB was really interested in, the mainline from Downtown SD to San Ysidro, and from Downtown to El Cajon, as well as,
ALL of the existing Coronado Line, including all of the right of way up the Silver Strand into and through the City of Coronado to the North
Island Naval Air Station. This also included the Desert Line from Division, MP60 to just west of Plaster City, MP129.5.

The 44 miles through Mexico starting at MP15.5 to MP59.95, the line crosses the US/Mexico border inside Tunnel 4, was sold to Mexico in 1970 after Mexico
informed the SP, "Sell it to Us or We'll Take It"!! SO SP sold the Tijuana y Tecate Railroad to Mexico for about $30,000.00 Dollars!

As part of the deal, the SP would repair the estimated $1.1 Million Dollars worth of damage caused by TS Kathleen.

Before MTDB contracted with Kyle Railroads to operate the SD&AE, they approached the Santa Fe about taking over operations of ALL of the SD&AE, from SD to Plaster
City, the SF turned this down very emphatically!!

While Kyle was operating the line, more disasters closed the line again, with heavy rains doing more damage in the early 1980s, with the major consequence
being the washing out of the lower Tijuana River bridge, Kyle wanted to bring in a US contractor to rapidly replace the bridge, Mexico said "NO, we will replace
the bridge", well it would take 3 years for this bridge to be replaced, going from the original wood trestle to a long curving concrete bridge!!

Later, disputes over payment for services between Mexico and Kyle, customers wanted to pay in Pesos and Kyle wanted payment in Dollars, Kyle completely cut off
service into Mexico!!

Further troubles befell the SD&AE, prior to Kyle cutting off the Mexican service, while traveling eastbound through the Carriso Gorge, the longest train ever through the Gorge at 83 cars, a fire took out 2 trestles just east of Tunnel 6, MP98.4, once again closing the SD&AE!! The engineer of this train, Gaylen Dyreng saw smoke as he was approaching Tunnel 9, MP100, he stopped the train and had Conductor Tom Brady go back and check the source. Tom called the head end and told Gaylen, "The second trestle just went up as I approached". The "Official" story later came out that either sparks from the exhaust of the locomotives or the brake shoes caused the fire!

For years a rumor has existed stating that the trestles were "Torched"!! Kyle wanted out of the contract with MTDB, claiming they were losing over $100,000.00 Dollars
a month and could no longer sustain the operation. I had conversations with both Gaylen and Tom (Both long term SP employees, later staying on with Kyle) regarding this information, asking if they knew who might have started this fire, I never got an answer from either one! Gaylen never saw enough of the fire, being on the head end, and Tom said that the second trestle started burning as he approached it. I have been to this site and the interesting thing was how the fire was able to get to the second trestle as they were about 80 feet apart and there was not enough vegetation between the 2 for the fire to move from one to the other!! This closed the Gorge in 1983, there was no further traffic on this part of the line until Carrizo Gorge Railway reopened the line in 2004!!!

I worked for the SDIV and at the end of 1989 into 1990, I ran work trains into the Gorge where we replaced the shorter of the two trestles with a new one and we filled the area of the 2nd longer trestles, this fill was about 60 feet tall and about 80-90 feet long.

After Kyle left San Diego and before Railtex came in, the MTDB again asked the Santa Fe if they would be interested in taking over the local switching as well as the traffic into Mexico, you can guess the answer!! Once again an emphatic "NO", but "HELL NO"!!!!

When Carrizo Gorge Railway came into being and worked at getting the Desert Line agreement and reached agreement with Mexico to run AND maintain the line through Baja,
they were talking to Railamerica, BNSF and UP about potential traffic for and through the line. Also in the mix was the potential for a line to the Port of Ensanada,
who later said they would haul traffic to and from the Port to Tecate to take advantage of rail service until a line could be built!!

Today, the biggest problems with reviving this line are still the current economy, getting enough legitimate funding, and rebuilding the line to sustain longer and heavier trains, which is a doable endeavor.

With all the ongoing lawsuits and other drama, larger rail companies DO NOT want the hassle, as well as showing absolutely no interest in OWNING this line!!


Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/12/12 15:21 by 2720.

Date: 11/19/12 16:27
Re: Pacific Imperial Railroad, Inc.
Author: SoCalCynic

I dug around today in Google, which led me to the San Diego MTS site, and meeting minutes and documents this year... Based on what I read (specifically October 20, 2012 MTS board minutes and attachments), the management and backers of Pacific Imperial Railroad, Inc. are many of the same individuals that operate(d) Carrizo Gorge Railway.

See http://www.sdmts.com/MTS/documents/2012-9-20_000.pdf

There is also litigation pending about some of the CGR's recent financial dealings - apparently one of the key backers of the PIR just had to pay a $500,000 fine for failing to file/pay taxes regarding employment at CGR.

A scenic line languishes while only the lawyers get richer - welcome to Corporate America.

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