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Western Railroad Discussion > Restoring ex-SP line from San Diego to East


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Date: 03/27/23 12:21
Restoring ex-SP line from San Diego to East
Author: LTCerny

What is the situation on the old SP line from San Diego to the east via Tijuana and the Carrizo Gorge?.  My understanding is that there is still freight operation from San Diego to Tecate (east of Tijuana), and then from Plaster City eastward.  Recnt Youtube videos of track cart trips in the US and Mexico give the impresson that the section between Tecate and Plaster City is still largely intact and could be restored to operation at a relatively low cost.
It would appear this could give San Diego an alternate raill route for freight.

What are some views about this possibility?

 



Date: 03/27/23 12:37
Re: Restoring ex-SP line from San Diego to East
Author: HardYellow

Don't hold your breath.



Date: 03/27/23 12:37
Re: Restoring ex-SP line from San Diego to East
Author: Pacific5th

Never gonna happen, and low cost isn't even in the ball park. I'm sure someone with a better understanding why will be along shortly.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/27/23 13:05 by Pacific5th.



Date: 03/27/23 13:02
Re: Restoring ex-SP line from San Diego to East
Author: WAF

No one has ever made it work at a profit



Date: 03/27/23 13:39
Re: Restoring ex-SP line from San Diego to East
Author: SanJoaquinEngr

LTCerny Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> What is the situation on the old SP line from San
> Diego to the east via Tijuana and the Carrizo
> Gorge?.  My understanding is that there is still
> freight operation from San Diego to Tecate (east
> of Tijuana), and then from Plaster City
> eastward.  Recnt Youtube videos of track cart
> trips in the US and Mexico give the impresson that
> the section between Tecate and Plaster City is
> still largely intact and could be restored to
> operation at a relatively low cost.
> It would appear this could give San Diego an
> alternate raill route for freight.
>
> What are some views about this possibility?
>
>  

There isn't any business to sustain a profit. The entire line would need new ties, rail, ballast, tunnel enlargement, bridge inspection s and repair. Signals, crossing upgrades for what ? Spend 10 billion and never receive a dime in return revenue ? Not even a pipe dream its a nightmare.

Posted from Android



Date: 03/27/23 13:44
Re: Restoring ex-SP line from San Diego to East
Author: ts1457

SanJoaquinEngr Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> There isn't any business to sustain a profit. The
> entire line would need new ties, rail, ballast,
> tunnel enlargement, bridge inspection s and
> repair. Signals, crossing upgrades for what ?
> Spend 10 billion and never receive a dime in
> return revenue ? Not even a pipe dream its a
> nightmare.

I tried following the railroad on a map. I wonder what the ratio of the actual length versus the air line length (as the bird flies) is? It has to be at least double.



Date: 03/27/23 13:46
Re: Restoring ex-SP line from San Diego to East
Author: masterphots

They called it the Impossible Railroad and it was.   Never made sense and never made a profit.  Not to mention having to go through another nation,  not to mention the terrain of Carriso Gorge.  Even the Mexicans couldn't make economic sense of building a railroad from their port of Ensenada eastward,  even if they considered using the existing SD&AE tracks in their country for the first half of a proposed line.



Date: 03/27/23 13:49
Re: Restoring ex-SP line from San Diego to East
Author: callum_out

It's in such perfect condtion that you can't even get a rail cart thru anymore because of fallen rocks.
You could see something (defined as don't hold your breath) happening if the Mexican government
eevr gets serious about developing Ensenada as a real port. There is news that a new company is
building a facility at Tacna AZ for processing cobalt ore. The ore will come into thru Ensenada and be
trucked to Tacna. The "don't hold your breath" would be the bucks to do Ensenada and upgrade
the line, Plan B would be build across on the Mexican side. Time will tell.

Out 



Date: 03/27/23 13:52
Re: Restoring ex-SP line from San Diego to East
Author: train1275

Re: "could be restored to operation at a relatively low cost"

There is nothing "low cost" about this line; rebuilding, operating or maintaining.

As another poster mentioned ....  rails, ties, ballast, bridges, tunnels, grades, curvature, crossings, signals ........ etc.



Date: 03/27/23 15:20
Re: Restoring ex-SP line from San Diego to East
Author: WAF

SanJoaquinEngr Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> LTCerny Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > What is the situation on the old SP line from
> San
> > Diego to the east via Tijuana and the Carrizo
> > Gorge?.  My understanding is that there is
> still
> > freight operation from San Diego to Tecate
> (east
> > of Tijuana), and then from Plaster City
> > eastward.  Recnt Youtube videos of track cart
> > trips in the US and Mexico give the impresson
> that
> > the section between Tecate and Plaster City is
> > still largely intact and could be restored to
> > operation at a relatively low cost.
> > It would appear this could give San Diego an
> > alternate raill route for freight.
> >
> > What are some views about this possibility?
> >
> >  
>
> There isn't any business to sustain a profit. The
> entire line would need new ties, rail, ballast,
> tunnel enlargement, bridge inspection s and
> repair. Signals, crossing upgrades for what ?
> Spend 10 billion and never receive a dime in
> return revenue ? Not even a pipe dream its a
> nightmare.
>
> Posted from Android
Another NWP



Date: 03/27/23 15:58
Re: Restoring ex-SP line from San Diego to East
Author: StStephen

See this post from 2018: https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?1,4650134,4650468#msg-4650468  

My post at 11:06 on 10/14 is an overall picture of the market. Only correction I would make is that instead of saying "LA Basin" I should have said "LA Basin and Inland Empire": I've since realized that the two are considered separate by governing agencies....  Since then, carload traffic on the Surf Line has continued to decline. The line's largest traffic source is vehicle traffic. San Diego/TJ simply will not support a larger traffic base given its "submarket" status. Any new container (or even bulk) port in the Ensenada area is many, many years away (if ever) and several billions of dollars (at least) away.  

Bruce 



Date: 03/27/23 16:19
Re: Restoring ex-SP line from San Diego to East
Author: callum_out

Yah Bruce and like I've said 600 times, if the government had a brain they'd be doing Ensenada rather than their
El Tran thru the jungle.

Out



Date: 03/27/23 16:20
Re: Restoring ex-SP line from San Diego to East
Author: billmeeker

It will happen the same year they build a new route from Eureka eastward over the Coast Range to the Central Valley.



Date: 03/27/23 17:15
Re: Restoring ex-SP line from San Diego to East
Author: kmattg20

It is "owned" by San Diego Metro Transit. I know someone who owns shortlines that tried to contact someone there. Even if you can nagivate to a person with who knows anything, he was given the old "not interested" response via a call back from a customer service person. Too many strikes against this line including a beauracratic mess..



Date: 03/27/23 17:27
Re: Restoring ex-SP line from San Diego to East
Author: gobbl3gook




Date: 03/27/23 18:01
Re: Restoring ex-SP line from San Diego to East
Author: StStephen

callum_out Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Yah Bruce and like I've said 600 times, if the
> government had a brain they'd be doing Ensenada
> rather than their
> El Tran thru the jungle.
>
> Out

Yep. Not in our lifetimes though!

Bruce



Date: 03/27/23 18:02
Re: Restoring ex-SP line from San Diego to East
Author: CimaScrambler

Time to give it over to the Rails to Trails folks.

Kit Courter
Menefee, CA
LunarLight Photography



Date: 03/27/23 19:23
Re: Restoring ex-SP line from San Diego to East
Author: bradleymckay

CimaScrambler Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Time to give it over to the Rails to Trails folks.

Great idea. But it would only be a matter of time before someone got konked in the head by a falling rock, then it's SUE,SUE,SUE time.


Allen

Posted from Android



Date: 03/27/23 19:40
Re: Restoring ex-SP line from San Diego to East
Author: callum_out

The "little" rocks blocking the rail carts are 2 to 3 feet in diameter and looking at the hill I sure wouldn't
stand there and admire them.

Out 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/27/23 22:27 by callum_out.



Date: 03/27/23 19:51
Re: Restoring ex-SP line from San Diego to East
Author: railstiesballast

A railroad line like this has to grow "organically", there has to be a demand for freight transportation that can nourish the capital investments enough to pay back the investment (i.e. pay interest on and eventually retire the bonds) in addition to making an operating profit.



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