Recent News

  • 9 crucial points of the railway crossing to be inaugurated in Mexico and the US

    U.S. Ambassador Wayne (right) and U.S. Consul General Tom Mittnacht (left) on the new West Rail Bypass Bridge.  Source:

    This is the first construction of its kind in more than 100 years, according to the Department of Commerce; it’s main goal is to increase regional transport capacity as well as to reduce air pollution. Monday, August 24th, 2015 MEXICO City, Mexico  (CNNExpansión) — This Tuesday, authorities from the US…

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  • Clearing the Way for Reconstruction

    A side-boom positioning itself for towing empty boxcars.

    August 12th, 2015 Last week, a crew from from GATX, a global leader in railcar leasing, was out on the Desert Line with the arduous task of removing 49 empty boxcars off the dormant line.  This sounds easy enough, but given the condition of the rail, traversing the 10 miles…

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  • PIR and BJRR Sign a Memorandum of Understanding

    Senior leadership from Cali-Baja regional railroads Pacific Imperial Railroad and Baja California Railroad signing MOU. From left: Arturo Alemany, Executive Board Member of Pacific Imperial Railroad; Fernando Beltran, President of Baja California Railroad; and Donald Stoecklein, CEO of Pacific Imperial Railroad

    Monday, June 22, 2015 Pacific Imperial Railroad (PIR) is pleased and honored to announce that a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been signed between Pacific Imperial Railroad and Baja California Railroad (BJRR). The signing of this agreement took place at the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System headquarters in downtown San…

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Pacific Imperial Railroad

Our mission is to meet the cross border transportation and distribution needs of the San Diego and Baja California region, including the Maquiladora industries, by providing the safest, most efficient, environmentally friendly and economical means of transportation.

According to the US Department of Transportation, the total trade value of freight moved across the US-Mexico border by truck at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry, the only one of three in the region permitting the crossing of 53’ trailers, exceeded $35 billion dollars in 2013.  Of the $35 billion, $23 billion is represented by imports carried by 769,866 trucks going northbound. The wait times at this bustling border crossing going northbound are unpredictable with truckers often sitting in lines for hours before finally being able to cross.  Once across the border, these trucks typically commute another 150 miles north to Los Angeles, battling the city’s infamous congestion and traffic, before being reaching a rail depot to unload their cargo.

These inefficiencies and unpredictable timeframes associated with these bottlenecks can spell supply-chain disaster for Tijuana’s nearly 570 world-class manufacturing facilities, which produce everything from medical devices and electronics to aerospace technology and automobiles. Upon reopening the Desert Line, Pacific Imperial Railroad anticipates handling 1,490 TEU’s daily, which is comparable to approximately 500 trucks. That means shorter wait times at the border, reduced highway gridlock, lower greenhouse gas emissions, and reduced pollution.

In fact, railroads are the most environmentally friendly way to move freight over land. On average, trains are four times more efficient than trucks. Furthermore, the industry has shown increased fuel efficiency over the years. In 2014, U.S. freight railroads moved a ton of freight 479 miles per ton of fuel- up from 235 miles in 1980. That’s a 103% improvement.

Transporting freight by rail can also improve securitization of the cargo. Congestion and delayed inspection processes can increase the likelihood of smuggling or tampering, particularly on the southern side of the border where corruption and theft are rampant. Cargo trucks can sometimes wait 2-3 days during an inspection process during which time they are vulnerable to such acts. By utilizing the Desert Line, trains will go through their first and only checkpoint at Campo, California, where trains are scanned by a Gamma Ray device for smuggling of weapons, radioactive material, drugs, and people.