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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.