October 19, 2015,
In recent months Pacific Imperial Railroad, Inc. (PIR) executives have made significant advancements to reestablish the Desert Line. These accomplishments include the appointment of a new board of directors and a Memorandum of Understanding signed with Baja California Railroad. In consideration for the commitment to binational cooperation in rehabilitating the cross-border railroad, the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce (SDRCC) presented PIR and Baja California Railroad with the Cross-Border Collaboration Award during it’s annual International Tribute Gala last Friday, October 16, 2015.
When the SDRCC was founded in 1870 by Alonzo Horton, one of the primary aims was to bring railroads to San Diego. Horton played a vital role in eventually bringing in California Southern Railroad (now part of BNSF), and connecting San Diego to the national rail network . Over the years the SDRCC has been advocating on behalf of the local business community, helping to raise funds funds for projects that made Balboa Park and the Coronado Bridge a reality. Today, as the largest non-profit in San Diego advocating for businesses and boasting nearly 3,000 members, the SDRCC is once again making efforts to improve the region’s freight rail connectivity by showing public support for PIR and providing assistance in overcoming the challenges associated with rehabilitating the dormant binational rail line.
The event itself is the SDRCC’s marquee international event and provides an opportunity to recognizeoutstanding individuals and businesses that have made a significant impact on the binational effort to strengthen economic ties in the Cali Baja mega-region. There were over 200 binational business and government leaders in attendance including Congress Member Juan Vargas, who also received an award for recognition for his ongoing work to promote and enhance the binational region.
Pacific Imperial Railroad’s Executive Board Member, Arturo Alemany, accepted the award on behalf of the company. Mr. Alemany has 10 years of experience at AMTRAK and over 25 years as an international business strategist and consultant for Fortune 500 companies. PIR is honored to be considered for such recognition and will continue advancing the bilateral effort to bring the Desert Line back to life.