Pacific Imperial Railroad, Inc. (PIR), was incorporated in Delaware on October 27, 2011 and qualified to do business in California on April 23, 2012. Pacific Imperial Railroad’s objectives are to lease, rehabilitate, reopen, resume service, manage, operate, and maintain the existing short line railroad monopoly. Known as the Desert Line, it runs from Mileposts 59.6 at the U.S. Border in Division, to California to Milepost 130.0 at El Centro, California.
“Our Mission is to meet the cross border transportation and distribution needs of the Maquiladora companies by providing the safest, most efficient and economical means of transportation.”
Rail Line Significance
Direct connectivity to the Mexican rail line links PIR to the Maquiladoras, which are assembly and/or manufacturing facilities located in Baja. They are utilizing the benefits of NAFTA to grow trade with the United States.
As noted in the map, the Mexican rail line dissects the Maquiladoras.
The Market — Maquiladoras
The Maquiladoras represent the major customer base for the Desert Line. We refer to the Maquiladora region as the “Maquilatropolis™.”
The Maquilatropolis™ represents one of the largest dense clusters of logistics in North America.
Pacific Imperial Railroad Milestone
On December 20, 2012, PIR executed a 99 year lease with San Diego and Arizona Eastern Railway (SD&AE) and San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS), owners of the Desert Line land and the existing right of way. The Desert Line reaches from San Diego County, California to Imperial County, California. It strategically joins the Mexican National Rail line with Union Pacific Railroad.
PIR’s Desert Line has the ability to maximize the efficiencies of freight container movement to and from the Maquilatropolis™ for the following reasons:
► Expanded economic ties between the U.S. and Mexico:
This creates increasing demand for transportation options to and from Mexico.
► Supply chain bottlenecks:
Border inefficiencies and expenses between Mexico and the U.S. crossings have increased the demand for transportation options.
► Increased Awareness of Environmental Strategies:
The greenhouse gas effect, community health concerns, federal air quality attainment requirements, and climate change issues collectively increase demand for rail as an option to cross border trucking.
► Increased threat of terrorist activities:
The current political climate motivates CBP (Customs and Border Patrol) to embrace viable freight transportation options that enhance border security.
Pacific Imperial Railroad is on track to be a global transportation leader.
Goals & Objectives
PIR will play an important role in transportation and cross border economic development between the United States and Mexico.
This part of the Desert Line, which runs between Campo and Plaster City, is called Goat Canyon Trestle. It is considered to be the tallest curved wooden trestle in the world.
PACIFIC IMPERIAL RAILROAD
Desert Line History
1907 – San Diego’s Mayor, John Forward, broke ground on what was to become a 140-mile train route.
1919 – The first train, named the “Golden Spike Limited” rode across the tracks. The train was named after the $286 golden spike, which was driven into the ground, near Tunnel #8, by John Sprekels.
1932 – The Goat Canyon Trestle was built in order to re-route tracks that had been damaged by landslide.
1951 – Passenger cars ceased movement on the line.
1976 – The route through the Carrizo Gorge was closed temporarily by Tropical Storm Kathleen.
1981 – The line was reopened, and then closed again periodically by recurring storms.
1984 – Kyle Railways stopped running freight cars.
1980’s – The Carrizo Gorge section fell into disrepair with two trestles having been burned, and two tunnels collapsed.
2004 – The line was re-opened by the Carrizo Gorge Railway, Inc. for daily freight operations.
2012 – Pacific Imperial Railroad, Inc. executed a lease agreement for 99 years for the desert line right of way.
— The Goat Canyon Trestle is 186’ tall, and 630’ long. It is the tallest wooden structure in daily use. In 1986 it was designated as a historic Civil Engineering Landmark.
— “Carrizo” is a Spanish word meaning, “reed grass,” which is abundant in the region. This name was revived by the Railroad in order to keep the local history alive.
— In 1919, the total cost of construction of the rail line was $18 million.
Pacific Imperial Railroad, Inc. is committed to preserving railroad heritage within the region.