Meet the Cross Boarder Commercial, Transportation, and Distribution needs of the manufacturing plants that have flourished under NAFTA in the Northern region of Baja California in an efficient, reliable and economic manner.


Pacific Imperial Railroad
401 West A Street Suite 1150
San Diego CA 92101

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About PIR

Business Overview

Pacific Imperial Railroad's objective as the Lessee of the Desert Line, is to rehabilitate and restore operations and service from the Mexican Boarder at Milepost 59.6 to an intermodal facility at milepost 130.0.
Restoring the Desert Line will provide a transportation alternative to the over $800 million of Merchandise and Equipment that moves north out of the manufacturing facilities immediately South of the Boarder everyday.

“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.

The Mexican rail line, Baja Rail, runs through the area with most of the manufacturing and assembly plants

The Market Maquiladoras

The manufacturing and assembly plants operating in Baja just south of the Boarder are known as Maquiladoras. They represent the major customer base for the Desert Line. The Maquiladoras region is known as the "Maquilatropolis™". The Maquilatropolist™ represents one of the largest dense luster's 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 goes through San Diego Country from the boarder near Tecate to El Centro in Imperial County.

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 transportation options, almost totally trucking, has motivated the Baja Manufacturing interest to explore and embrace other viable options, specifically rail, that will enhance boarder and asset security and particularly freight efficiency.

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.

1. Reducing the carbon footprint of all goods moving North

2. Create Jobs

3. Improve efficiency and thru put

4. Reduce truck traffic along the crowded coastal freeways

5. Facilitate increased output in the region.

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.

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.

1951 – Passenger cars ceased movement on the line.

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.


(619) 231-9977

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Pacific Imperial-Carrizo Gorge Railway Police Department

24 hour Dispatch – (858) 522-9040

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