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San Diego and Imperial Valley Railroad

San Diego and Imperial Valley Railroad
Reporting mark SDIY
Locale California
Dates of operation 1984–present
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
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Headquarters 1501 National Ave. Suite 200
San Diego, CA 92113 USA
Website San Diego & Imperial Valley Railroad (SDIY)

The San Diego and Imperial Valley Railroad (reporting mark SDIY) is a class III railroad by agreement of the owners of the railroad, the San Diego and Arizona Eastern Railway from San Diego, California to San Ysidro, California (which operates on the San Diego Trolley's Blue Line), and on the Trolley's Orange Line to El Cajon, as well.


After Kyle Railways quit the SD&AE, the San Diego and Imperial Valley Railroad started operations in October 1984 with General Manager Dick Engle, who persuaded local carriers to ship on this line and invited Mexican customers to start receiving shippers, after much skepticism and long before NAFTA. In 1986, the railroad signed an agreement with the Ferrocarril Sonora-Baja California to be the contract railroad operator of the 44 mile Tijuana-Tecate rail line. This agreement continued until SBC successor FNM privatized, leaving the State of Baja California as administrator of the line, ADMICARGA.

The SD&IY is owned and operated by Genesee & Wyoming Inc.; it was owned by RailTex from 1984, which operated the railroad with the reporting mark SDIV,[2] and RailAmerica, which bought RailTex in 2000. Genesee & Wyoming bought and controlled RailAmerica in 2012. The railroad previously also made repairs to the Desert Line from Division, California to Plaster City, California – including two burned trestles which had forced Kyle Railways to quit – and started work on Tunnel Eight by subcontracting Walter H. Barber & Son, Inc. and Morrison-Knudsen until the early 90's. In 2000, CZRY Carrizo Gorge Railway became interested in finishing the SD&IY's repairs to the Desert Line. By signing a contract, SD&IY sub-contracted the Desert Line's responsibility to CZRY, which resumed work in 2000 and reopened the Carrizo Gorge in 2004 for freight service. In December 2012, the Pacific Imperial Railroad established a 99-year lease with the SD&AE and the San Diego Metropolitan Transit Development Board, replacing the SD&IY as the freight operator of the Desert Line, (thus leaving Carrizo Gorge Railway out of the picture).

In 2000, the San Diego and Imperial Valley Railroad also terminated the contract with ADMICARGA. The railroad interchanged with CZRY in San Ysidro, CA from 2000 to 2011. On January 1, 2012, the SD&IY started interchanging with the new carrier, Baja California Railroad, Inc. (BJRR).

In 2000, the Coronado Branch from 12th. Street Junction in National City to Imperial Beach, CA saw its last shipment. A hopper car carrying alluvial sand was delivered to the Saltworks via the F Street Junction. Since then, the line has seen no traffic, and the diamonds were removed, isolating and severing SD&AE's Coronado branch from any connection.

Current operations

The San Diego and Imperial Valley Railroad has two locomotives although it sometimes utilizes additional locomotives from other Genesee & Wyoming shortlines. The railroad interchanges with the BNSF Railway in San Diego, whose yard is right next door.

The railroad's main source of traffic is interchange traffic between BNSF and BJRR, commodities hauled are petroleum products, agricultural products, and wood pulp. The SD&IY hauled around 6,500 carloads in 2008.[1]

Motive power

File:San diego 12-7-02.jpg
SD&IY #3820 (formerly of the Central Oregon and Pacific Railroad) pulls out of San Diego in December 2002.

Despite operating on the electrified right-of-way of the San Diego Trolley, the San Diego and Imperial Valley Railroad uses diesel locomotives instead of electric locomotives, as the rail yards used to marshal the trains are not electrified.

SDIY sometimes leases motive power from other Genesee & Wyoming railroads.

See also

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  1. ^ a b "RailAmerica's Empire". Trains Magazine (Kalmbach Publishing). June 2010. 
  2. ^ Edward A. Lewis (1996). American Shortline Railway Guide. Kalmbach Publishing, Co. p. 274. ISBN 978-0-89024-290-2. 

External links