San Diego & Arizona Eastern Questions and Discussion

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San Diego & Arizona Eastern Questions and Discussion
Posted by Fred M Cain on Wednesday, December 06, 2017 11:11 AM

Group,

Does anybody know anything about this or have an update on it?:

 

http://bajarr.com/eng/news/joint-venture-between-baja-california-rail-road-and-pacific-imperial-railroad-provides-boost-to-regional-growth-2/

 

That news is a little over a year old.  Does anybody have or know an update on this?  Is this still a "go"?

Regards,

Fred M. Cain

Big P.S. here:  Here's another page describing the project:

http://www.bajarr.com/en/desert-line/

-FMC

 

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Posted by K. P. Harrier on Thursday, December 07, 2017 8:42 AM

When Union Pacific signals the track from the Sunset Route at Niland southward down to El Centro, and westward on the Plaster City, I’ll become a believer.  The map you, Fred, linked to in your inquiry gave me NO confidence whatsoever in the new line effort.  Now, if the map had listed five or six shipping big money centers, such a railroad would make sense.  Personally, I wouldn’t hold your breath on the effort, and seriously doubt anything will ever result.  At this point in time, I no longer have any confidence the UP will finish two-tracking of the Sunset Route in Arizona.  If the Goat Trestle route was for real, one would think that would be an incentive for UP to finish two-tracking the Sunset Route in Arizona, but that effort seems to be going bye-bye now.

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Posted by Fred M Cain on Thursday, December 07, 2017 9:13 AM

K.P.,

 

Thanks for responding.  I was really wondering about all this.  Searching on Google news there were a lot of online articles posted in June of 2016.  Some had titles like "Rebuilding the Desert Line Set to Begin" or "Construction Ready to Start" etc., etc., etc.

Then the whole issue seemed to completely fall out of the news again.  Finally, after much searching I found an article from San Diego from Feb. of this year that purported to state that the Metropolitan Transit Authority (or whatever it's called in S.D.) was supposedly "holding up the permitting process".  HUH?  What?  That was almost 10 months ago!

 

I sent an e-mail to the Baja California Railroad using their online contact form.  So far they have not responded.  I would just LOVE to see this project move forward.  Unfortunately, I have to agree with you.  I can't help but feel REALLY skeptical about it.

The whole thing reminds me of a similar project in northern California to restore the old NWP railroad to Eureka.  That issue, too, just seems to drag on and on and on - for years!  The longer these projects drag on - the less people will miss these services.  Or, worse yet, they may have even forgotton they ever existed at all!

Every once and a while someone will see the tracks deteriorating in the wilderness and wonder what they were for.  But they won't wonder very long.  After driving a few more miles all is forgotten again.

Too bad, really.

Regards,

Fred M. Cain

 

 

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Posted by CMStPnP on Friday, December 08, 2017 5:29 PM

Apart from lack of traffic there are two large issues with that line.    #1 the curves are pretty tight and parts of the line do not seem to be all that stable.    #2  while the desert climate has largely preserved most of the wood trestles I think they were built for a lot lighter loads.   #3 the biggest issue, the line dips into Mexico and would require participation by Mexico in its successful operation.   Good Luck with that.   It seems in the past Mexico has used the line in an attempt to pump cash from the United States or whomever was running it.

If the line remained in the United States and was better engineered it might have a future as a connection but I can't see anyone pouring money into that line.......might even be cheaper to build a new one with better engineering.

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Posted by rdamon on Friday, December 08, 2017 8:23 PM

The Pacific Imperal Railroad was an interesting soap opera ..  lots of good stories in the San Diego Union Tribune ..

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Posted by Convicted One on Saturday, December 09, 2017 10:27 AM

While not as recent as your provided link, the following articles help to flesh out certain details as to why not everyone is brimming with enthusiasm.

 

https://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/2016/oct/27/ticker-pacific-imperial-railroad-opts-bankruptcy/

 

http://server9.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/saoomrfdwvawhvo/suvw/p2/news/2016/jan/27/citylights-long-desired-transinational-railroad/#

 

Reading that, I'm not too sure that  the individuals running the show have their main interests in operating a functioning railroad

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Sunday, December 10, 2017 9:17 PM

CMStPnP
I can't see anyone pouring money into that line.......might even be cheaper to build a new one with better engineering.
 

 
Maybe even a line parallel to I-8 until intersecting SD&AE ?_
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Posted by Fred M Cain on Monday, December 11, 2017 8:43 AM

Convicted One

While not as recent as your provided link, the following articles help to flesh out certain details as to why not everyone is brimming with enthusiasm.

 

https://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/2016/oct/27/ticker-pacific-imperial-railroad-opts-bankruptcy/

 

http://server9.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/saoomrfdwvawhvo/suvw/p2/news/2016/jan/27/citylights-long-desired-transinational-railroad/#

 

Reading that, I'm not too sure that  the individuals running the show have their main interests in operating a functioning railroad

 

Well, It's true that the Pacific Imperial Railroad which initially claimed they would reopen the line went belly up but I thought the line had now been transferred to the Baja California Railroad.

 

Here is an article from June of '16 that made it sound like reconstruction was both iminent and a "done deal".

https://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/Construction-to-Begin-on-Desert-Line-382424291.html

There are also more online articles like that from around the same time. So, I wonder what happened?

 

Regards,

Fred M. Cain

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Posted by Fred M Cain on Monday, December 11, 2017 8:53 AM

CMStPnP

Apart from lack of traffic there are two large issues with that line.    #1 the curves are pretty tight and parts of the line do not seem to be all that stable.    #2  while the desert climate has largely preserved most of the wood trestles I think they were built for a lot lighter loads.   #3 the biggest issue, the line dips into Mexico and would require participation by Mexico in its successful operation.   Good Luck with that.   It seems in the past Mexico has used the line in an attempt to pump cash from the United States or whomever was running it.

If the line remained in the United States and was better engineered it might have a future as a connection but I can't see anyone pouring money into that line.......might even be cheaper to build a new one with better engineering.

 

 

I don't know for sure but it is my assumption that the attraction to this line is that it could be made viable and becone important again IF San Diego and/or Tijuana would be developed into a major west coast container port.  (Somewhat of a big "if" there)

But, the negatives you cite would still be in play. I can add a possible number #4.  At El Centro there is no longer a direct rail link to the east.  Container trains would have to go north to Niland before turning and heading southeast again towards Yuma.  That makes a SD - Yuma routing even more circuotous.

However, that was the routing that the old SPT Co. used for through traffic on the SD&AE before they gave up the route in the early 1970s, I think it was.

Regards,

Fred M. Cain

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Posted by erikem on Monday, December 11, 2017 9:59 AM

blue streak 1

 

 
CMStPnP
I can't see anyone pouring money into that line.......might even be cheaper to build a new one with better engineering.
 

 

 
Maybe even a line parallel to I-8 until intersecting SD&AE ?_
 

I take it you've never driven I-8 between Jacumba and PlasterCity. That secton of I-8 is steep and lots of curves. There was a very good reason that the line was routed through the Carrizo Gorge.

The only other anywhere near practical route from San Diego to the east was the San Diego, Cuyamaca and Eastern, which only got up to Fostoria (just north of Lakeside).

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Posted by Fred M Cain on Monday, December 11, 2017 11:27 AM

erikem

 

 
blue streak 1

 

 
 
Maybe even a line parallel to I-8 until intersecting SD&AE ?_
 

 

 

I take it you've never driven I-8 between Jacumba and PlasterCity. That secton of I-8 is steep and lots of curves. There was a very good reason that the line was routed through the Carrizo Gorge.

The only other anywhere near practical route from San Diego to the east was the San Diego, Cuyamaca and Eastern, which only got up to Fostoria (just north of Lakeside).

 

 

Indeed.  I have to wonder about the very, very "big IF".  What if Spreckels had more money and continued building east of Fostoria to El Centro and kept the entire line withing the state of California?

 

It has always been my understanding that the line was routed through northern Baja in order to avoid some extremely rough topography just east of San Diego.  So the Baja route might have been a cost savings move.  If so, it was probably a mistake.

 

I have also wondered *WHY* the SP didn't continue building east from Holton to their mainline near Araz instead of building south into Mexico again and then east to Algodones and back over the border into California at Araz Jct.  Seems like they could've saved themselves a lot of headaches!  Perhaps they were trying to avoid building directly through the Algodones Dunes, I don't know.

 

In any event, a train leaving San Diego bound for Yuma actuallly had to pass through Mexico TWICE, crossing the international border FOUR times!

In the late 1960s, my family and I made many, many trips from Arizona to San Diego along what used to be known as U.S. 80.  I would occassionally see SPT Co. trains on the SD&AE which at that time was a wholly ownded subsidiary of SP.  Pretty impressive!   I would see EIGHT or more units on the head end and usually not more than about 40 cars.  Maybe 50 cars tops.  The units had invariably B-B trucks.  No "SD's" on the SD&AE.  Yuck!  I know, I know, bad joke, right?

It evidently took a huge horsepower to weight ratio to get a train safely over that mountain!  I never saw any TOFC cars on the line, but I did see tri-level auto racks on several occassions. 

In the San Diego area, the SP had a lot of customers especially on the El Cajon branch.  But the SP lost interest as so-called "loose car" traffic dried up.  Then the line was hit with a real bad one-two punch.  First the devastating 1973-74 recession which was the worst at the time since the '30s then the remains of hurricane Trina which washed much of the line out.  The SP filed for abandonment but was turned down.  They fixed the line and later sold it to Kyle.   Kyle began making a valiant attempt to revive customers on the line but then it washed out again.  Since then it's mostly been sleeping in the desert.

 

Regards,

Fred M. Cain

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Posted by Convicted One on Tuesday, December 12, 2017 5:46 PM

Fred M Cain
deal". https://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/Construction-to-Begin-on-Desert-Line-382424291.html There are also more online articles like that from around the same time. So, I wonder what happened?

 

Sorry, I didn't realize that my second link was a botched URL, and the thought police running this forum have taken away my ability to edit posts.

 

Reading several different  sources, I gather that fraud has been a common element in several iterations of the attempt to make this railroad happen, most seem to involve one Arturo Alemany and his many affiliated entities. Here is an excerpt from one of those sources:

 

In March 10, 2017, a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge approved the sale of PIR's Desert Line track leases and development rights to a Nevada corporation affiliated with Baja California Railroad. The bankruptcy case is still open, pending a final accounting of payments to creditors and two investor lawsuits.

In August 2017 after raised fraud legal issues and law suits against Arturo Alemany, Jeffey Kinsell filed a declaration in the Bankruptcy Court,Case number Case 16-06253-LT11 stating "This declaration will detail evidence that the true purpose of the PIR bankruptcy was to cover-up improper and fraudulent corporate and private actions undertaken by Arturo Alemany (“Alemany”) and Donald Stoecklein (“Stoecklein”). They violated their fiduciary responsibilities to all PIR stakeholders, and engaged in usurpation corporate authority (“Misdeeds”) to gain personal financial advantage." Essentially, the perpetrators of the fraud, having control of the flow of paperwork of the corporation (Debtor), utilized the procedures of the documents that are the driving force of the corporation and the confusing and complicated use of loan and ownership documents to seemingly gain control of Debtor. In addition, use of subterfuge, such as, misrepresenting and pretending to be a powerful corporation “Conatus” when actually the name was the same but that was the only resemblance. By misrepresenting the actual identity of the corporation buying the Debtor, they bought Debtor (worth millions) for $10,000 down and a promise to pay the rest when they “caught them.” The Declaration of Jeffrey Kinsell which sets out in detail the facts of the complicated scheme and how it was carried out reads somewhat like a “novel of intrigue” as the scheme seemed to have worked, in that, the perpetrators of the scheme seem to have actually achieved their goal, to date, of not only taking over the Debtor, but actually deftly getting the Bankruptcy Court to approve their actions. Unfortunately, up to now, the scheme has not been exposed. However, it is not in the best interests of the “sanctity” of the judicial process to allow the fraud to come to a final conclusion by prevailing. The Courts are not to be used as a tool to unjustly prevail by fraud and deception, no matter how elegant the scheme."

In August 31st 2017 International Railroad Investment Fund, Inc., Gold Mountain North, LLC, and This Land Is Your Land, Inc., through their counsel of record, Judith A. Descalso submitted Status Report with regard to the supplement to statement of decision of Judge Styn in the state court action pursuant to California Corporations Code §709 (the State Court Action against Arturo Alemany Salazar and Pacific Investment Group F/K/A Conatus Capital Group, San Diego Superior Court case number 37-2017-00003801-CU-MC-CTL). Judge Styn ruled that the stock agreement was rescinded by the payment of 10,000.00 back to Conatus",return the shares to Descalso's clients.

 

So, if even the courts see these waters as so murky that their involvement might make them complicit in something unsavory. I wouldn't be expecting to see anything change anytime soon.

 

You might draw a different conclusion, but the way it  looks to me, there are too many snakes in the basket to risk even a white knight  coming to the rescue.

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Posted by Fred M Cain on Wednesday, December 13, 2017 12:57 PM

Dear "Convicted One",

 

I have to admit that I'm not completely sure what all this means or implies.  But kinda what I'm getting out of it is the whole thing of reviving the moribund SD&AE was nothing more than some kind of a money scheme or even a downright fraud.

As I might've explained before, I tried to contact the Baja California Railroad but they would not return my e-mail so this does look just a bit suspicious to me.

 

Yet at the end of the day, I'd really like to see the line revived.  It'd be nice if California and Mexico could work together on this.  Unfortunately with all the anti-Mexico rhetoric that's come out of Washington the last year, it's really hard to be optimistic about this right now.  Perhaps this will just have to wait for another day.

As long as there is no move to dismantle the line and convert the right of way to other uses, it might still happen.  Even if we don't live to see it.  Sad

 

Regards,

Fred M. Cain

 

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Posted by rdamon on Wednesday, December 13, 2017 1:06 PM

Some "street views" of the tracks 

 

 

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Posted by Fred M Cain on Wednesday, December 13, 2017 1:23 PM

Wow !  That track is in BAD shape!  Are the rails actually that warped and twisty or was that an efffect of the camera lens?  If you rotate and look right behind the kid's backpack, you'll see what I mean.

Replacing all the ties wouldn't be bad enough (yet still doable) but if all the rails have to be changed out that would be such a huge cost that it might not be worth it.

Regards,

Fred M. Cain

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Posted by azrail on Wednesday, December 13, 2017 1:54 PM

There was some TOFC traffic on the SD&AE, one of the many derailments included 2 flatcars carrying Coors beer trailers that went over the side. For several months afterward there was a "recovery" of the trailer contents that were left in the bottom of the canyon.

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Wednesday, December 13, 2017 6:27 PM

rdamon

Some "street views" of the tracks 

 

 

 

The cross ties appear to be spaced too far apart and as well do not extend beyond  rails as we see today ?  Ballast ?????

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Posted by azrail on Thursday, December 14, 2017 1:44 PM

Well the SD&AE was not super maintained even during the era of SP ownership.

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Posted by azrail on Thursday, December 14, 2017 1:47 PM

If you build into the mountains north of that area you would would have to deal with steeper grades and more winter conditions. Yes, those mountains can get a good chunk of snow if the conditions are right.

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