The San Diego & Arizona Railroad

Celebrate the Centennial of the San Diego & Arizona (SD&A) Railway! November of 2019 will mark the 100thanniversary of John D. Spreckels driving the Golden Spike to mark the completion of his railroad project – the last Trans-Continental railroad built in the US.

SD&A was a cross-border railroad which ran from downtown San Diego through Tijuana, to Tecate, then back into the US near Campo, and finally on to the Imperial Valley by way of the treacherous but beautiful Carrizo Gorge.  The line was dubbed “The Impossible Railroad” because it took over 12 years to build, and it was always a high-maintenance line that was expensive to operate.  Nonetheless, SD&A gave San Diego its first-ever direct connection to the East.  For several decades both passengers and freight moved freely to and from Mexico, and many destinations to the East without having to go through the Los Angeles area!

On July 13th, Jim Price of the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum will present a slide show about the history of SD&A, including details of planned Centennial events. James N. (Jim) Price is a second generation Californian who spent his professional career working as an electronics engineer at the Navy research & development laboratory on Pt Loma – presently called SPAWAR Systems Center.  His interest in western history is an almost lifelong passion which trended toward the old mining towns of the west, and then to the railroads that served them.  Some years ago, he authored “San Diego County Train Stations:  Then and Now,” and more recently has published “Discovering the Ghost Railroads of Central Nevada.”  Jim is a member of the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum (PSRM) Centennial committee and will be directly involved in many activities this year leading up to the celebration of the San Diego & Arizona Railway’s 100th anniversary in November.

On that same day, the Chula Vista Live Steamers will be offering train rides in Rohr Park in Bonita for those who wish to make a Railroad Day of it!

Many Centennial events are planned throughout 2019, culminating in a reenactment of the Golden Spike Ceremony on November 16th at the Campo Railroad Park & Museum.  This will truly be a once-in-a-lifetime event, not to be missed by those who are interested in San Diego County history!

More information is available at:

Chula Vista Public Library Auditorium

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