San Diego and Imperial Valley Railroad

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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
Length 33 miles (53 km)[1]
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, SD&IV started operations in 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, SD&IV 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&IV has been owned and operated by Genesee & Wyoming Inc. since 2013; it had been previously owned by RailTex, operated with the reporting mark SDIY, and RailAmerica, which bought Railtex in 2002. Genesee & Wyoming bought and controlled RailAmerica in 2012. The railroad had 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 SD&IV's repairs to the Desert Line, by signing a contract, SD&IV sub-contracted the Desert Line's responsibility to CZRY, which resumed work in 2000 and reopening the Carrizo Gorge in 2004 for freight service. By 2012, the Pacific Imperial Railroad is formed to replace the SD&IV as the freight operator of the Desert Line, (thus leaving Carrizo Gorge Railway out of the picture), although PIR still doesn't host freight service.

In 2000, SD&IV also terminated the contract with ADMICARGA. SD&IV started interchanging with CZRY in San Ysidro, CA from 2000 to 2011.

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 recently removed, isolating and severing SD&AE's Coronado branch from any connection.

On January 1, 2012, the railroad started interchanging with the new carrier, Baja California Railroad, Inc. (BJRR).

Current operations[edit]

The SD&IV 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&IV hauled around 6,500 carloads in 2008.[1]

Motive power[edit]

SD&IV #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[edit]


  1. ^ a b "RailAmerica's Empire". Trains Magazine (Kalmbach Publishing). June 2010. 

External links[edit]