Pacific Southwest Railway Museum

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Pacific Southwest Railway Museum
Pacific Southwest Railway Museum Logo.png
Founded 18 October 1959 (1959-10-18)[1]
Founder Eric Sanders, et al.
Type Public-benefit corporation
95-2374478 (CA 501(c)(3))
Focus Railroad museum, historic preservation
Coordinates 32°36′46″N 116°28′21″W / 32.612769°N 116.472417°W / 32.612769; -116.472417Coordinates: 32°36′46″N 116°28′21″W / 32.612769°N 116.472417°W / 32.612769; -116.472417
Origins San Diego County Rail Museum[1]
Area served
San Diego County
Mission The Pacific Southwest Railway Museum Association, Inc. is dedicated to preserving the physical legacy and the experience of rail transportation. Programs address the historical, social, economic and technical impact of railroading with particular emphasis on railroads of San Diego County and the larger systems with which they connected in the United States and Mexico.[3]
Formerly called
San Diego Railroad Museum

The Pacific Southwest Railway Museum is a railroad museum in California controlled by the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum Association located in Campo, on the San Diego & Arizona Eastern Railway line. The museum also owns and manages a railroad depot located in La Mesa.



Since 1986, the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum Association operates all-volunteer train excursions from the restored 1916 Depot in Campo, in the Mountain Empire area of southeastern San Diego County, California. These trains are powered by vintage diesel-electric locomotives.[4][5]

The museum also has approximately 100 historic railroad cars and locomotives on display, including five steam locomotives, seventeen diesel locomotives and many other pieces of rolling stock.[6] A large display building houses part of the railroad equipment collection which allows visitors to view or walk through the equipment. A new donation has been received for an exhibit titled "Signal Science" which uses retired railroad signals to demonstrate how railway signals work. The museum is also home to the Southwest Railway Library, which opened in Campo on July 2014. The library is currently being doubled in size. [7][8][9]

La Mesa[edit]

The museum manages the original La Mesa depot in downtown La Mesa, next to the La Mesa Boulevard stop on the San Diego Trolley Orange Line. It is the oldest building in town and is the sole surviving San Diego and Cuyamaca Railway station.[10] The museum's renovation of the depot won an award from San Diego's historic preservation society, Save Our Heritage Organisation.[11]

Next to the depot is a display train consisting of saddletank steam locomotive 0-6-0ST Mojave Northern Railroad #3, a Pacific Fruit Express reefer car, and a Southern Pacific Railroad caboose.

In Media[edit]

  • Part of the There Goes a... episode "There Goes a Train" features the railroad museum in Campo.[12] The video was made in 1994 and the museum was closed for the week of shooting. In the video, the museum's ALCO MRS-1 United States Air Force 2104 locomotive was pulling a 3-car Golden State excursion train heading east.[6] The museum was also a filming site for the Real Rockin' Wheels video, "Train Songs".
  • Irish girl group B*Witched filmed the music video of their hit single "Jesse Hold On" in the station in 1999.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Report of San Diego County Rail Museum Activity". Pacific Southwest Railway Museum, REPORT Collection. 5 January 1960. Retrieved 2012-11-29. 
  2. ^ "Pacific Southwest Railway Museum". Retrieved 2015-04-26. 
  3. ^ "A Chronological History of the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum Association, Incorporated". PSRM.Org. Retrieved 27 April 2015. 
  4. ^ Nancy Ray, "The Ties That Bind : Little 'Railroad That Can' Maintains Glory of Ribbon of Steel's Golden Age", Los Angeles Times, November 30, 1986.
  5. ^ Nancy Ray, "Rail Museum Gets Up Steam : Visitors Will Soon Be Offered Rides on Trains", Los Angeles Times, May 20, 1985.
  6. ^ a b Houk, Randy. "SDRM Equipment Roster or PSRM Equipment Roster". Pacific Southwest Railway Museum. Retrieved 2012-11-29. 
  7. ^ Krueger, Anne (27 November 2004). "Railway library in search of a home". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved 2 June 2015. 
  8. ^ Croft, Byron (July 18, 2014). "The Impossible Library: the new Campo attraction". The Alpine Sun. Retrieved January 27, 2015. 
  9. ^ Charles M. O'Herin (1 January 2006). Prototypes for Modelers: San Diego & Arizona Railway. Link Pen Publishing. p. 130. ISBN 978-0-9776279-0-5. 
  10. ^ Troy Corley, "10 Favorite Treks to the Tracks that relate the colorful history of railroads joining the East with the West", Los Angeles Times, February 20, 1986.
  11. ^ Lenore Look, "Preserving Heritage: Heroic Efforts Garner Prizes From SOHO", Los Angeles Times, May 16, 1985.
  12. ^ a b "SDRM filmography or PSRM filmography". Retrieved 2012-11-29. 

External links[edit]