railexplorer

all messages by user

12/25/2012
Topic:
December 26th? Indian Hills Trestle to Goat Canyon

railexplorer
railexplorer
I'm interested in hearing what you find out. Although it looks like I might be headed out that way in the next week. I've got a young rail fan who really wants to explore the route. For a Christmas present he got a book on the SDA&E. I took a quick look through the book this morning and came across a bit of information for you. In one of the photo captions, it mentions that foot trails were built around all tunnels, to facilitate the movement of equipment and communication between the tunneling crews. Apparently they constructed the tunnels by excavating from both ends and meeting in the middle.

For those of you interested in the book, its the San Diego and Arizona Railway, the Impossible Railroad. By Reena Deutsch.


Oh and finally hello everyone I recently came across this website due to my son's interest in heading out to the Goat Canyon Trestle, this is my first post. Hopefully I'll have more to share soon.
12/26/2012
Topic:
December 26th? Indian Hills Trestle to Goat Canyon

railexplorer
railexplorer
I haven't read the book yet, but in one of the captions it mentions that work camps were built at each tunnel, except if two tunnels were close together. The camps were above or below the grade level, wherever they could flatten a spot for tents. There are a couple of pictures of one camp down in the gorge. I'll read up on the chapter about the gorge and let you know if it mentions anything.
12/27/2012
Topic:
Goat Canyon Trestle from Dos Cabesas Rd

railexplorer
railexplorer
Great photos. Thanks for doing the recon work. I'll be using your notes when I head out there soon.

As for the oiling mechanism. That's a greaser for the tracks. You see those on tracks with sharp turns. They automatically grease the wheels as they roll by. It helps cut down the friction and the wear on the wheels and tracks.
3/18/2013
Topic:
Heads up for cyclists this Saturday

railexplorer
railexplorer
Just in case any of you are going to be out on S2, this Saturday, keep a look out for about 100 cyclists and a few support vehicles that will be headed east. The ride is from Santa Ysabel to El Centro. The ride starts at 8 and by the time we get out to S2 the group is pretty spread out.... it might have something to do the first 9 miles being up hill.
edited by railexplorer on 3/18/2013
3/19/2013
Topic:
Heads up for cyclists this Saturday

railexplorer
railexplorer
The ride is a good time, great scenery as you all know. I did the ride last year with a few friends, we all had a good time right up to Sweeny Pass. That climb was bit more than some people had anticipated. I had to wait 30 minutes for a few of them to get to the top.

The early weather forecast temp wise is perfect, mid 70's near Agua Calinete to low 80's in El Centro.... hopefully I'll have a beer in hand before the high temp of the day. The only part of the weather forecast I'm concerned about right now is the wind forecast. There is talk about some offshore flow, but its still a bit far out for them to have a handle on it. If the wind is out of the West it'll be fine. Any SE wind and the fun meter will take a big hit.
4/26/2013
Topic:
Dos Cabezas and Goat Canyon

railexplorer
railexplorer
My 9 year old son, a couple of friends and I made the trek out to Dos Cabezas and the Goat Canyon trestle. My son, who is a huge train and history nut, has been wanting to get out and see both sights. The day we headed out was a perfect day.... temps in the mid 70's to the low 80s and breeze.

Here are some photos.


Water tower by Rail explorer, on Flickr


Rail view by Rail explorer, on Flickr


Tunnel by Rail explorer, on Flickr

There was some question whether my son and a couple of the young hikers would be able to make the whole hike. When we got to this point the motivation level went way up.


Trestle view by Rail explorer, on Flickr

For anyone who hasn't been out there be careful on the trestles......


Rock damage by Rail explorer, on Flickr

After 2.5 hours of hiking we made it to the trestle.


Goat Canyon Trestle by Rail explorer, on Flickr


Goat Canyon Treslte by Rail explorer, on Flickr

While the rest of our group rested and had lunch in the tunnel my son was off across the trestle to explore the collapsed tunnel that was the cause for the trestle's construction.


Collapsed tunnel by Rail explorer, on Flickr

Other sights along the way included......


Ocotillo in bloom by Rail explorer, on Flickr

We also encountered some wildlife.


snake by Rail explorer, on Flickr


Big horn by Rail explorer, on Flickr

Here are two railroad construction items we found.


powder can by Rail explorer, on Flickr


Drill bit by Rail explorer, on Flickr

The powder can was along the tracks and nowhere near the work camp site with the wall made of similar cans. As for the drill bit, at least that's what it appears to be I found that on the hike.

We had a great day and will definitely get out that way and look around, especially some of the off track areas. I'm going to do some research on the work camps and see if I can get a handle on where they were located and then get out and have a look for them. My son did great right up to the final half mile.... then the wheels came off. I can't blame him, he put in just over 11 miles.

Finally I'd like to thank everyone on this site that answered my questions, all of your help definitely made our trip easier.
4/28/2013
Topic:
Dos Cabezas and Goat Canyon

railexplorer
railexplorer
Nolan (anutami) wrote:
Great photos! 11 miles for a 9 year old in 1 day is amazing. Something he will never forget. The collapsed tunnel is pretty dramatic (and very difficult to get to I might add) with all the beams splintered and concrete smashed. You get a feeling of not wanting to stay in there too long.


Yea I was impressed with my son's stamina.... then again he was pretty motivated to get out and see the trestle. Our entire group was treated to a constant stream of historical facts about the railroad from him.

As for the collapsed tunnel we didn't venture any further than the splintered beams. I told him since you have no idea how long those beams have been splintered you don't pass them. When I explained a bit more about why he was fine with that and yea we got out it pretty quick.
9/29/2013
Topic:
First trip of the season

railexplorer
railexplorer
On Saturday my oldest son and I headed east to the railroad museum in Campo. With surprisingly nice weather we headed east to Jacumba and then down towards Plaster City. We decided to make a late afternoon run north along the U.S. Gypsum tracks. All was good until we ran into a wash that was marginal. Due to the fact that it was 5pm, it was just my son and I, we didn't have any gear in case we got stuck, I'm a complete novice when it comes to off road driving, and common sense we turned back.

My son is fired up for more trips out to the desert this year. His comment to me was, "Boy there's a lot to do out here and not enough time..."

I'll have to get some tips from everyone about the Butterfield stage coach route. I've got someone who wants to explore it.

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This shot is looking north along Carrizo Creek. We saw a couple of deer when we were out here.


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This was our turn around point.

The class of 2013 is on the board for mylar balloons. We found a Class of 2013 balloon our here.
9/30/2013
Topic:
First trip of the season

railexplorer
railexplorer
dsefcik wrote:
Better safe than sorry, at least you got out for the day, saw some wildlife and bagged a balloon....Thumbs Up


Yea, that safety thing is a huge part of our trips, whether its chasing trains or heading out into the desert. I always make it a point to talk about it with my boys..... There's always another day to explore.
11/13/2013
Topic:
Goat Canyon and the rest of the railroad

railexplorer
railexplorer
Since desert season is upon us, I just wanted to give everyone a heads up. There is a group, known as the Pacific Imperial Railroad (PIR), that has leased the desert line, (Campo to Plaster City) from MTS and is in the process of getting the line up and running. They've completed their initial assessment of the line. They have some "new" engines sitting down in Plaster City. The Carrizo Gorge Railroad Police are still an active force and are still patrolling the line.

The PIR, has a $500,000 payment due in December to MTS. I haven't heard officially how big their work list is to get the tracks open, but from my various sources its pretty extensive. The plan was to have work trains starting sometime this winter.

So if you head out towards Dos Cabezas and the rail line be on the lookout for equipment moving on the rails.
11/16/2013
Topic:
Goat Canyon and the rest of the railroad

railexplorer
railexplorer
surfponto wrote:
Yeah not sure how I feel about that. Guess hiking the tracks will be out.
On the other hand it would be cool to take a rail tour through Carrizo Gorge


Hiking the tracks will be out, if they actually get this project off the ground. The big question is, Will they actually be able to get it running and keep the line running? The numbers that I've seen don't add up and a lot of people I've talked to about it feel the same way.

As for a rail tour through the Gorge, your only hope for that will be to know someone who works for PIR. It'll be a strictly freight operation. If you've got an hour to kill here's a video shot from an engine that went through the gorge.

2/12/2014
Topic:
Cactus, Big Horn Sheep and the Goat Canyon Trestle

railexplorer
railexplorer
I recently made a trip, with a friend of mine, out to the Dos Cabezas and Goat Canyon area. We went out to see how the work, to reopen the line, was progressing. Since my friend had never been out to the trestle he wanted to see that as well. I took the opportunity to shoot more photos of the area, instead of the railroad.

A couple of general notes. We saw several blasting cans, that I'm guessing are from the old worker's camp building, being pretty far from the building site. Someone had to carry them, definitely they weren't moved by natural forces. Second note, it appears that all work has stopped on the railroad line. According to information on a rail fan website, the Pacific Imperial Railroad (the new operators of the rail line)is a complete sham and is shut down. The PIR website has been down for over a week.

Here are some photos from our trip


DSCN3270 by Rail explorer, on Flickr



DSCN3302 by Rail explorer, on Flickr


DSCN3274 by Rail explorer, on Flickr


DSCN3286 by Rail explorer, on Flickr


DSCN3294 by Rail explorer, on Flickr



DSCN3280 by Rail explorer, on Flickr



DSCN3253 by Rail explorer, on Flickr


Goat Canyon by Rail explorer, on Flickr

There are 3 Big Horn Sheep in this photo


Big Horn by Rail explorer, on Flickr

A close up of them.


Big Horn Sheep by Rail explorer, on Flickr



Sheep_1024 by Rail explorer, on Flickr
2/13/2014
Topic:
Cactus, Big Horn Sheep and the Goat Canyon Trestle

railexplorer
railexplorer
dsefcik wrote:
Cool trip...you guys just hike the rail line from Dos Cabezas? Looks like the sheep are not to concerned with your presence.


Yea we drove in as far as we could, on the North side of the tracks and then hiked in along the rail line. From our parking to the trestle was just under 5 miles. (We did see a couple of old work roads/trails that looked as potential shortcuts over the hills.)
The sheep weren't concerned with us. They moved casually and kept an eye on us.

Since I can't figure out how to put multiple quotes in the post. I'll answer Bob's question about people. We saw one person where we parked and then two other hikers/offroaders about a 1 1/2 miles in. They had driven their jeep in on the south side of the tracks and didn't want to leave it by itself for to long. Other than that we didn't see anyone the rest of the hike.
4/1/2014
Topic:
Campo RR

railexplorer
railexplorer
Kusi is running a 3 part series on the disaster known as the Pacific Imperial Railroad. Here's a link

http://www.kusi.com/story/25124362/the-desert-line-a-train-to-nowhere

I'll admit, due to my son's interest in trains and this line in particular, I follow this stuff more than most people. Its a complete mess, and that's an understatement. The information from my various sources is nothing short of head shaking.
If they do manage to raise the $150 million the stated goal for the railroad to be profitable is to run 400 cars a day on the line. Without boring everyone with the details that's going to be a near impossible number to move.
4/7/2014
Topic:
The Impossible Railroad

railexplorer
railexplorer
Great photos. My son and I are going to try and head out to the movie wreck site before the weather shuts it all down for the summer.

There's a phone booth at the Dos Cabezas water tower.

The book is a great source of information. I know we noticed a lot of things after looking at the book, especially the work trails that are located at the tunnels. You can also see quite a few trails that head up the hillsides. I would like to get out and explore some of those trails, and see if there's a shorter route over the hills between Dos Cabezas and Goat Canyon, which would be key especially if they actually do manage to get this railroad active again.
4/9/2014
Topic:
The Impossible Railroad

railexplorer
railexplorer
dsefcik wrote:
[Prepare yourself with long pants, boots, long sleeves and leather garden gloves, the catsclaw is intense. If you look closely at the pictures of Scotty C you will see red plastic all around his legs and sides of his pack, that was to allow the catsclaw to just swipe over him...worked pretty well, I used some also.



I'm thinking we'll stay up trackside...... the Robo Hiker look is a bit over more than we'd be up for, especially to get a look at some old wheel sets. Although my son my have other ideas Roll Eyes (Sarcastic)
4/30/2014
Topic:
The Impossible Railroad

railexplorer
railexplorer
Came across this video today. Not sure when this was filmed, but if I were to guess it was a while ago. This "railroad" is a complete mess.



Its an interesting video, but a bit comical to see a police officer "patrolling" with a bunch of go pro cameras attached everywhere and various roll by shots.
4/30/2014
Topic:
Adventure passes take a hit in court

railexplorer
railexplorer
Since this will affect Cleveland National Forest, I figured a few of you might be interested in this court decision.

http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-forest-service-adventure-pass-20140430,0,4857553.story
edited by railexplorer on 4/30/2014
8/7/2014
Topic:
Carrizo Gorge

railexplorer
railexplorer
rockhopper wrote:
Great report and photos! In the news a while back the was a group of investors planning to open the rail line down to Mexico. Any new info? That train ride would be one of the top train rides in the world and would bring in tourists from all over. Oh, Oh! Maybe better if left as is. After all is was/is the impossible railroad!



The investors, or I should say the group with operating rights, is known as the Pacific Imperial Railroad (PIR). In a nutshell, because the whole story would make War and Peace look like a short story, the PIR is still "functioning" to what degree no one really knows. They made their $500K payment to MTS in July and supposedly have the next $500K installment in hand.

There are questions whether their lease agreement with MTS is legal. Two congressmen, D. Hunter and J Denham (Merced), have asked for MTS to provide them with documents regarding the lease.

Whether they actually get the railroad up and running again is still up in the air, although most people with railroad knowledge doubt that the PIR has the ability to get it up and running.

As for opening up the gorge as a tourist railroad, that won't happen either. The insurance would be astronomical, the maintenance costs and the up front costs to get the line in operating condition would make the whole project a non starter. That is unless you've got pockets as deep as Warren Buffet and have nothing else better to spend your money on.
8/9/2014
Topic:
Carrizo Gorge

railexplorer
railexplorer
tommy750 wrote:
railexplorer wrote:
rockhopper wrote:
Great report and photos! In the news a while back the was a group of investors planning to open the rail line down to Mexico. Any new info? That train ride would be one of the top train rides in the world and would bring in tourists from all over. Oh, Oh! Maybe better if left as is. After all is was/is the impossible railroad!



The investors, or I should say the group with operating rights, is known as the Pacific Imperial Railroad (PIR). In a nutshell, because the whole story would make War and Peace look like a short story, the PIR is still &quotfunctioning&quot to what degree no one really knows. They made their $500K payment to MTS in July and supposedly have the next $500K installment in hand.

There are questions whether their lease agreement with MTS is legal. Two congressmen, D. Hunter and J Denham (Merced), have asked for MTS to provide them with documents regarding the lease.

Whether they actually get the railroad up and running again is still up in the air, although most people with railroad knowledge doubt that the PIR has the ability to get it up and running.

As for opening up the gorge as a tourist railroad, that won't happen either. The insurance would be astronomical, the maintenance costs and the up front costs to get the line in operating condition would make the whole project a non starter. That is unless you've got pockets as deep as Warren Buffet and have nothing else better to spend your money on.


You may be right. Looks like the entire route would need a substantial overhaul and a lot of it is still in Mexico. Thanks for your input. Tom



Yes a lot of the line is in Mexico. The PIR has operating rights for the line between Plaster City and the border. According the PIR they are working with the Mexican RR people to operate in Mexico. The biggest issue south of the border is the collapse of Tunnel 3, which is the first tunnel south of the border from Campo. That tunnel collapse is why the PSRM, in Campo, no longer runs their tourist trains to Tecate.

The latest that I heard was that the Mexican RR entity wasn't going to put money into fixing Tunnel 3 until PIR had an actual operating date, (although there are some unconfirmed reports saying the Mexican authorities are going to open this segment of the RR). PIR can't really have an operating date until they know they'll have freight to haul from the Maquiladoras in Mexico... primarily Toyota. Throw in the fact that the latest news from south of the border is that the RR. infrastructure between the Tijuana and Tecate is being upgraded and SANDAG is throwing money at a project to increase and update the RR yard at San Ysidro..... One has to wonder if the authorities down south will put money into the line between Tecate and Campo.

I will say, as someone who follows the railroad industry, this line is the most screwed up one I've ever seen. Its very difficult to really get a handle on what's going on. No one really seems to know the full story.
10/26/2014
Topic:
Interesting new book

railexplorer
railexplorer
Saw this the other day in the SD Union. I'm going to try and get to the presentation at A16.

http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/oct/23/bighorn-sheep-deert-book-jorgense-young/
1/8/2015
Topic:
Carrizo Gorge Railway - Does the Saga Ever End?

railexplorer
railexplorer
Buford wrote:
Not surprising. Thanks for the link.

I was surprised that when I was out there a couple days before christmas, that a rail car had definitely been on the tracks near the trestle recently. It had rained 2 days before, and I could see where the rail wheels indented the sand since the rain.

Made me start to wonder how much a ticket would be for hiking along the tracks.
edited by Buford on 1/7/2015


Hopefully this will be the end of the scam known as PIR. Through out its whole existence the PIR has been a complete joke. I won't bore all of you with the railroad stuff.

As for the wheel indentations in the sand. Did you notice if they car wheels had run down to Dos Cabezas? (Of course this implies you were down in Dos Cabezas) There might not have been tracks in the dirt except at the crossing but did you notice plants growing across the tracks that had been run over?

Its also possible someone with a homemade railcar was out there. I know that the PSRM (the railroad museum in Campo) ran some speeder cars out to the trestle a few months ago.

As for the ticket it can be an expensive one.
1/8/2015
Topic:
Carrizo Gorge Railway - Does the Saga Ever End?

railexplorer
railexplorer
The railroad line could be profitable.....maybe.... but it would take some deep pockets to get it to that point. There's enough industry down in Tecate and eastern Tijuana to support it. There would need to be some infrastructure built south of the border, and some things done on this side of the border to increase capacity. To avoid boring everyone with the details feel free to PM if you're interested in some of the details.
As for making it a historic attraction... its already that.... Now as for making money on it.......one idea was to let PSRM run speeder car tours out to the trestle. Unfortunately in today's world, the whole liability issue would end that project.
2/7/2015
Topic:
Mortero Canyon Road

railexplorer
railexplorer
Has anyone driven Mortero Canyon road recently? Is it still 4wd only? I was out there a couple of times last year and it was passable in 2wd.

I'm planning on heading out to the Dos Cabezas area with the family and another family in the next week or two. We're going to head out in search of Indian Hill and look around at some of the old railroad work camps.

Thanks
2/9/2015
Topic:
Mortero Canyon Road

railexplorer
railexplorer
dsefcik wrote:
I was out at Thanksgiving and it was normal, a bit sandy near the S2 but probably OK for a semi high clearance 2WD. You could also just go in on the Dos Cabezas road, it is longer but more 2WD friendly. You will need to use the bypass route near the siding water tower thing, that little uphill is completely rutted out, I wouldn't even do it in my Toyota truck, I went around.



Thanks for the info. I've got a Honda Pilot so I could go in on Mortero, but in the interest of everyone on the trip I'll probably just head in on Dos Cabezas. I'll definitely use the bypass route, I don't think there's a street legal vehicle that could handle that rutted out section.
3/30/2015
Topic:
Carrizo Gorge wildflowers

railexplorer
railexplorer
I took a trip into the Carrizo Gorge this past weekend. The flowers were in full bloom through out the gorge. The only plants not in bloom yet were the yuccas. They will be in bloom soon. Here are some photos from the trip.


Anza Borrego bloom by Rail explorer, on Flickr



WIldflowers at Dubbers by Rail explorer, on Flickr



Color along the tracks by Rail explorer, on Flickr



Spring flowers at Carrizo Siding by Rail explorer, on Flickr



Trackside color by Rail explorer, on Flickr


What would a trip in the gorge be without a picture of the Goat Canyon Trestle?



Goat Canyon Trestle by Rail explorer, on Flickr
4/1/2015
Topic:
Carrizo Gorge wildflowers

railexplorer
railexplorer
surfponto wrote:
Looks great
Are the barrel cactus blooming?

Will try to get out for the day on Saturday




The barrel cactus were not blooming.

The train is still derailed across the tracks. I have a feeling its going to remain that way for sometime. The PIR group has no reason to rerail it until they actually start to do some work on the tracks.... that is if they ever intend to do any work.
6/29/2015
Topic:
Pacific Imperial Railroad's latest idea

railexplorer
railexplorer
I'll start off with a disclaimer..... I seriously doubt this latest idea will get any traction, but the fact that they're talking about it is worth keeping an eye on it.

The PIR is talking about setting up an intermodal yard (think containers and trucks). An intermodal yard is huge. You need to have quite a few sets of tracks that are several thousand feet long, lots of space between the sets of tracks for the trucks and the cranes. Then you need more space for storage of containers and trailers.

I doubt the PIR will ever raise the necessary capital to build this. The other issue with this proposal is they want to build this yard somewhere between Plaster City and the Ocotillo area.

Here's a link to it on their website.

http://pacificimperialrailroad.com/2015/06/16/pacific-imperial-railroad-attends-logistics-summit-in-ensenada/
7/1/2015
Topic:
Pacific Imperial Railroad's latest idea

railexplorer
railexplorer
Besides the mess that the 8 would become, think about the roads around the Ocotillo area. Those roads would have to be redone. The current infrastructure, in the Ocotillo area couldn't handle the influx of traffic.

One has to think that if an intermodal yard was economically viable, in that area, Union Paciiic would've built one in the El Centro area.
9/10/2015
Topic:
Itching to get out in the desert

railexplorer
railexplorer
To "celebrate/mourn" the last day of summer vacation my oldest son and I took a trip out to the Boulevard area to spend a bit of time looking at some railroad sites. He's been itching to head out to the desert and Carrizo Gorge but weather has prevented us, so the Boulevard/ Jacumba area was an acceptable substitute. In our hiking around we came across this

Mortero by Rail explorer




This was his first mortero outside of the ones he had seen at Mission Trails park. He was excited to see something "old" and then proceeded to launch into a conversation about how old it might be. The "find" was a major hightlight of the trip. He still brings it up a week later and has told a lot of his friends about finding it. He's even more motivated for desert season.
edited by railexplorer on 9/10/2015
edited by railexplorer on 9/10/2015
9/12/2015
Topic:
Itching to get out in the desert

railexplorer
railexplorer
tommy750 wrote:
Nice to see you and your son were getting out, railexplorer. As Daren mentioned, we were out north of you in the McCain Valley area. Here's Daren checking out a possible entrance to Thunder Canyon:


At McCain Valley and Canebrake Roads. The ridge to the left will have wind turbines 2-3 rows deep and the road north of Cottonwood campground will have a string of them. Enjoy this view while it lasts. Sorry for hijacking your thread, railexplorer! Thread Hijack!

McCain Valley Rd and Canebrake Rd by tomteske, on Flickr


No worries about the hijacking..... It truly amazes me how all the "green" energy projects completely wreck the very thing they claim to protect.

My son does love to explore especially when it comes to railroads and history. One of his upcoming trips is to go see a couple of Gen. Patton's WWII camps East of Amboy.



Daren the headlamp doesn't make you look fat. But that rock in front of you........that might be another story.
10/29/2015
Topic:
Carrizo Gorge

railexplorer
railexplorer
I was in the Jacumba area a week ago and the creek between Jacumba and the derailed railroad cars was seriously overgrown. I may get into the Gorge in the next week or so. One other thing to look out for.... Apaches. As in Apache helicopters. There were two flying in and around the Gorge when we were out there. I have no idea what they were doing, because we saw them later flying into the Imperial airport.
2/13/2016
Topic:
Jamul Kiln Ruins

railexplorer
railexplorer
So I was able to take a trip out to the Jamul Cement Kilns (Its all a matter of who you know). Remembering this thread I asked who was in charge of the reserve. I had to laugh because I couldn't get a straight answer. There are several state and local agencies that all have some oversight of the reserve. Currently the reserve is not opent to the public. The ultimate goal is to open up the reserve to the public, but there are some issue they need to deal with. Besides the kiln, there are several other historical sites located in the reserve.


by
Rail explorer, on Flickr
2/13/2016
Topic:
President Obama designated three desert areas...

railexplorer
railexplorer
I just took a look at the area that has been designated Mojave Trails National Monument, and all I can say is wow. I've spent a lot of time in that area, mostly spending time along the transcon rail line and route 66. Recently I've spent time at a couple of Patton's army camps. Due to its remoteness I seriously doubt there will be an increase in visitors. The area is way out there.
6/10/2016
Topic:
Carrizo Gorge Railway - Does the Saga Ever End?

railexplorer
railexplorer
This story is amazing, to say the least. I'm amazed that MTS actually thinks that these two companies are going to actually raise $70 million dollars in private investment. The number is probably a lot larger than that because I don't think that figure includes the construction of an intermodal yard at Coyote Wells. The PIR wants to put in a rail yard consisting of 6 8000 foot long tracks, gantry cranes, and assorted other infrastructure between the current tracks and I-8.

MTS is happy because they're going to keep receiving $1 million dollars for at the least the next 2 years.
6/10/2016
Topic:
Carrizo Gorge Railway - Does the Saga Ever End?

railexplorer
railexplorer
Here are a couple of photos that sums up PIR's ability to run a railroad.

PIR's latest train by Rail explorer, on Flickr


Clean up needed by Rail explorer, on Flickr


In the first photo, your eyes are seeing it right. The flatcar is bent. The short story is somehow the engines ran downhill, uncontrolled/unmanned, about a half mile striking the flatcar at over 30mph bending the flatcar and the frame of the first engine.

Yes that's a fuel leak in photo 2. That particular engine has been leaking for over a year.
1/21/2017
Topic:
Carrizo Gorge Railroad update

railexplorer
railexplorer
In case anyone is planning on taking a hike into the trestle just a heads up there are rockfalls at the east portals of tunnels 8 &16. The fall at 8 isn't to big, but the one at 16 is huge. !6's entrance isn't completely blocked but there's quite a pile to scramble over. I haven't been out there personally but saw the photos on another site.

For those of you wondering where tunnels 8 and !6 are. 16 is the tunnel just east of the Goat Canyon Trestle. (Dos Cabezas side of the trestle) Tunnel 8 is between Jacumba and the Goat Canyon Trestle.


As for the railroad..... The PIR filed for Bankruptcy protection. The reasons for the bankruptcy move are many. They still haven't filed any paperwork, EIR's, to start any construction work. So there's a whole lot of nothing going on.
edited by railexplorer on 1/22/2017
1/26/2017
Topic:
Carrizo Gorge Railroad update

railexplorer
railexplorer
Britain wrote:
Don't think any ones been on it for a long long time if at all. Found another road to the north east. Ran out of time. Only did about half of it. Will hit it again later.


That's a great find. The few times I've been out in the gorge, I've noticed many trails heading up the sides of the gorge. I've guessed that they're work trails and have wanted to head up to the top and explore them. Now I know what's up there. One of these days I'll actually make it up on top of the gorge
2/3/2017
Topic:
Carrizo Gorge Railroad articles

railexplorer
railexplorer
Here are links to the latest articles in the SD Reader about the PIR. The first one appeared earlier this week and the second one is MTS' response. Make sure to have a bowl popcorn while reading the two articles. A pair of hip waders might not be a bad idea either.

http://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/2017/feb/02/ticker-likely-not-last-binational-railroad-story/

http://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/2017/feb/03/ticker-mts-responds-baja-rail-charges/
2/5/2017
Topic:
Carrizo Gorge Railroad articles

railexplorer
railexplorer
Those photos are from 2014. It is my understanding that the line has been put back together. The tunnel, that is collapsed, is Tunnel #3. The collapse happened when somebody set a fire in it several years ago. Baja Rail daylighted that tunnel.
I have not been down there to see if its all back together, personally, I just heard from some members of the railroad museum at Campo that it was.
3/20/2017
Topic:
Goat Canyon trip

railexplorer
railexplorer
We headed out to the Goat Canyon Trestle last week. 3 of us rode in from De Anza Resort. We had originally planned to come in from Dos Cabezas but came in from the south because my son had not been through that part of the gorge. It had been 2 years since we had been in the gorge and a lot has changed. The most noticeable things were all of the rockfalls along the route and the graffiti.

One thing we did on this trip was spend some time at a few of the old work camp sites. My son, who loves history and anything old, had a great time looking at the camp sites and wondering what life was like and what was at the different sites. We had planned to go in search of a couple of sites, but due to the large number of people in the gorge (There were so many and more than a couple not prepared that we thought about starting a refreshment stand business out at the Trestle) we decided not to go off in search of work sites and have other people follow us. Our next trip out to the gorge will be focused on work camps and some work trails.

There was a pretty good wildflower bloom in progress and the cactus looked like they'll be in bloom any day now. There was lots of water flowing in the bottom of the gorge. You could here it flowing over small waterfalls and in the late afternoon there was more than one location where you could hear a lot of frogs croaking.

All in all a great trip.

Below are a few photos from the day.

Spring Bloom in Carrizo Gorge by Rail explorer, on Flickr


Bloom on tracks by Rail explorer, on Flickr


Cactus Bloom by Rail explorer, on Flickr

SDA&E Construction site by Rail explorer, on Flickr


The one major rockfall is at the North portal of tunnel 16, which is the tunnel on the north side of the Goat Canyon Trestle. If you go explore the fall beware that the rock above the fall has several large cracks in it, so there's more that's going to come down.

Inside Tunnel 16 by Rail explorer, on Flickr
3/20/2017
Topic:
Old Desert photography locations

railexplorer
railexplorer
Great photos. I had to laugh to see your jeep vs. their old cars.
3/21/2017
Topic:
Goat Canyon trip

railexplorer
railexplorer
ziphius wrote:
Nice, too bad about the crowds.


The crowds were a bit surprising. Some of the people were not equipped for the hike. One guy was wearing flip flops. A couple of others weren't really sure where they started their hike from and thought about heading back a different way. There was a dad out with his two children and a dog. He sent the kids and the dog through tunnel 16 and over the rockfall while he walked around on the old construction trail.

It felt like rookie hiker day on the trail.
4/20/2017
Topic:
Border Patrol

railexplorer
railexplorer
Hi Mandie,
That helicopter looks to be a Navy one, although it is missing a Navy insignia. I have never seen the BP fly a helicopter in that color.

As for what was going on..... good question? I have some ideas about it but it would be pure speculation on my part and not worth posting.

As for avoiding the BP, I would say the best thing to do is approach them and ask them if you need to avoid them. Anytime I'm near or on the border I will approach the first BP agent I find and tell them where I'm heading and if there's anything going on in that sector I should be concerned about. The agents in the field have always been friendly, professional and full of information. The only time I've ever had an BP agent be less than friendly was at a checkpoint. They're not big into answering questions at checkpoints, especially if there's traffic.

You have to remember the border can be a pretty rough place.
4/20/2017
Topic:
Border Patrol

railexplorer
railexplorer
I ran into some BP agents today, in San Diego, and I asked them whether they knew if the BP out east had Navy grey helicopters in their inventory. They said they hadn't heard of any, but did say that on rare occasions they have worked with the military. Its possible that its a Navy helicopter that had to set down due to an inflight emergency and the BP came to assist the crew, before any one from NAS El Centro made it to their location. As we all know its always good to have friendlies around when you're out in the desert.

One thing about the desert, if you spend enough time out in it you will see the military fly over at some point. I've seen Apache gunships in Carrizo Gorge, been flat hatted (low pass overhead) by F18's on the North side of the Salton Sea and buzzed in a couple of other places.
9/13/2017
Topic:
Railroad Police

railexplorer
railexplorer
You won't see them out there now..... at least not in their vehicles. (That vehicle setup is called a Hi-rail by the way.) With zero maintenance in the gorge there's zero chance of a vehicle getting through on the tracks. The Border Patrol would occasionally use a Hi-rail vehicle to patrol the gorge.

I don't know if the RR police still patrol out that way and there would be questions to their ability to enforce anything anyway.
10/31/2017
Topic:
Heads Up for the Railroad tracks in the Gorge

railexplorer
railexplorer
With the desert season opening up I just wanted to give everyone a heads up/ update regarding the railroad. The PIR is no more. Baja Railroad has bought out the lease of the Desert Line. Whether this group actually gets the line up and running is questionable, but there are some recent changes in the gorge.

A Hi-rail truck has been spotted on the tracks between Dos Cabezas and the Goat Canyon trestle. Due to the enormous rock fall on the North end of the tunnel 16 (the tunnel on the North side of the trestle), and the numerous rockfalls and derailed cars at Dubbers there are no vehicles running on the line between Jacumba and the trestle. (It is rumored that vehicles could drive around the derailment at Dubbers, but that is opened to debate.) There are cables across both sides of the Goat Canyon Trestle. I'm not sure what those are supposed to do but they're up. Finally it is rumored that BJRR is considering closing the tunnels. The northern and southern tunnels have gates on their respective ends. Although if memory serves me correct the southern tunnel's gates are on the ground.

I have not heard of any law enforcement out in the gorge.
11/1/2017
Topic:
Heads Up for the Railroad tracks in the Gorge

railexplorer
railexplorer
Sorry, I should've clarified that. The cables are strung across the tracks (From hand railing to hand railing). I'm not sure what that is supposed to do. They won't stop people from walking on the trestle. I would guess the cables were put up to stop people from crossing the trestle, by motorized means.
1/17/2018
Topic:
More Impossible RR News

railexplorer
railexplorer
The only thing of note in that entire article was the bit about the joint border inspection facility. Baja Rail wants to build it south of the border and U.S. Customs and Border Patrol want it built north of the border. Nothing is going to be done until the location of the inspection facility is agreed upon.
1/17/2018
Topic:
Carrizo Gorge East Side

railexplorer
railexplorer
Looks like a great trip.
5/26/2018
Topic:
Carrizo Gorge Work Camps

railexplorer
railexplorer
A friend of mine and I took advantage of the nice weather last Sunday and went for a hike to look at some of the old work camps in the Carrizo Gorge. Due to a prior commitment Sunday late afternoon, we didn't spend all day out on the trail. But a few hours is better than no hours. The weather was good and the big bonus was there were no other hikers that day. A lot of the Desert Agave were in bloom as well. Here are a few photos from the day.



Desert Agave in bloom by Rail explorer, on Flickr


Can Dump by Rail explorer, on Flickr


Work Camp Timbers by Rail explorer, on Flickr
9/10/2018
Topic:
Carrizo Gorge update

railexplorer
railexplorer
My son and I headed out to the Jacumba area this past Saturday. We had heard some rumors about Baja Rail, the current lease holders to the rail line, closing the tunnel gates as well as moving the derailed cars near the nudist resort. I also wanted to use this trip as a bit of a scouting trip for an old work road.

Here is what we found:

The passenger cars near the resort have been moved.

Looking down on Dubbers by Rail explorer, on Flickr

The gate at tunnel 5, the first tunnel north of Jacumba has been rehung and the gate is locked. Since this gate is closed I'm assuming that the rumor of the Northern gates, those on Tunnels 20 & 21 have also been closed. Tunnels 20 & 21 are the two tunnels closest to Dos Cabezas. The tunnel gates were closed to reduce/eliminate people heading into the gorge as well as an attempt to reduce the amount of vandalism that is occuring in the gorge.

Closed by Rail explorer, on Flickr

Rumor has it that Baja Rail has enlisted the help of the Sheriffs to randomly patrol the gorge and will cite people for trespassing. I'm not sure how credible that information is for a variety of reasons.

One final note. Baja Rail has no plans to begin work on the rail line until the Customs Checkpoint, near Campo, is approved and built. Based on the information I have it will be a while before anything gets done. There are discussions as to where the checkpoint will be built.


As for the work trail, we explored it for a bit, before it got to hot. We did come across a can dump as well as several work camp sites and a chimney from what used to be a house.


Can Dump by Rail explorer, on Flickr


Stone Chimney by Rail explorer, on Flickr
9/13/2018
Topic:
Carrizo Gorge update

railexplorer
railexplorer
They might eventually get a police force but that's probably a ways down the road. The state of California needs to sign off on that. Plus its quite an expense for a company that has a lot of negative cash flow.



I'll have to do a little research.
9/14/2018
Topic:
Carrizo Gorge update

railexplorer
railexplorer
I just got confirmation that the Sheriffs are running random patrols out in the Gorge.
9/14/2018
Topic:
San Diego Sheriffs in the Carrizo Gorge

railexplorer
railexplorer
Just a heads up... As of August 1st, the San Diego Sheriffs in conjunction with Baja RR are now doing random patrols of the railroad line through the Gorge. They are citing people for trespassing. While you can cross the rail line at any point you're not allowed to walk on it.

Also Tunnels 5, 8, 20 & 21 all have closed gates. Tunnel 5 is the one closest to Jacumba. 8 is the longest one, which is about half way between tunnel 5 and the Goat Canyon Trestle, and 20 & 21 are the ones closest to Dos Cabezas.

The reason for the patrols is due to the large numbers of people heading out there, as well as, the increase in vandalism.
9/18/2018
Topic:
San Diego Sheriffs in the Carrizo Gorge

railexplorer
railexplorer
The Sheriffs are out there at the request of Baja Rail. The Sheriffs will ride into the Gorge, with an employee of Baja Rail, using a Baja Rail Hi-rail vehicle (a pickup truck with guide wheels that fit on the tracks). It'll be interesting to see how often the patrols are and how long they last. I would imagine that Baja Rail is paying the cost of the Sheriff patrols.

I would think once word gets out that the Sheriffs are issuing tickets and the tunnel gates are closed a lot of "hikers" won't head out to the gorge.
12/11/2018
Topic:
Carrizo Gorge update

railexplorer
railexplorer
sddarkman619 wrote:
Rocko1 wrote:
railexplorer wrote:
I just got confirmation that the Sheriffs are running random patrols out in the Gorge.



The tracks and a few feet on either side are the 'no go' areas, correct?


A few feet meaning 200 ...
Most of the right of way through is either 200 feet wide or in most areas the railroad bought and owned whole "Sections" of land. A brochure put out years ago by the State Parks System said"to cross the right of way at 90 degrees to the track", but in the gorge that's a little hard to do with many near vertical slopes on either side of the track!

"It is the opinion of the Anza-Borrego Rangers that hikers are permitted to cross the tracks at right angles within the state park."
edited by sddarkman619 on 12/11/2018




I don't know if its 200 feet. One can find quite a bit of the right of way fence on both the south and north ends of the gorge and its definitely not 200 feet between the fences. A 200 foot right of way would make several roads off limits.

As for the Sheriffs, when they head out into the Gorge they're going out there with BJRR reps on BJRR vehicles, well it looks like a golf cart.
3/9/2019
Topic:
Desert Flowers

railexplorer
railexplorer
2 miles is a lot better than 0 miles. Looks like a nice day in the desert. I'm trying to clear the schedule to get out there.
4/14/2019
Topic:
In the Hills between Dos Cabezas and Carrizo Gorge

railexplorer
railexplorer
I went for a hike, last Sunday, primarily in the hills between Dos Cabezas and Carrizo Gorge. We started at Dos Cabezas headed west past Indian Hill, used the tracks for a bit and then headed into the hills by way of one of the old railroad work roads. The weather was good, there were no other hikers or mountain bikers in the area. Anytime we could see the tracks, the tracks were empty of hikers and mountain bikers.

Most of the wildflowers are past their prime bloom, although having said that there wasn't a lack of color in the desert. The cactus are in the early stages of their bloom this year.

We saw a lot shinx moths and a couple of hummingbirds.

I do have a question for the desert veterans on this site. Is there petrified wood in this part of the Anza Borrego Desert? I ask this because we were coming down this one draw/drainage canyons. and we encountered a rock that was different from just about all of the others. My friend thought it was petrified wood. It did have the look of petrified wood. My doubts about it stem from the fact that it was a pretty good sized rock, (3 feet tall, 3 feet wide and about 3-4 feet deep.) Due to the fact that we were rock hopping, so my camera was put away and I was lazy/dumb and didn't take out my camera and take a photo of it.

Here are a few photos from the day.


Anza Borrego Desert Bloom by Rail explorer, on Flickr


Desert Bloom 2019 by Rail explorer, on Flickr


Yellow rails by Rail explorer, on Flickr


Old Derailment in Carrizo Gorge by Rail explorer, on Flickr
4/16/2019
Topic:
In the Hills between Dos Cabezas and Carrizo Gorge

railexplorer
railexplorer
rockhopper wrote:
Your are seeing the metamorphic rock that looks darn near like petrified wood. The petrified wood in Anza Borrego is out in the flatlands.



That makes a lot of sense. We did see some faulting in the area and noticed some metamorphic rock in the general area.
5/23/2019
Topic:
Anyone still here?

railexplorer
railexplorer
Nice bike Daren. Good to hear you're well enough to start getting back out in the wilderness.
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