Southern Pacific Bulletin


January-February, Page 22
R. F. Chitwood, asst. trainmaster, SD&AE.
F. A. Rangel, car inspector, SD&AE.

March-April, Page 14-15
Most of SD&AE to be Abandoned
SOUTHERN PACIFIC Transportation Company announced recently that economic studies of its hurricane-damaged subsidiary, the San Diego & Arizona Eastern Railway, dictate that the greater part of that 170-mile railroad be abandoned.
President Denman K. McNear said the decision was made after "five months of most intensive examination of the costs of rebuilding as well as the economic potential of the railroad."
Authority for abandonment is being sought from the Interstate Commerce Commission, he said.
The SD&AE, which runs between San Diego and El Centro, California, suffered $1,270,000 in damage last September 10, when it was struck by Hurricane Kathleen. Three railroad trestles were completely destroyed and five others heavily damaged. Washouts and slides destroyed the railroad at more than 50 other locations, either burying the tracks or leaving them dangling in the air.
The damage occurred in rugged terrain along a 70-mile stretch of track from just north of the Mexican border to Plaster City, California. The 18-mile stretch of SD&AE line from Plaster City to El Centro would continue to be operated, McNear said, by the parent Southern Pacific, which connects with the SD&AE at El Centro.
About 37 miles of track in the San Diego area, including branch lines to El Cajon and National City, also will be abandoned, SP said. Local railroad switching operations on this portion of the SD&AE will continue until the ICC acts on the abandonment petition, however, an administrative procedure that will take a minimum of several months.
SD&AE would also cease operating in Mexico over 45 miles of track owned by a unit of the Mexican national railway system.
"The handwriting was probably on the wall for the SD&AE long before Hurricane Kathleen," McNear commented. "The line has always been subject to storm damage and expensive to maintain, and the amount of traffic it carried was small."
Only about 20 carloads of freight moved daily prior to the storm, he said, and in 1975, the last full year of operation, the line showed a loss of about $1.1 million on the portions to be abandoned.
San Diego will continue to have rail service, SP pointed out, and transcontinental shipments on Southern Pacific will reach San Diego over Santa Fe's Los Angeles-San Diego line with no freight rate disadvantage to shippers or receivers there.
"Our analysis of traffic flow shows there will be no impact on the great preponderance of present rail business and minimal impact in the few cases where there is any change," McNear declared.
SD&AE tracks do not run into the Port of San Diego and no longer serve any military or naval installations, he added.
"Most of the commercial traffic between the Imperial Valley and San Diego now moves over Interstate 8," McNear said. "The highway is 39 miles shorter than the SD&AE line between El Centro and San Diego, and trucks run much faster than the 20 to 30 miles per hour that the trains moved over the steep, twisting rail route through Carriso Gorge.
"The SD&AE is just a line that has outlived its usefulness," McNear concluded.
ABOVE: Hurricane Kathleen last September destroyed three SD&AE trestles and damaged five others. At over 50 other locations, washouts and slides buried tracks or left them dangling in the air.

March-April, Page 23
SD&AE: L. A. Barnes, foreman; F. L. Richmond, secretary; and V. L. Rock, clerk.

May-June, Page 22 Retirements
B. S. Wyly, track supervisor, Engineering Dept., SD&AE, San Diego.

August-September, Page 15
A. T. Benson, agent, SD&AE.
R. Romero, rate clerk, SD&AE.
J. C. Bartlett, claims inspector, SD&AE.
H. E. Richards, car inspector, SD&AE.

October-November, Page 22
D. A. Grantham, clerk, SD&AE.

October-November, Page 22
Our apologies to the following recent retirees who were inadvertently listed under "Deaths" in the August-September Bulletin:
Various Subsidiaries:
A. T. Benson, agent SD&AE, R. Romero, rate clerk, SD&AE.

October-November, Page 22
C. L. Paxton, Clerk, SD&AE.

December, Page 15
C. L. Lay, agent and E. J. Lupien, locomotive engr., SD&AE.

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This page last updated 12/07/2000