Prototype A day out on the San Diego and Arizona Eastern Railway

Discussion in 'Gallery' started by Rob R, 20 May 2019.

  1. Rob R

    Rob R Western Thunderer

    Well, a day out on the bit that the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum Association have at Campo, CA.

    Today started a little damp, I have had drier days at Blaenau Ffestiniog (not many admittedly...) that and a 60 mile / 90 minute detour due to a navigation error added considerably to the planned 320 mile round trip.

    Eventually I arrived at Campo, just a few miles from the Mexican border with just 5 minute to spare to catch the last train..
    An early GP9 ex Cotton Belt, propelling a baggage car and an Ex New Jersey Electric motor car with the electrical equipment removed.

    The Brakeman keeps a lookout through the open end door, equipped with a brake valve and an air whistle, also proving an excellent view for anyone foolhardy enough to brave the weather!
    Heading southwest for two or three miles, climbing all the way we stopped at the end of runnable line , just a few yards short of the Mexican border.
    Waiting at the end of line was a "Speeder" who followed us back down the line. The weather had abated a little and the Brakeman had departed for a warmer spot inside giving me a better view out.
    At the top left you can see the (pre Trump) border wall.


    As can be seen, it is a wild and rugged place at around 3000ft above sea level.

    Returning to Campo we ran through the station for 1/2 mile or so to the eastern limit of working, just before a small trestle bridge (a good view of which can be had with Google street view). We were then propelled back to the museum stop were all three (!) passengers alighted to wander around the museum shed.
    Inside the large, modern (and warm) museum is a small collection of locos, rolling stock and artefacts.

    Southern Pacific 4-6-2 2353 Baldwin 1912, currently awaiting a new boiler.

    And a much larger selection of goodies outside.
    This 1937 Baldwin Mallet started life as a tank engine.


    SD &A 104 is another Baldwin of 1904.
    DSCF2204.JPG Union Pacific 1366 is a Fairbanks-Morse product of 1947

    Trackwork in the station area is "ballasted " with windblown sand, as expected from the semi-desert location.


    A small selection of the extensive collection of rolling stock on site, and some more "Jordanesque" trackwork.

    If you are ever passing this corner of the middle of no-where I would recommend a visit.

    Pacific Southwest Railway Museum
    LarryG, PhilH, Jordan and 10 others like this.
  2. Brian McKenzie

    Brian McKenzie Western Thunderer

    As you will be aware, Campo was on the route of the San Diego & Arizona Railway (often described as "the impossible railroad"), traversing an inhospitable terrain and weaving in and out of Mexico. It's most prominent feature, the large timber trestle, still standing in Carrizo Gorge is a magnificent sight, and popular with trekkers and cyclists today.

    This video is a bit hip, but offers good drone footage:

    For more scholarly viewing, Ray Dunakin's well produced video is highly recommended: [​IMG]raydunakin

    To find the trestle location in Google Earth, copy and paste these coordinates into the Search box:
    32 43'44.15"N 116 11'01.97"W

    Lastly, whenever visiting San Diego, don't miss the impressive San Diego Model Railroad Museum in the El Prado Complex, a fascinating place for all the family. Aside from the expertly modelled Tehachapi layout climbing through two floors, there is also another layout that features the Carrizo trestle.
    PhilH and Brian T like this.
  3. Brian T

    Brian T Western Thunderer

    Nice set of pic`s Rob,

    I`m assuming that the ex-articulated tank is of Sumpter valley origins?,and did you get a shot of the zebra stripped RS2/3 by chance too?.

  4. Yorkshire Dave

    Yorkshire Dave Western Thunderer

    They should have really left it as Cotton Belt with it's original number and yellow instead of white on the handrails. :)

    SP 2353 class T-31 is a 4-6-0
  5. Rob R

    Rob R Western Thunderer

    It had been a long, cold, wet day and the brain was working as well as the fingers, not. :)
    Yorkshire Dave likes this.
  6. Rob R

    Rob R Western Thunderer


    Sorry I missed your question completely last year.
    The RS2 wasn't best placed and time was limited but the 2 shots I got are posted below.
    I can't remember the history of the articulated (ex) tank loco but the Campo web site has potted histories of most of their stuff.
    Pacific Southwest Railway Museum


    Of course, like a lot of preserved loco's this is "neverwasser" as the loco has industrial origins.

    A very good day out, just a shame I will probably never get a return visit :(