Ernest Dahlman

BACK ON TRACK? RAILWAY ACROSS EAST COUNTY MAY BE RESTORED

By Miriam Raftery

February 26, 2013 (San Diego's  East County) -- A colorful chapter from East County's past may soon come rumbling back.

Ernest Dahlman, chief executive officer of Pacific Imperial Railroad, has announced that he has signed a 99-year-lease with the San Diego and Arizona Eastern Railway Company. He is raising funds to restore and operate tracks on the Desert Line to run through mountains and deserts in San Diego, Imperial County and Baja, Mexico. 

Dahlman hopes to link the freight line up with trolley and train lines in San Diego, as well as a transcontinental railway route to the East.

The route through East County includes the rugged Carrizo Gorge.  An amazing feat to complete, the line was dubbed the “impossible railroad” by engineers when it was first proposed.