Posts Tagged ‘Pacific Imperial Railroad’

Meanwhile in Sunny, Warm California

January 8, 2014


Akron Railroad Club member sent along these pictures of the Pacific Imperial Railroad that is being rebuilt between Mexico and El Centro Calif. He reports that he is in San Diego for 10 days to get three locomotives ready for service.

“I have been over this entire line and it is unlike anything I have ever experienced,” Bob writes.

Shown are three of PIR’s GP40s at Plaster City, Calif., and three F7s at Acumba, Calif.







Bob Rohal Inspects his Son’s Railroad

December 16, 2013



Last week I flew out to San Diego to visit with my son, David, and grandson. David was named president of the Pacific Imperial Railroad earlier this year.

While I was out there, I accompanied David and others on a hi-rail trip from the U.S.-Mexico border to Plaster City, Calif., over 70 miles of the Desert Division of the railroad.

It is absolutely beautiful country that goes in 40 miles from desert to mountains, from 200 feet below sea level to 4,600 feet.

This territory was almost impossible to build, a challenge to run and unforgiving to operate.

Below is a link to video on YouTube of a cab ride on this territory. The video is 1 hour and 42 minutes in duration so you might want to fast forward it to get to the mountains.

 Article and Photographs Courtesy of Bob Rohal

David Rohal New President of Califronia Railroad

November 26, 2013

David Rohal has been named president of the San Diego-based Pacific Imperial Railroad. Rohal, who is the son of Akron Railroad Club member and past president Bob Rohal, will begin his new post on Dec. 1

David Rohal has 30 years of railroad experience in management roles with various class 1 and short line railroads.

He most recently held senior positions with Patriot Rail and RailAmerica. He also previously worked for CSX.

Rohal has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale University and an MBA from The Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.

“I’m excited to bring this rail line back to life,” Rohal said in a news release. “Pacific Imperial Railroad has a significant opportunity to service the maquiladoras, a dense cluster of manufacturing facilities in northwest Mexico. My goal is to lead PIR to achieve its goal to provide the fastest, most cost efficient, and safest opportunity for these companies to move freight by rail.”

PIR signed a 99-year lease with San Diego and Arizona Eastern Railway Company and San Diego Metropolitan Transit System in December 2012.

Upon completion of a planned rebuilding of its 70-mile Desert Line , PIR will be the only company providing railroad freight services in the Tijuana-Tecate region of Baja California, Mexico and eastern San Diego County. In total, PIR operates 130 miles of track.

The rail line joins BNSF and the San Diego and Imperial Valley railroads at the southwestern tip of San Diego County with the UP Line from El Centro, Calif. It is the only rail line that runs directly adjacent to approximately 755 manufacturing facilities (known as maquiladoras), located approximately 14 miles south of the U.S.- Mexico border.

Its website is: