An agreement has been reached to pay for the reconstruction and operation of the 112.6 km Desert Line railway in southeastern San Diego County that connects Mexico to rail shipping in the United States. The agreement was signed with between Pacific Imperial Railroad (PIR) and Baja California Railroad (Baja Rail) and the construction is set to begin in summer 2016.
Work on the line will include repaired bridges and tunnels and improvements to track. Once completed, it will allow trains up to 30 cars to travel on the line from Mexico to Coyote Wells. There, cars will be assembled into 100-car trains for delivery to the Union Pacific Railroad in Plaster City. To accommodate this activity, a new intermodal facility will be built in Coyote Wells by PIR.
Under the new Cali-Baja Joint Venture Sublease and Operating Agreement, Baja Rail and PIR will pay for the cost to reconstruct and operate the Desert Line (estimated at USD 60-70 million); Baja Rail will oversee the railroad repair, maintenance and operational, PIR will build an intermodal facility near Coyote Wells; San Diego Metropolitan Transit System will continue to earn a minimum annual guarantee of USD 1 million annually related to the Desert Line lease