Friday, December 31, 2010

This was 2004 - What the heck happened?

Congressman Filner Drives the Gold Spike into the Jobs Train Line
Congressman Filner drives the ceremonial golden spike into the rail for the newly re-opened San Diego & Arizona Eastern Railroad
On May 15th, I welcomed community and business leaders to the Carrizo Gorge Railway grand opening ceremony for the first ride on the Jobs Train.  I have championed the re-opening of the San Diego-Arizona Railroad for more than a decade. 

The lack of a direct freight rail link to San Diego and its port has hampered the real growth potential of the Imperial Valley economy.  Re-opening the Jobs Train will make San Diego a true maritime center.  This direct link for Imperial Valley will provide new transportation alternatives to Valley growers and shippers--and add thousands of high-paying jobs to our area.

The goal of this project was to repair and re-open the San Diego & Arizona Eastern Railroad (SD&AE) so that the Port of San Diego for the first time could have direct rail connections to the entire U.S.  I have been fighting for this project for over ten years, and have secured $10 million for a SD&AE Railroad "intermodal yard."  This area would serve as a staging yard where cargo would be transferred between trucks and rail cars, and where trains would be assembled and disassembled.  In addition, I have included provisions in the recent Transportation Bill to make the train eligible for certain grants and low-interest loans.

Now that this line is open, the Port of San Diego will gain its own freight rail link to the Imperial Valley and onto the rest of the United States.  This project will transform the economy of our entire region, and I am thrilled that I was able to see this project through to fruition.

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Across Carrizo Gorge

The Carizzo Gorge Railway (NOTE: Mission Impossible Theme for The Impossible Railroad)