Friday, November 25, 2011

Trip to The Gorge

Once upon a time a railroad was built east from San Diego to Seeley{El Centro} as the San Diego & Arizona which was known as The Impossible Railroad which was completed on November 15, 1919. It ran from San Diego south to the border with Mexico at San Ysidro, crossed into Mexico through Tijuana to Tecate. Northeast of Tecate the railroad crossed back into the United States to Campo. East of Campo it ran through clover Flats then across the high 600 foot long Upper Campo Creek Viaduct. It crossed the Coast Range at Hipass at an elevation of 3,660 feet. The line then headed down the grade to Jacumba and Dubbers. From Hipass to the desert floor 3440 feet down, the railroad builders faced their greatest challenge, the Carriso Gorge, in order to complete the line. So the railroad could keep it 2.2 gradient and keep the curvature down the need for extensive tunnels and trestle work was needed to build the line. The line was built to a 2.2 grade and hung on a ledge 1,000 feet above the normally dry stream. The 17 tunnels in the Carriso Gorge have a total length if combined of 13,385 feet. The whole 11 miles through the Carriso Gorge cost $4 million dollars in 1919. Some of the final cost of building the San Diego & Arizona came from the 21 tunnels which covered almost three miles of the line at $1.8 million. There was nearly 2.5 miles of bridgework on the line. Total per mile cost came to $129,000 which would be very high for building a railroad in those days.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Across Carrizo Gorge

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