Pacific Imperial Railroad, Inc., signed a 99-year lease on Dec. 20, 2012, with the San Diego and Arizona Eastern Railway Company and the San Diego Metropolitan Transit Development Board to operate the Desert Line and is now pursuing upgrades to the link.
The lease gives Pacific Imperial the sole rights to run rail freight between the border crossing San Ysidro (between the U.S. and Mexico traveling south) and the border crossing at Tecate and Division (south of Campo) between Mexico and the U.S. traveling north. The Desert Line is positioned to service approximately 800 manufacturing facilities in proximity to the rail, the vast majority of which are owned by Fortune 500 companies.
Since signing the lease, the company has taken steps toward improving the Desert Line. The company has been engaging engineering, financial and strategic partners to work toward upgrading the line.
The railroad says a key part of those improvements was naming Ernest Dahlman, III, chief executive officer on Feb. 1, 2013. Dahlman founded and served as the president of Dahlman Rose and company, a full-service investment bank focused on transportation, infrastructure and commodity-related industries.
Donald Stoecklein, president of Pacific Imperial, stated, “We are very excited to have Ernie join the team. PIR has a significant opportunity to service the Maquiladoras, also known as Maquila or twin plants area of Mexico. Our goal is to provide the fastest, most cost-efficient and safest opportunity for these companies to move freight. Ernie’s background advising companies in our sector and others on strategic matters is a significant addition to our team.”
Dahlman stated, “We have a significant opportunity to service a broad customer base in this area with our Desert Line. As we upgrade the rail and improve our operations, my goal is to have our customer base running PIR at full capacity. The customer and industry feedback has been tremendous so far. I’m happy to be a part of this incredibly exciting project and to work toward providing the highest level of service for our customers.”