You are invited to an Executive Tour of the Consolidated South Western Railroad (CSWRR). Your host is Marty Quaas, CEO of the CSWRR. The Executive Train will be departing from the San Bernardino Depot promptly at 11:00 AM. When you arrive at the San Bernardino Depot, you find the train spotted at the west end of the depot near the statue of the CSWRR’s beloved Prez.
For your pleasure, today you will be riding in the Santa Fe Business Car 1517. Your train engineer today is Wasatch Willey of Wasatch Willey's Western Rail Tours and senior conductor, Bagdad Bob.
As you board the car, on the observation platform, you are greeted by your host, the CEO of the CSWRR and introduced to the other special guest on today’s trip, Ichabod Doolittle, the Mayor of Mooselip Alaska. Moments later you are directed by a very lovely hostess to the dining table. Lunch will be served, beginning at 11:00 AM by the world renowned master of the culinary art, Edward Coli. On the lunch menu today is Ham and Turkey Sandwiches, Potato Salad, Fruit Cocktail and a Dessert of Vanilla Pudding.
Our special today is powered by ALCO PA2/PB2, Santa Fe Number 75. As the departure time nears, our engineer confers with Senior Track Inspector; Otto Gage who assures us the track ahead is in excellent condition. At exactly 11 AM, Engineer Willey brings the ALCOs to life and he slowly eases out on the main heading west.
While the guests are enjoying lunch, the special will travel to Porphyry, turn and be ready to start the Executive Tour heading east.
As we finish lunch, our special is being turned and we move to the rear observation platform to enjoy our tour of the CSWRR. The CEO directs our attention to Porphyry and the May Industrial Park where several shippers are located. Above we see Corona Citrus and Riverside County Feed and Seed which are significant revenue sources for the CSWRR.
Other industries at May include Temiscal Supply, Borden, Bell Feeds, Roberts Pipe, Early California Olives and a Team Track.
Early California Olives is located on the East end of the May Industrial Park.
At the town of Arlington, we pass the Arlington Heights Citrus Packing House.
Approaching Casa Blanca, our special is put in the siding so we can observe the Parent Navel Orange Tree and the Victoria Citrus Packing House. While in the siding, we see Santa Fe Extra 5963 with an Ex Amtrak unit roar by with an intermodal train bound for the port of LA.
After a short delay, our Special re-enters the main at Casa Blanca to continue east. In the background behind the Casa Blanca depot, we see the Topham & Son Citrus Packing House.
At Pachappa, we meet Santa Fe 8521 West with a Grain Train for the Port of Long Beach. The McMahon Manufacturing plant produces oil well pumps.
At Riverside Tower, the CSWRR crosses the Southern Pacific Riverside Branch at grade. The building on the left is Evans Brothers Citrus and on the right is the AM Lewis Warehouse. In the center of the picture we see Riverside Tower and between the buildings is the UP Crestmore Local. Santa Fe 8541, the Grain Empty is heading East for Kansas City and just out of the picture to the right is Center Lumber.
As we continue east, the CEO directs our attention to the Hunter Douglas Manufacturing Plant at East Riverside. Here we see Santa Fe 5050 East with a mixed consist for Kansas City.
Approaching Highgrove, our train slows as we pass Mama Joe’s place. Often Mama Joe will greet passenger trains banging a couple of pans together, protesting the railroad’s killing one of her chickens about 23 years ago. As we were not a scheduled train, she was not expecting our passing.
We head into the siding at the junction with the San Jacinto Branch. Actually the first 18 miles of the San Jacinto Branch was the original line from San Bernardino to San Diego.
Shortly after we clear the main, Santa Fe 5050 East blows by heading for Barstow.
Bridge B5 is one of two locations where the third District crosses the Santa Ana River.
As we continue east, approaching Colton Tower, the CEO directs our attention to the SP Hauler idling on the interchange track. The comment is made how poorly the SP power is maintained; doesn’t the SP ever clean their engines?
At Colton Tower, the CSWRR crosses the Southern Pacific Main at grade.
As we cross the SP, we notice that one SP train has just cleared the diamonds and another is waiting for us to clear before proceeding. Colton is also the home Uneeda Box, and Colton Cement, the largest (and only) cement plant on the CSWRR.
At Rana, we approach the west end of the B Yard, and observe a massive junk yard. The B & J Metal Recycling is another major shipper on the CSWRR.
Just past the junk yard we observe the Chrome Crankshaft Facility, while it is not a large shipper it does provide some revenues to the CSWRR.
Located near the west end of the B Yard, is the JL&C Brewery. The scale house can also be seen in the foreground.
In the distance we see the Edward Coli and Sons Gourmet Foods distribution plant. Edward is our caterer for today’s trip. On the right we see the CSWRR’s car clerk, Igor the Great entering the B Yard Office with a couple of pizzas. The red 57 Chevy is Igor’s pride and joy.
As we pass through the San Bernardino B Yard, we observe several warehouse distribution plants. In the far distance is the Sears Warehouse, in the middle is the Levitz Warehouse and on to the right is the Brovald Publishing Company.
Between the San Bernardino A and B Yards we pass the West Yard Tower. The West Yard Tower is also where the Second District swings to the west from San Bernardino.
Just east of the West Yard Tower, the CEO directs our attention to the Petrishen Steel and Fabrication facility. We also note that Track Inspector Otto Gage has given us a roll-by and is radioing our engineer that a good roll-by was observed.
The CEO now directs our attention to the Kaiser Steel, Electric Furnace and Rolling Mill. These two industries are providing the CSWRR with significant car shipments outbound as well as inbound
At the east end of the A Yard, we observe an Industrial Park with no rail connections. The CEO tells us that the truckers have a real strong hold on these industries. The gray building on the far right is the Barbara Ann Bakery which receives several car loads a day from the CSWRR.
Departing San Bernardino Station, we pass one of the more affluent residential areas in San Bernardino.
As our special swings out on the Redlands Branch, we see the “Ladies” are already out looking for “Business”.
The Waterman Feed & Seed supplies chicken feed to the local chicken farms mostly in the Muscoy area. Out on the Main, we see a very late #3 pulling into San Bernardino.
The CEO directs our attention to the Refinery which is the largest source of revenue on the Redlands Branch, usually loading 8 cars a day.
Shortly after departing San Bernardino, we are on a 3% grade heading up the west side of Cajon Pass. At Verdemont we observe the Cargill Elevator, as a meet takes place between Santa Fe 5375 East and UP 73 West.
Passing through Verdemont the CEO directs our attention to the Nature Lovers Resort hidden back in the trees. On sunny weekends, hundreds of sun bathers flock here to enjoy the “free feeling”.
As we cross Cajon Creek the CEO points out that the hippies are “skinny dipping” below.
With the PA/PB ALCOS and only two cars our Special has no problem with the 3% grade on the West side of the pass. The Dispatcher is asking if we could use the South Track Cajon to Summit. To which the CEO clearly states NO. The DS then informs the CEO that he will have to put us on the South to get a coal train by us at Cajon, the CEO agrees, but again states that he wants the North track out of Cajon.
As our special crosses over to the South track at Cajon we meet the Rio Grande 5378 West with a loaded Coal Train heading down grade. The coal train is actually a CSWRR train, having been turned over to the CSWRR at Batstow
At Cajon we observe the Lime Plant. The CEO tells us that the Lime Plant is a good source of revenue for the CSWRR as lime is shipped from here to the Cement Plant at Colton.
Just above Cajon, we are back on the North Track and we observe a family enjoying the cool waters in Lost Lake. Just where is Lost Lake, we really don’t know as it is lost.
As we continue eastward up the 3% grade, the lovely hostess again directs us to the dining table where dinner is being served. On the menu this evening is filet mignon once again by the renowned Chef Edward Coli. As you are being seated, our special is crossing Cajon Creek, passing Mormon Rocks and will soon crest the summit of Cajon Pass to head out across the Mojave Desert.