In the early 1900s, San Diego was a growing and thriving city, but with no rail transportation eastward. Spearheaded by John D. Spreckels—with his persistence and money—a railroad was constructed that engineers warned would be impossible to build. Starting in San Diego and dipping into Mexico, the “Impossible Railroad” snaked through brutal mountain and rugged desert terrain to connect with the transcontinental Southern Pacific in El Centro. It took twelve challenging years to build, but the 1919 completion was widely celebrated.
The week of the talk will be the 100th anniversary of the completion of the SD&A Railway, which still operates along parts of its 148-mile route. Dr. Reena Deutsch will provide an account of the line’s dramatic history through vintage photos and gripping narration, as well as an update on plans to re-open the entire route.
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