The Blue Hour at Dos Cabezas - [Vernal Equinox 2016 +1 Series] - The abandoned water tower at Dos Cabezas California (Imperial County) sits in the Sonoran Desert in Anza Borego State Park as monument of a bygone era when steam engines operated on the desert line through the Carizzo Gorge between El Centro and San Diego.
Construction started in 1906 and the line opened in 1919 (most of the rail in the gorge dates from 1914 – 1915). The original money to build the line was surreptitiously supplied by the Southern Pacific Railroad and the project went forward as the San Diego and Arizona Railway.
In 1932, the Southern Pacific Railroad bought out the SDA and ran the desert line as the San Diego & Arizona Eastern Railway (SD&AE). In 1970 SP sold the Tijuana & Tecate to the Mexican government; it has become an isolated part of the Sonora-Baja California Railway. (SP retained trackage rights)
In September of 1976, a hurricane damaged a 40-mile section of line, and SP petitioned for abandonment of all but a few miles from El Centro to Plaster City, California.
In 1979 San Diego's Metropolitan Development Board (MTDB) purchased three portions of the SD&AE; those being from from Plaster City to the International Border; from San Diego south of the border between San Ysidro California, and Tijuana, Baja California; and from Diego east to El Cajon California. (The MTDB owns the tracks through the gorge and has leased them long term to the Carizzo Gorge Railway.)
The MTDB eventually begain construction of a 16-mile transit line from the former AT&SF station in San Diego to the International Border. The trolley line shared track with the freight trains of the SD&AE and trolleys began operating in July 1981. There are no operating trains on this railroad and the line has been under an embargo order since 2008.