The Impossible Railroad

At the turn of the 20th century, during the great era of railways, each city on the western seaboard of the North American continent needed a fast and reliable supply line from the east to ensure growth and prosperity. San Diego was a small port city at that time and business pioneers decided that for the city to grow, it they needed a direct link connecting with El Centro to the east, to supplement the supply line from its larger, northern neighbor, Los Angeles. The San Diego and Arizona Railroad was proposed.

The builders soon realized that the rail link to El Centro presented massive engineering challenges. Conditions were harsh and the treacherous mountain ranges were near impassable with gigantic boulders, deep valleys and numerous ridges and canyons. The prospects were so hopelessly against them, that it became known as "the Impossible Railroad", a name made more apt by the hostile desert climate, with temperatures in the summer soaring to over 110 degrees Fahrenheit.