Trains and Rails at Del Mar’s Powerhouse Park.

Visitors to Del Mar’s beachside Powerhouse Park might easily miss this very interesting sign.

The sign is unobtrusive and badly weathered and stands across the walking path from the “Tot Lot” playground. When you lean in close to read the sign, you discover it concerns the nearby railroad tracks.

If you’re lucky, while you’re standing there, an Amtrak or Coaster train, or even a freight train, might rumble by.

I had to add contrast to these photographs, to make reading the sign a little easier.

Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner roars by, heading out onto Del Mar’s coastal bluffs. (I took this photo as I walked south of the sign through Sea Cliff Park, which is immediately adjacent to Powerhouse Park.)

Trains and Rails. Ribbons of steel that link our country.

The origins of the San Diego Northern Railway date back to the late 1880s, when Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway (AT&SF) built tracks along the Pacific coast from Orange County to San Diego…

…Several different train operators use this railroad. The NCTD carries more than 1.1 million passengers on a total of nearly 5,000 Coaster commuter trains annually. Amtrak carries more than 1.5 million passengers on more than 8,000 Surfliner trains annually. The Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway also runs approximately 2,500 freight trains along this coastal railroad every year…

The sign contains fun facts concerning local train history, including:

On July 7, 1881, the first ship arrived in San Diego with iron rails from Europe.

On November 17, 1885, the last spike was driven in San Bernardino connecting San Diego to the national line.

The last steam train left San Diego for Los Angeles on August 23, 1953.

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Richard Schulte

Downtown San Diego has been my home for many years. My online activities reflect my love for writing, blogging, walking and photography.

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