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Santa Fe Railway Cajon Subdivision

Santa Fe Railway Cajon Subdivision dispatcher CTC machine

Cajon Pass separates the San Gabriel Mountains from the San Bernardino Mountains. The first rail route through the pass was surveyed in 1883. With Santa Fe backing, the California Southern Railroad completed a line in 1885 from near San Diego through San Bernardino to Barstow (then called Waterman). The original mainline had six miles of three percent grade between Summit and Cajon Station. The rest of the line down to San Bernardino was 2.2 percent. The Union Pacific obtained trackage rights from Daggett to Riverside in 1905. In 1913 a second mainline was added west of the original line. In order to keep the grade at 2.2 percent the new line was two miles longer between Cajon Station and Summit. The new line became the track for eastbound trains and the original line was used by westbound trains. At Frost, just south of Victorville, the Santa Fe constructed a fly-over to return the railroad to right hand running from there to Barstow.

Along with the addition of a second track the Santa Fe also installed signals on the route. It installed AC automatic block signals between Keenebrook and San Bernardino in 1913 and installed signals between Cajon and Summit in 1914. The first paved highway over the pass was built in 1916. In 1924, the last phase of the double track project on Cajon Pass was installing 57 color light signals from Summit down the hill 44 miles to Hicks. In 1967, the Southern Pacific constructed its own line through Cajon Pass connecting with its original line completed in 1876 at Palmdale and Colton. In 1972, the Santa Fe began work near Summit to straighten out the tight 10 degree curve west of Summit Station and lower the tracks. This work was completed in October 1972. CTC was also installed between Barstow and San Bernardino at that time. The installation of signals and CTC on the SP line between West Colton to Palmdale was completed in December 1979. The most recent changes to the Cajon Pass line was the removal of the two tunnels east of Alray and the addition of a third mainline between San Bernardino and Summit. The third main project was started in June 2007 and finished in November 2008.

All of my photographs are on disks 50, 51, and 52. I've also added pictures taken by Jack Delano in 1943 and a timetable for the Cajon Subdivision.

New Barstow Yard
Old Summit
New Summit
Sullivan's Curve
Blue Cut
San Bernardino
Dispatcher's CTC Machine
Los Angeles