Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Pacific Southwest Railway Museum

Over the weekend I had the opportunity to drive inland from San Diego and visit the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum (http://www.sdrm.org/) in Campo, California. I was tagging along with my friend Heather who volunteers at the museum and invited me along for the day. After helping with a little bit of work I hopped the 11:00 train to the U.S.-Mexico border. It's a 12 mile trip that takes about an hour as the train pulls you through the desert.

In the past the train has gone into Mexico--my family and I actually visited Tecate on a train from the museum about 10 years ago. About 18 months ago an arsonist set a fire inside one of the tunnels that the train crossed through in Mexico, and it burned strong enough that the tunnel caved in. Now the train only goes as far as the trestle that you have to cross just before entering Mexico, then stops and reverses to head back to the museum. One of the most outstanding things you could see from the train is the border fence. It looks imposing, even from a distance.

The cars definitely had an old time feel. This is a commuter car, not meant for long-distance travel, but the small luggage racks above still illustrate a difference in the size of our baggage between past and present.

The museum's Display Building is home to a number of other cars that visitors are free to explore. The hallways are narrow, kitchens tight, and bathrooms miniaturized. I have traveled on trains a couple of times, and it seems like everything has gotten a bit bigger for contemporary times. There are a lot of little details to notice in the old trains. These light switches, for example.

No comments:

Post a Comment