Plans to re-open a 70-mile rail link between the factories in Baja California and the U.S. railroad network got a significant financial boost Wednesday when controlling interest in the project was acquired by New York investment company.
Conatus Capital Group acquired majority interest in the Pacific Imperial Railroad and named Arturo Alemany, an international business executive with 10 years of railroad experience, as CEO of the company.
“I am excited to be part of PIR, and join in the reconstruction of the Desert Line,” said Alemany. “The project is a major regional international economic development initiative that has the support of the best qualified investors, advisors and representation that will significantly improve the movement of goods along this section of track.”
The reconstructed line will run from the border to connect with the Union Pacific Railroad in Plaster City, giving some 650 manufacturing facilities — many of them U.S. owned — rail access to the U.S. market.
The Desert Line was completed by visionary San Diego businessman John D. Spreckels in 1919, but major sections were destroyed by Hurricane Kathleen in 1976 and the line has had a checkered history since then.