U.S. and Mexican transportation and business officials are scheduled to announce a binational agreement Thursday that will clear the way for rebuilding a 70-mile stretch of railway in the southeastern San Diego County desert.
When the project between Campo and Imperial County is completed, the Desert Line will connect factories in Tijuana — known as maquiladoras — to U.S. rail facilities. Work has long been delayed because of questions of financing and security, since 40 miles of the line extend into Mexico.
San Diego officials contend that $6 billion in economic activity is lost annually because of delays faced by trucks trying to cross the border into this country.
According to the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, restoring the rail line will ease congestion, reduce air pollution, promote commerce and create jobs on both sides of the border.
The Metropolitan Transit System, which owns the railway, plans to announce the deal Thursday, along with the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, Pacific Imperial Railroad and Baja California Railroad.
— City News Service