Derailment photo posted on Flickr account of "Rail explorer"
According to internal emails and photos, several abandoned bilevel rail cars have been derailed east of Jacumba at a place named Dubbers Spur. The derailed cars, stripped of brakes, shocks, and other items, could possibly be damaging the track and are unstable and unsafe.
"This is a major issue. This needs to be addressed ASAP," reads an internal email obtained by the Reader from Carrizo Gorge police chief Mark Langlais to executives at Pacific Imperial Railroad, the company that leases the track from Metropolitan Transit System.
"You [PIR] need to document this and get the cars moved off of mainline track," adds Langlais. "This is a major public safety issue. People might be injured or killed on this unstable equipment…. We have no idea as to the damage to the MTS tracks or the switch. As you know without funding for the past year the police have been unable to patrol the railroad right-of-way or respond to incidents. We have no idea as to any other damage or tampering on the railroad system wide.
"I am still unsure who is running/in charge of [the railroad] or who would handle operations, dispatch or [maintenance]."
"This is a safety issue and needs to be addressed by someone. If anyone reaches out to me I will try to assist as best I can."
Word of the derailed cars and the possible fouling up of the line also spread on social media site Flickr.
"A cut of Metra cars, that was sitting on the spur at Dubbers, near the De Anza Springs Campground, on the old SDA&E line, was moved and derailed in such a way as to foul both the main line and the spur," reads the February 22 post.
"I would say this was intentional. The cars were on the spur which is downhill from the main. Someone pulled the cut uphill and got the first set of wheels through the switch before it rolled back through and derailed. The switch was not aligned for the spur when the move was made so now the switch is out of commission…. The key question is who did it?"
Pacific Imperial's spokesperson Jack Berkman was not aware of the abandoned cars until this correspondent contacted him with questions. Metropolitan Transit System also did not respond to questions.