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Rail line to serve 800 maquiladoras

Pacific Imperial Railroad Inc. announced Friday an update to its operations, as well as changes to its management team.

On Dec. 20, 2012, Pacific Imperial signed a 99-year lease with the San Diego and Arizona Eastern Railway Company (SD&AE) and the San Diego Metropolitan Transit Development Board (MTS) to operate the Desert Line. This rail link provides Pacific Imperial the sole rights to run rail freight between the border crossing at San Ysidro (between the United States and Mexico traveling south, and the border crossing at Tecate and the area south of Campo between Mexico and the United States traveling north).

The Desert Line is positioned to service approximately 800 manufacturing facilities in Mexico in proximity to the rail, the vast majority of which are owned by Fortune 500 companies.

On Feb. 1, the company named Ernest J. Dahlman III as CEO. Dahlman founded and served as the president of Dahlman Rose & Co., a full-service investment bank focused on transportation, infrastructure and commodity-related industries.

"We are very excited to have Ernie join the team," said Donald Stoecklein, Pacific Imperial president. "PIR has a significant opportunity to service the maquiladoras, also known as maquila or twin plants area of Mexico. Our goal is to provide the fastest, most cost efficient and safest opportunity for these companies to move freight. Ernie’s background advising companies in our sector and others on strategic matters is a significant addition to our team."

The company has been engaging strategic partners to work toward upgrading the line and make it fully operational, Dahlman stated.

"We have a significant opportunity to service a broad customer base in this area with our Desert Line," Dahlman said. "As we upgrade the rail and improve our operations, my goal is to have our customer base running PIR at full capacity."

Pacific Imperial Railroad, a Delaware corporation, is the owner and operator of the shortline and freight railroad. PIR operates on approximately 130 miles of track, reaching from San Diego to Imperial County, and crossing through the Tijuana-Tecate region of Baja California, Mexico and eastern San Diego County. The 130 miles of track extends north and east from International Border (junction called Division) to Plaster City, where it joins the Union Pacific (UP) Line from El Centro, Calif.

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