The Journal of San Diego History
Winter 1986, Volume 32, Number 1
Thomas L. Scharf, Editor

Back to the article: The California Southern Railroad and the Growth of San Diego

March 1883. The California Southern makes its way through Temecula Canyon. The railroad completed construction and reached San Diego in 1885.

California Southern locomotive  

A California Southern locomotive. Engineers (in an era before electonic switching) had a tremendous responsibiltiy guiding their trains in all sorts of weather, day and night, with only eyes and instinct.

The railroad shops in National City were the pride of local residents. By October 1881, 300 men were employed in and around these facilities.


An engine and workers at a National City Railroad shop, 1888. In their heyday the shops could completely overhaul locomotive engines.