by James N. Price
Stations of the Spreckels Empire
History: The original Tijuana station was built in 1912 by SD&A. This point marked the beginning of the Tijuana & Tecate portion of the SD&A line. The woodframe building on the Mexican side of the border had the classic train station appearance. A newer stucco building now occupies the site. Its sister station in San Ysidro has all the charm of any corrugated metal warehouse. The Tijuana station was presumably in use for freight until the demise of the SD&AE (Southern Pacific) in the 1970s. Passenger service on this line was discontinued in 1951.
Present Use: These stations are in daily use by the San Diego & Imperial Valley Railroad which hauls freight from San Diego into Mexico.
Location: The Tijuana and San Ysidro stations sit right ON the border on a hill to the east of San Ysidro Blvd. A better view of the Tijuana station requires a short walk across the border to the south with some doubling back to the east and north.
The Tijuana depot today is an active SD&IV freight station. Rail agents team up with customs people for frequent shipment of goods across the border. Note the sign which stands for Ferrocarril de Tijuana y Tecate, the name in Spanish of the Mexican portion of the SD&IV.