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Tuesday, February 19, 2013    

Pacific Imperial Railroad names Dahlman CEO, pursues Desert Line upgrades


Pacific Imperial Railroad last week announced it appointed Ernest Dahlman III as chief executive officer.

Dahlman founded and served as president of Dahlman Rose & Co., an investment bank focused on transportation, infrastructure and commodity-related industries. He has significant industry and financial experience, and a proven track record of advising and raising capital for public and private companies, Pacific Imperial Railroad officials said in a press release.

In December, the railroad signed a 99-year lease with the San Diego and Arizona Eastern Railway Co. and San Diego Metropolitan Transit System to operate the Desert Line, which runs about 130 miles from San Diego to Imperial County, Calif., and crosses through the Tijuana-Tecate region of Baja California, Mexico, and eastern San Diego County. The line extends north and east from the international border (a junction called Division) to Plaster City, Calif., where it intersects a Union Pacific Railroad line from El Centro, Calif.

The lease provides Pacific Imperial Railroad sole rights to operate freight-rail service between the border crossing San Ysidro and border crossing at Tecate and Division.

Since signing the lease, the railroad has taken steps to improve the Desert Line. The company has been engaging engineering, financial and strategic partners to work toward upgrading the route, Pacific Imperial Railroad officials said.

"We have a significant opportunity to service a broad customer base in this area with our Desert Line," said Pacific Imperial Railroad President Donald Stoecklein. "As we upgrade the rail and improve our operations, my goal is to have our customer base running [the railroad] at full capacity."

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