California's Salton Sea: A rail photo gallery

Go 232 feet below sea level, where the weather is some of the most searing on Earth
The Salton Sea in Southern California was formed in 1907 when men tried to redirect Colorado River irrigation canals and caused a two-year flood. It spans the intersection of two great deserts: the Mojave to the north and the Sonoran to the south and west. Summer temperatures routinely hover at 120 degrees.

In the 1950s and 1960s, developers tried to turn the sea into a marine resort. Instead it evolved into a rich and fragile ecosystem, as well as an oasis for birds.

Union Pacific’s Yuma Subdivision follows this accidental sea, and the area sees up to 35 trains a day. Read about UP’s booming Sunset Route in the March 2013 issue of Trains magazine, and check out additional photos right here.
Elrond Lawrence

Framed by Mount San Jacinto and the lower Coachella Valley, No. 7899 rolls east through North Shore, Calif., and begins its run beside the Salton Sea on Oct. 26, 2012.

Leave a Comment
Want to leave a comment?
Only registered members of are allowed to leave comments. Registration is FREE and only takes a couple minutes.

Login or Register now.
Please keep your feedback on-topic and respectful. Trains staffers reserve the right to edit or delete any comments.


The Genesee & Wyoming 

Newsletter Sign-Up

By signing up you may also receive occasional reader surveys and special offers from Trains magazine.Please view our privacy policy
Subscribe Up To 58% off the newsstand price!
Subscribe To Trains Mag Today