If you are a Southern California railfan, you know of the railroad route that goes from San Bernardino to Victorville via Cajon Pass. To the railfan-photographer it is known as an area of many locales for very dramatic pictures. To the trainmen I know, it is a long, steep section of the railroad that demands the highest level of train handling. Even with today’s powerful locomotives and more effective dynamic braking, gravity remains a dangerous and unfeeling foe of safe and efficient passage of trains over the pass. The deadly history of the pass tells of many disasters. Included in this history is the ongoing efforts by the operating railroads to improve the route to lower operating costs and hazards to the trains. Many changes to the route have occurred since I first went to the Cajon Pass to photograph the railroad operations. I have recently found slides in my untended “collection” which document the changes at Cajon Summit since about 1962 – at least some of them. I will share them with you in phases. This is the phase which illustrates the Summit area as it appeared before the major changes.
Click to enlarge.