Pacific Southwest Railway Museum

The Pacific Southwest Railway Museum is a railroad museum located in Campo, United States, on the San Diego & Arizona Eastern Railway line. The museum also owns and manages a railroad depot located in La Mesa.

Pacific Southwest Railway Museum
Pacific Southwest Railway Museum Logo.png
Founded18 October 1959 (1959-10-18)[1]
FounderEric Sanders, et al.
TypePublic-benefit corporation
95-2374478 (CA 501(c)(3))
FocusRailroad museum, historic preservation
  • 750 Depot Street
    Campo, CA (excursion station)
    4695 Nebo Drive
    La Mesa, CA 91941 (business office)[2]
Coordinates32°36′46″N 116°28′21″W / 32.612769°N 116.472417°W / 32.612769; -116.472417Coordinates: 32°36′46″N 116°28′21″W / 32.612769°N 116.472417°W / 32.612769; -116.472417
OriginsSan Diego County Rail Museum[1]
Area served
San Diego County
Formerly called
San Diego Railroad Museum



Since 1986, the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum operates all-volunteer train excursions from the restored 1916 Depot in Campo, in the Mountain Empire area of southeastern San Diego County, California. These trains are powered by vintage diesel-electric locomotives.[4][5] The facility sits on a 140 acres (0.57 km2) property.[6]

The museum also has approximately 90 historic railroad cars and locomotives on display, including five steam locomotives, seventeen diesel locomotives and many other pieces of rolling stock.[7] A large display building houses part of the railroad equipment collection which allows visitors to view or walk through the equipment. This includes an exhibit titled "Signal Science" which uses retired railroad signals to demonstrate how railway signals work. The museum is also home to the Southwest Railway Library, which opened in Campo in July 2014. The library contains the second largest collection of railroad history in California.[8][9][10]

La MesaEdit

The museum manages the original La Mesa depot in downtown La Mesa, next to the La Mesa Boulevard stop on the Orange Line of the San Diego Trolley. It is the oldest building in town and is the sole surviving San Diego and Cuyamaca Railway station.[11] The museum's renovation of the depot won an award from San Diego's historic preservation society, Save Our Heritage Organization.[12]

Next to the depot is a display train consisting of saddletank steam locomotive 0-6-0ST Mojave Northern Railroad #3, a Pacific Fruit Express reefer car, and a Southern Pacific Railroad caboose.

In popular cultureEdit

  • Part of the There Goes a... episode "There Goes a Train" features the railroad museum in Campo.[13] The video was made in 1994 and the museum was closed for the week of shooting. In the video, the museum's ALCO MRS-1 United States Air Force 2104 locomotive was pulling a 3-car Golden State excursion train heading east.[7] The museum was also a filming site for the Real Rockin' Wheels video, "Train Songs".
  • Irish girl group B*Witched filmed the music video of their hit single "Jesse Hold On" in the station in 1999.[13]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Report of San Diego County Rail Museum Activity". Pacific Southwest Railway Museum, REPORT Collection. 5 January 1960. Retrieved 2012-11-29.
  2. ^ "Pacific Southwest Railway Museum". Retrieved 2015-04-26.
  3. ^ "A Chronological History of the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum Association, Incorporated". PSRM.Org. Retrieved 27 April 2015.
  4. ^ Nancy Ray, "The Ties That Bind : Little 'Railroad That Can' Maintains Glory of Ribbon of Steel's Golden Age", Los Angeles Times, November 30, 1986.
  5. ^ Nancy Ray, "Rail Museum Gets Up Steam : Visitors Will Soon Be Offered Rides on Trains", Los Angeles Times, May 20, 1985.
  6. ^ Griffen, Rick (5 September 2019). "The history of backcounty San Diego left tracks". The East County Californian. El Cajon. Retrieved 7 September 2019.
  7. ^ a b Houk, Randy. "SDRM Equipment Roster or PSRM Equipment Roster". Pacific Southwest Railway Museum. Retrieved 2012-11-29.
  8. ^ Krueger, Anne (27 November 2004). "Railway library in search of a home". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  9. ^ Croft, Byron (July 18, 2014). "The Impossible Library: the new Campo attraction". The Alpine Sun. Retrieved January 27, 2015.
  10. ^ Charles M. O'Herin (1 January 2006). Prototypes for Modelers: San Diego & Arizona Railway. Link Pen Publishing. p. 130. ISBN 978-0-9776279-0-5.
  11. ^ Corley, Troy (February 20, 1986). "10 Favorite Treks to the Tracks that relate the colorful history of railroads joining the East with the West". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on March 6, 2016.
  12. ^ Look, Lenore (May 16, 1985). "Preserving Heritage: Heroic Efforts Garner Prizes From SOHO". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on March 6, 2016.
  13. ^ a b Houk, Randy (May 4, 2017). "PSRM filmography". Retrieved 2019-02-28.

External linksEdit