San Diego Union, December 1, 1919
S.D.&A. BEGINS OPERATIONS TODAY WITH BIG CELEBRATION SAN DIEGO REALIZES DREAM
Now all together-three cheers for the S.D.&A. and for John D. Spreckles, the man who made it possible.
Marking the turning point in the city's long struggle for commercial importance and assuring the rapid development of the harbor and its environs, the new San Diego and Arizona railway, San Diego's direct transcontinental line to the east, will be placed in operation today.
Practically every able-bodied man, woman, and child in the Harbor City is expected to turn out to witness the arrival of the first train and to view the great parade that will immediately follow. The Committee expects everyone to throw dignity to the four winds and literally dance with joy when the blowing of whistles, the ringing of bells, the "firing of cannons and snort of the big locomotive engines announce that San Diego is at last the terminus of a through railroad from away back yonder.
HONOR TO THE BUILDER
Today is John D. Spreckles day - a day set aside in honor of the man whose perserverance and supreme confidence, which he backed with all the financial power at his command, have, after years of untiring effort, provided for San Diego the fulfillment of its most cherished dream. He is expected to be at the throttle of the engine when train #1 comes rolling up to the station.
PROGRAM FOR OPENING DAY OF CELEBRATION
JOHN D. SPRECKLES DAY, DECEMBER 1
1:30-2 p.m. Band Concert, union station, by Tommasino's exposition band.
2 p.m. Arrival of first train over San Diego & Arizona Railway with John D. Spreckles, Governor Campbell of Arizona, Governor Larrazola of New Mexico and Governor Cantu of Lower California, Mexico and other distinguished guests, together with a delegation of leading citizens of the great Imperial Valley, Arizona, and New Mexico.
2:15 p.m. Parade, union station to Balboa Park.
3-4:30 p.m. Formal exercises, Spreckles organ pavilion, Balboa Park.
3-5 p.m. Open house and reception. Women's board, California building, Balboa Park.
7:30 (sharp)-9:30 p.m. Banquet In honor of John D. Spreckles, governors and other distlnquished guests. Hotel del Coronado.
9:30 p.m. Reception and ball. Hotel del Coronado.
8:30 p.m. Informal dancing at leading San Diego hotels.
8:30 p.m. Street dancing.
San Diego Evening Tribune. December 1, 1919
SAN DIEGO & ARIZONA PASSENGER SERVICE INAUGURATED TODAY
San Diego & Arizona railway passenger service was inaugurated today on a schedule of one train a day each way between San Diego and El Centro. The first regular train to pass over the road was that which left Union depot here at 7:15 this morning.
Leaving time for the regular daily from Imperial Valley is from Calexico at 2:15 p.m. and El Centro at 2:45 p.m.
The really first train was that of yesterday, which carried President John D. Spreckles and members of the Celebration Committee to El Centro, to there welcome the throng of guests who are to arrive on the special train of two sections this afternoon.
San Diego Union. December 2, 1919
MR. JOHN D. SPRECKLES TAKES PARTY TO EL CENTRO ON FIRST SPECIAL TRAIN
The first through train from San Diego to Imperial Valley -a passenger train- went eastward, leaving here at 10 a.m. Sunday (Nov. 30 -ed.) and arriving at El Centro at 7 o'clock at night. The trail-blazer special was a private train, really, and it bore President John D. Spreckles and 60 of his invited guests.
Because it was not travelling on a schedule, and because a large number of the guests on board were railroad officials who were directly interested in the newly completed railway, the special train of nine coaches went slowly. Through Carrlso Gorge, the marvel land of the line, it barely crept along, for every passenger on board was keenly interested in the mammoth engineering task that has so lately been completed.
The special train entered Carriso Gorge as the sun was falling low. The light was still strong enough to show the craggy, rocky mountains in their natural colors of mauve, tan and maroon. The many tunnels, bridges, rock cuts and mammoth fills on the roadbed were subject to close inspection and much comment.
Before entering Carisso Gorge, and after leaving it, the special train travelled at full speed most of the way, slowing down only at points of particular interest. Long stretches of roadway traversed at high speed had been constructed and ballasted for a long time. "Rides like the New York Central," was the comment of one of the visiting railroad officials.
HELP YOUR MUSEUM
As a result of the request in the October Report $19.08 was received for the General Fund and $32.00 for U.P. Car #576. Regular dues amounting to $50.00 were received along with $24.00 in contributing dues. All figures were as of October 31, 1969. Donors were the following: Louise Leesman, Terry Durkin, Vernon Mardock Jr., Andrew Proctor, and Rindge Shima. We're very grateful to those who have helped. Can you help this time? As of October 31st we had $615.83 in the treasury, but we have $1650.00 in outstanding loans. The general fund has a balance of $148.95 (overdrawn) while the Car #576 Fund has $764.78. There were no contributions to the Report Fund. The Report Fund donations would be used to improve the Report (more pages, more pictures, etc.), and in December to finance a new information brochure showing all the Museum's equipment. There were no contributions to the Line Truck and Traction Fund. Restoration of this truck is in progress and about $20.00 has been spent so far.
Things are improving but we are a long way from having a black cash balance. Please send your donations and dues to the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum, Post Office Box 12096, San Diego, California 92112. Make checks payable to P.S.R.M.A., Inc. All donations are State and Federal income tax deductable.
U.P. COACH EXCURSION CANCELLED
The fantrip to Los Angeles on December 6, 1969, has been cancelled. One reason was for lack of batteries to assure lights in the car at night while the train was in stations on the return trip. Another reason was the necessity to get a new air brake inspection at the cost of $120.00. Air brake inspections are good for 15 months and then must be renewed. The Board postponed the trip until early next year. Help pay for the batteries and the air brake inspection by donating to the Car #576 fund and, of course, supporting the next excursion with the car.