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Spreckels' 'Impossible Railroad' celebrates 100 years with gold spike reenactment

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CAMPO — 
Taking off his suit jacket and taking hold of a spike maul, a John D. Spreckels impersonator drove a replica gold spike, after an initial swing and a miss, into the San Diego & Arizona Railway on Saturday. The act commemorated the 100-year anniversary of the completion of what is often referred to as the “Impossible Railroad.”
The reenactment, a celebration of Spreckels’ unwavering commitment to finish the $18-million cross-border line in November 1919, was the culminating moment for the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum Association, which hosted an all-day affair at its Campo facility.
“We’ve spent the entire year celebrating the 100th birthday of the completion of the San Diego & Arizona Railway ... and today is the biggest event,” said Martin Caestecker, who is the nonprofit’s 25-year-old vice president. At the time, the connection was the last link of what historians consider the transcontinental railroad. The Spreckels portion allowed San Diego to access the rest of the world, Caestecker said.

Ride a train and celebrate 100 years of San Diego Railway History

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'The Impossible Railroad' celebrates its 100th year on Saturday, Nov. 16th in Campo.
Author: Jeff Zevely (Reporter)
Updated: 7:19 AM PST November 15, 2019
I'm almost embarrassed to admit, I had not idea you could ride the rails in Campo. "All aboard!" yelled the conductor at the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum Association.
I mean who knew all of these volunteers have been out here working on a railroad? "Oh, all kinds of people It's not just old guys, it's also a bunch of young people," said Diana Hyatt. She is the president of the non-profit museum and that means she gets to drive. "The best part is running the locomotive I think hands down everybody would agree," said Diana. She offered to give me a crash course, without the crashing part. "This is the brake for the locomotive," she said. The next thing I knew I was driving a train and blowing the horn.

All Aboard: Ride a Train, Celebrate 100 Years of Railway History

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Reply
John D. Spreckels (Courtesty Photo)
John D. Spreckels (Courtesy Photo)
Pacific Southwest Railway Museum (Courtesy Photo)
Pacific Southwest Railway Museum (Courtesy Photo)
Arizona & San Diego Railway (Courtesy Photo)
The Pacific Southwest Railway Museum Association (PSRM), a San Diego-area historical and educational nonprofit, will mark the 100-year anniversary of the completion of the San Diego & Arizona Railway (SD&A) with a variety of family-friendly activities at its "SD&A Centennial Celebration Gold Spike Day" on Saturday, Nov. 16, at PSRM's Campo Railroad Park and Museum in Campo, Calif. The public is invited to attend.
Activities for the day-long, centennial celebration of the November 1919 completion of the SD&A will include vintage train rides aboard full-size, restored locomotives and train cars from the early 20th century, live music, lectures on the history of the SD&A and activities for children, including storytelling, face painting, circus performers, medicine show performers and hay rides.

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