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Historical facts:

The first railroad through the pass was the California Southern Railroad, a subsidiary of Santa Fe Railway and built in the early 1880’s. Later the tracks were owned by the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe with trackage rights granted to the Union Pacific.  The pass starts at 1,073 feet above sea level and reaches an elevation of 3,823 feet in the toughest 25.6 miles of rails.  The ruling grade on the original line is a 3% and a 2.2% grade on the second main line installed in 1913.  The Cajon pass was the only route for the Santa Fe Railway to reach Los Angeles from Barstow and points east which still holds true for the BNSF.  The ruling grade from Summit to Barstow is 1.1%.

The Southern Pacific railroad did not enter The Cajon until 1967 when a new, single-track line from West Colton to Palmdale. This line runs fairly close to the Santa Fe with a ruling grade of 2.2% to the Highland summit. During the failed SPSF merger talks the Southern Pacific built the Kneebrook crossovers.  These crossover was initially not used until the merger between the Union Pacific and Southern Pacific.  A second set of crossover at Summit from the BNSF to the UP. Today the Union Pacific line is used to run trains to Lancaster or to Barstow (then to Yermo).  The ruling grade from Highland to Phelen is 0.7%.