The Vegas X Train route from Fullerton to Las Vegas covers the highest population area in Southern California to the lowest population of the high desert and arriving in the Entertainment Capital of the World, Las Vegas. As the railroads moved into Las Vegas and California in 1887 in Fullerton and 1905 in Las Vegas they made a huge contribution to moving immigrants into the area and moving commerce in to support the growth of the population. While moving people and goods was the purpose of the railroad, getting from Las Vegas to Fullerton was highly influenced by the geography and availability of water for the grades and support for steam engine operations. Image yourself as a railroad civil engineer peering over the summit at Cajon or Cima Hill and trying to figure out where the railroad is going to go. The movement of water points most of the route as over the years water shaped the course of the routes for the railroads to follow.
Fast forward to the 21st century on the Vegas X Train riding in luxury and cool comfort on one of the most highly developed, highest capacity, and technological state of the art rail corridors in the United States. Originating in Fullerton, California you move east through Corona, Riverside, and San Bernardino to the foot of Cajon Pass. All of this area was inhabited by Native American’s from several tribes and then came the Spaniards and Anglo’s into the area trading with the population, starting settlements, and towns. In 1851 a group of Mormon settlers from Salt Lake City led by Amasa M. Lyman and Charles C. Rich traveled through Cajon Pass and the area where the Mormon Trail and Santa Fe Railway merged was a rock grouping that became known as Mormon Rocks. This area became a much photographed venue with the famous photographer Herb Sullivan taking many train pictures there and became known as Sullivan’s Curve.
See next week's blog for part 2 of the historic Vegas X Train Route