Sonora-Baja California EMD FT 2203 at Benjamin Hill, Sonora, September 3, 1973. Photographer: Peter Arnold.

(Craig Garver, Public domain,


logotipo de Ferrocarril Sonora–Baja California.


The Ferrocarril Sonora–Baja California is a former railroad line of Mexico that built the line from Mexicali, Baja California, to Benjamín Hill, Sonora. In 1948. It interchanged with the Southern Pacific Railroad at Calexico, California, and with the Ferrocarril del Pacifico in Benjamin Hill, Sonora. Before 1960, The SP-controlled Inter-California railroad provided trackage rights for the SBC from Pascualitos to the International Border. SBC took control of that part after the demise of the Inter-Cal.

SBC provided passenger and freight service throughout its existence. It was headquartered in Mexicali, B.C. and had major repair and overhaul shops for its equipment in the town of Benjamin Hill, Sonora. From 1970 into the FNM merger, the SBC also controlled the 44-mile freight-only "Ferrocarril Tijuana y Tecate" UB line from border to border. SP, Kyle Railways and later the San Diego and Imperial Valley Railroad operated the line, paying a fee to the SBC, and later to FNM.

It was absorbed into Nacionales de México in 1987, thus becoming a fallen-flag. The last passenger train from Mexicali to Benjamin Hill operated in 1997. Today the line continues to provide daily modern freight service, including intermodal. It is now known as Ferromex's Puerto Penasco Subdivision and designated by the SCT as the "U" and "UA" lines of the Mexican rail system.


Sonora-Baja California EMD F7 2201 at Mexicali, Baja California, December 2, 1971. Photographer: R W Biermann.

Craig Garver, Public domain,


S-BC F Unit Roster

Model S-BC No. Former No. Built Serial No., Order No. Notes
FTA 2203A NP 6010D,then NP 5410D EMD 01-1945 2840, E636A NP trade-in to GE for U25C, 9/1/1964; to SBC from GE; to Museo Nacional de los Ferrocarriles Mexicanos in 1998
FTB 2203B NP 6006C, then NP 5406C EMD 10-1944 2572, E612_b NP trade-in to GE for U25C, 9/1/1964; to SBC from GE; at Benjamin Hill (2009)
F7A 2201 S.C.O.P. 23037 EMD 09-1949 9886, E1296-A to Museo de los Ferrocarriles de Yucatan; under restoration
F7A 2202 S.C.O.P. 23038 EMD 09-1949 9887, E1296-A at Benjamín Hill rail yard, to be dismantled.
FP7A 2101 S.C.O.P. 23035 EMD 09-1949 9888, E1313-A at Benjamín Hill rail yard to be dismantled.
FP7A 2102 S.C.O.P. 23036 EMD 09-1949 9889, E1313-A at Benjamín Hill rail yard to be dismantled.

Sonora-Baja California EMD GP40-2 2112 at Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico, June 25, 1980. Photographer: James Chaflin.

(Craig Garver, Public domain,


The all-EMD Sonora Baja California ran from the border at Mexicali to Benjamin Hill, Sonora, where it connected with the Ferrocarril del Pacifico. It ran two passenger trains a day in each direction, and bought new GP40-2's with high hoods to accommodate a steam generator. - Craig Garver