Mojave is a crossroads of railroad lines. Located in California's high desert area, Mojave is the meeting point of BNSF's Barstow line and Union Pacific's Tehachapi Pass line. Also, the branch line to Searles (connection with the Trona Railroad) leaves the main line at Mojave.
The Mojave Yard is located adjacent to Highway 58 on it's west side. Leaving Mojave Yard's south end is the UP line to Palmdale. Also south of the Mojave Yard, BNSF's line to Barstow departs the UP line in a southeasterly direction. The BNSF junction is located directly beneath the Highway 14 overpass about 1/2 mile south of the intersection with Highway 58 East. Near the north end of the yard, the Searles (also known as the Jawbone) Branch leaves the mainline and crosses Highway 58 at grade. This branch once ran north to Lone Pine and connected near that location (at Owenyo) with the SP controlled narrow gauge Carson and Colorado Railroad. The narrow guage was abandoned in 1960, and the Lone Pine Branch was mothballed beyond Searles in the early 1980's. The branch between Mojave and Searles still sees heavy traffic, cosisting of unit coal trains inbound and heavy trains of soda ash, trona and other mined materials outbound. Because of this heavy traffic, the Mojave Yard is usually a very busy place.
Mojave is located on Highway 58 approximately 18 miles east of Tehachapi. From Mojave, Highway 58 continues East toward Barstow and all points east. Highway 14 South of Mojave heads toward Lancaster and Palmdale. Highway 14 North of Mojave heads toward the Owens Valley, Bishop and Reno, Nevada.
Nearest services: Mojave is a small roadside town, which has all major services (Gas, food and lodging) available along a two mile stretch of State Highway 58 through town. For additional retail businesses, you can travel west (20 miles) to Tehachapi or south (25 miles) to Lancaster/Palmdale. Barstow is located about 60 miles to the east. If you are going to follow the Searles Branch north from Mojave, stock up on supplies and fill your tank. There are relatively no services for the entire length of the branch, and the locations are isolated from any population centers. North of Searles (About 15-20 Miles) is Ridgecrest, which does have services comparable to Mojave. Although a relatively large city, it is a town of little appeal to the average railfan.