This photo, looking north, shows a series of wooden railroad ties that were part of a double track railroad. Until recently this was a railroad spur for short produce trains that frequently carried sugar beets. In the mid-1940s this rail line served as a vital link in providing supplies to a military base, the Thermal Ground Support Base or Thermal Army Airfield. The base was established as an Army training base as the US entered World War II. General George Patton trained troops for the invasion of North Africa at the base.
The Jacquelin Cochran Regional Airport in Thermal makes use of the two 5,000-foot runways that were also part of the base. Finally, the Thermal Army Airfield is on the official list of POW Camps during WWII.