Barstow’s population was 21,119 at the 2000 census. Barstow is located 55 miles (89 km) north of San Bernardino.

Barstow is a major transportation center for the Inland Empire Metropolitan Area. Several major highways including Interstate 15 and Interstate 40 converge in the city. It is the site of a large rail classification yard, belonging to the BNSF Railway. The Union Pacific Railroad also runs through town on trackage rights on BNSF’s main line to Daggett 10 miles (16 km) east, where it heads to Salt Lake City, then the BNSF heads to Chicago. It is about 62 miles (100 km) to Baker, California and 111 miles (179 km) to Primm, Nevada.

Barstow is home to Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow and is the closest city to Fort Irwin Military Reservation.

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