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The Copper Cities Limited Clifton Branch 4/6/2009 Part 1

Sponsored by the Southern Appalachia Railway Museum

by Chris Guenzler

Randy, Marie and I arrived into Duncan just as our train was backing into the boarding area there. We parked and I took a picture of our train.

Our train was ready to take us south to near Lordsburg. I took a seat in the Calmut Club again. Our train today was RGSL 8537 and 8522, Dome 510 and Calmut Club 3378.

Clifton Branch History

The Clifton Branch runs from Lordsburg, New Mexico to Clifton, Arizona. It was started as a narrow gauge railroad by the Clifton & Lordsburg Railroad in 1883 and reached the Arizona State Line. It was built to Guthrie in 1883 as the Clifton & Southern Pacific Railroad. The line from Clifton to Guthrie was built by the Arizona & New Mexico Railway in 1884. In 1901 the entire line was rebuilt to standard gauge by the Arizona & New Mexico Railway. On January 1, 1922 another SP subsidiary El Paso & Southwestern acquired the line through a merger with the Arizona & New Mexico Railway. Later Southern Pacific took over the line and had it right up to their merger with the Union Pacific on September 11, 1996. On December 10, 2007 the Arizona Eastern acquired the railroad from MP 1150 to Clifton. The Arizona Eastern also then got trackage rights on the Union Pacific between Bowie and Lordsburg to connect the two lines they operate over.

The Trip

As we left Duncan the area is agricultural as we head south towards Lordsburg.

The train soon returned to the desert vistas.

Bob and Amy Cox along with Bob's Father.

Desert views along our route this morning,

The train crossed into New Mexico at MP 1175.3.

Thew Stean Mountains off to the southwest.

As we neared Lordsburg and unloading loop.

A windmill brings water up to the surface in this desert environment.

Another view of cars on that unloading loop.

Our engines cut off and another set of engines then pushed us past the switch so they could be on the other end of our train so we could head to Clifton.

A Union Pacific westbound passed through Lordsburg while we were there.

An interesting lone Yucca plant at our furthest point south this morning.

The motive power that assisted us this morning in Lordsburg.

Views on our return to Duncan.

Green means we are near Duncan.

A loading dock in Duncan.

The old station foundation in Duncan.

The Duncan Station Sign.

Leaving Duncan.

Views near Duncan.

A ranch near Duncan.

Fox Siding.

The first view of the Gila River which we will be following north.

Another of the small bridges along our route today.

Another windmill along our route.

Passing by some neat rock outcroppings.

Gila River.

Just me enjoying the fresh air at the rear door as I take another picture looking back.

Gila River.

Two views looking back.

Crossing a small creek.

The Gila River.

The train passed through this beautiful canyon.

There are a few large trees along our route.

Two views of the Gila River.

The ever changing views along our route.

Another curve on our route.

The Gila River.

More curves along our route today.

The Gila River.

The old and new US Highway 191 Bridge at Coronado.

One last view at those unique highway bridges.

Click here for Part 2 of this story