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UP in Arizona

UP in Arizona


The UP (former Southern Pacific Sunset Route) follows I-10 through the state going through Tucson, Maricopa, Gila Bend, and Yuma.  Along the way, a branch goes north to Phoenix before rejoining the main at Yuma.  There is an interchange yard in Phoenix where the BNSF and UP hand-off cars.

The photos were taken at the former SP station in Tempe which has been converted to a restaurant.  It also boasts a half dozen or so former ATSF and SP cabooses (or would that be cabeese?)  At mid-day, the Sun is coming out of the south in the winter month while the trains run north/south through town yielding horrible shadows and flares.


The town was incorporated in 2003 and is growing at an incredible pace.  Construction is everywhere.  Take Arizona 347 south from I-10 just south of Phoenix.  16 miles or so later, you are in Maricopa.  AZ 238 joins 347 a short distance from the UP grade crossing with route 347.  some map programs indicate a lot of tracks in Maricopa.  Maybe in the past but not now.  One in and one out.

Route 238 splits off to the east just before the crossing.  The Amtrak station, an honest to goodness Indiana double-wide trailer affair, is less than 50 yards to the east.  The real attraction is the former California Zephyr dome observation, Silver Horizon.  It is open for viewing and in spite of some needed TLC, is a pretty neat piece of history.