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Arizona Railway Museum 1/30/2021

by Chris Guenzler

We left the Copper Stay Inn and headed to Mescal where the old coaling tower no longer exists. We then drove to the bridge at Vail so I could show Elizabeth this famous railroad photography location.

The uphill track was underneath the bridge.

The downhill track crosses the bridge under normal circumstances.

The historic marker at this bridge.

The old arched bridge of Old Marsh Road that crosses the uphill track. From here, Elizabeth drove us to Tucson and we had a sit-down breakfast in the Black Bear Diner which was very good. After breakfast, we drove northwest on Interstate 10 to Rillito.

The wooden Southern Pacific Rillito station which is up for sale.

The Southern Pacific station in Red Rock, built in 1917.

The Red Rock Southern Pacific water tower. We drove to Chandler and our next stop of the trip.

Arizona Railroad Museum History

The Arizona Railway Museum is a railroad museum located in Chandler, Arizona. It was founded and incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1983. It is dedicated to the railroads of Arizona and the Southwestern United States. It has an extensive collection railroad rolling stock and artifacts. Two of items on display are listed in the National Register of Historic Places, they are the Southern Pacific Railroad 2-8-0 2562 and tender 8365 and the Railroad Steam Wrecking Crane and Tool Car.

Our Visit

We went into the gift shop and I explained we were there to write a story and we waited for a few minutes until Steve Whisel, director and curator, met us and welcomed us to the museum. We started photographing inside before exploring outside.

The Chandler train board from the former station.

Station bench.

The CTC board from Tucson Division Office.

Lantern display.

Hard hat display.

Dining car china. Now we went outside.

The semaphore signal.

Southern Pacific caboose 4740.


Homestake Mining 0-4-0 5 built by Porter in 1923. It was displayed at the Mesa Museum of the Southwest for twelve years and returned to Chandler in 1997.

Narrow gauge trailer.

20" mine cars.

Santa Fe station signs. Each has a description of the location with a map.

Whiting Model 2TMA trackmobile donated in April 2016 by Power From The Past in Tucson. It was the only piece of rail-oriented equipment in their collection.

Kennecott Copper 35 ton switcher 801 in bicentennial paint. It was used at the Hayden smelter for slag disposal service.

ASARCO (American Smelting and Refining Company) Plymouth 20 ton switcher 81. Worked primarily for Ray Consolidated Copper in Hayden.

Wig-wag signal.

Arizona Railway Museum Plymouth 1 built for the U.S. War Department and used in Victorville, California. It was named for the locomotive's long-term caretaker, George E. Holt, in 2005.

Magma Arizona DRS 6-6-1500 1 originally McCloud River Railroad 29. It ran in regular service from Superior to Magma Junction until 1991 and donated to the museum in 1994.

The Craig Junction station sign.

Chicago and North Western E8A 5022B which ran on the "400" trains. It became METRA 519 and was retired in 1991 and came to Chandler in 2006.

PCC Car 4607 acquired from the Phoenix Transportation Department where it was a display downtown. Originally ran in Toronto, Ontario and sold to City of Phoenix in 1996.

Santa Fe Vista Canyon built by Pullman in 1947.

Santa Fe coach 3079 "Diablo Canyon", sold to New Jersey Transit in 1969 and donated to the museum in 2005.

Santa Fe Pleasure Dome "Plaza Taos" built in 1950. When in Amtrak service it was numbered 9354 and later sold to the Broadway Dinner Train in Nashville, Tennessee before being donated in 2008.

Santa Fe coach 3166 "Regal Phoenix". Went to Amtrak as 5236 in 1971, retired 1977 and sold to U.S. Air Force before being passed to the museum in 1996.

Santa Fe coach 2870 and ran on the El Capitan before becoming Amtrak 4484. Retired in 1976 and sold to the Pullman Pizzeria in Las Cruces, New Mexico and donated to the museum in 1990.

More speeders.

Santa Fe observation car "Denehotso". Upon retirement in 1968, it was donated to Steamtown but when that organization moved to Scranton, this and other pieces of equipment were sold. The museum acquired this car in 1995. It is the only remaining observation car from the original train set of the Santa Fe Chief.

Santa Fe business car 405, one of eighteen Superintendent's cars. They were all removed from service in 1966 and this car was stored at the Heritage Museum in Temple, Texas before being donated to the museum in 2008.

Santa Fe high-level coach 708 used on the El Capitan. This became Amtrak 9948 and 39948 and the Arizona Railway Museum acquired the car in 2019.

Santa Fe high-level coach-dorm 543 used on the San Francisco Chief. This became Amtrak 9917 and 39917 and the Arizona Railway Museum acquired in 2019.

Santa Fe coach 580 built in 1910, rebuilt in 1917 as a men's smoking car and rebuilt in 1938 as a crew kitchen/diner. It was donated in 1997.

Southern Pacific 2-8-0 2562 built by Baldwin in 1906. It was donated to the City of Chandler in 1956 and placed on display at the Chandler train station, then moved to Armstrong Park before being donated to the museum. The steam engine was placed on the Arizona State Historical Register in 1994.

Southern Pacific three-door horse car 7241 built 1937. In 1951, it was converted to a postal storage car for use on the Golden State.

Southwest Forest Industries log car 511 which for a few years was displayed at the saw mill in Flagstaff with Southwest Forest Industries steam engine 25.

Union Tank Car 7682 built in 1936.

Southern Railway business car 16 built 1879 donated in 1995 by the family of Russell Joslin.

Tucson, Cornelia and Gila Bend caboose 15 built in 1944 and served the Phelps Dodge copper mine in Ajo, Arizona and was used for numerous years to provide passenger service between Gila Bend and Ajo.

Tucson, Cornelia and Gila Bend flat car 304 which was donated in 2005. Southern Pacific 20' container is on top of the flat car.

Santa Fe caboose 999741 built in 1978 for the Toledo, Peoria and Western.

Frisco 14-4 sleeper 6769 "Eugene Field" built 1948.

Masquerading as a Rock Island Golden State car, "West Palm Beach" is really Seaboard Air Line 42 and became Amtrak 2704 "West Palm Beach". It was retired in 1986 and the museum purchased it in 1992 and named it "Adiel Morris". In 2018, the car was sold to a private owner and renamed it "West Palm Beach".

Union Pacific diner 4815 built in 1949. It was sold to the Alaska Railroad in 1971 and sold in 2001; the museum purchased it in 2003 and named it City of Chandler.

Rock Island coach 330 "Des Moines" built 1947. Re-named "Jane Marie" and owned by Bart Barton, one of the founders of the Arizona Railway Museum.

Signals displayed along the cars.

A Marmon Transmotive Company Model 9000 "Switchmaster" which was used by the Arizona Republic newspaper printing facility in Mesa, used to move boxcards loaded with bulk printing paper.....

Santa Fe Business Car 56 built in 1923 and donated to the museum in 2016.

Pullman Federal PPCX 800713. One of two such business cars, it became Delaware Lackawanna and Western 98, then Erie Lackawanna 98, then Ringling Brothers 98 before being based at the Arizona Railway Museum.

Union Pacific 10-6 sleeper 4138 "Pacific Scene" built 1950. Amtrak operated it as 2886 between 1972 and 1996 and it received the "Silver Star" name during the rebuild process in private ownership.

Santa Fe 6-6-4 sleeper "Verde Valley" built 1942. Donated to the Gulf Coast Chapter National Railway Historical Society in 1969 who donated it to the museum in 2015.

New York Central 4-4-2 sleeper "Imperial Manor" built 1939, sold to the Illinois Central and renamed "Hazelhurst". This was donated to the museum in 2018.

Southern Pacific caboose 4603.

Southern Pacific Fruit Express refrigerator car 459579.

Santa Fe 40' boxcar 5257 which was de-rated to a Maintenance-of-Way Bolt Car.

Santa Fe 60' boxcar 600197 built in 1964.

Santa Fe 40' refrigerator car 16811 built by American Car and Foundry in 1920.

Amtrak material handling car 1413.

Rio Grande caboose 01505.

Southern Pacific caboose 413 built 1947 for Texas and New Orleans as 512. It was retired in 1982 and donated to the Arizona Chapter National Railway Historical Society who donated it to the Arizona Railway Museum in 1994.

25 ton Army C-45 crane built 1943 and used at Bellemont, Arizona.

Southern Pacific 120 ton steam derrick tool car 7131 built in 1949. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2007.

Southern Pacific 120 ton steam derrick 1730 built 1910. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2007.

Southern Pacific tank car 60157 built 1942 and restored as an Eagle Scout Community Service project.

GRYX tank car 799 built in 1938.

Santa Fe pulpwood flat car 330219 built in 1951.

San Manuel Railway Rider Car 184 built 1955.

AZER anode flat car 7013 built 1966.

Copper Basin Railway concentrate car 341002 built 1961 for the Southern Pacific and donated in 2015.

Southern Pacific sugar beet gondola 359246 built 1949. Upper extensions were added in 1959 to increase capacity.

Ray and Gila Valley Railroad hopper car 1069 built 1910.

Museum scenes.

We walked through some of the cars that were open to the public and were very impressed by the interiors.

Waiting for Elizabeth to come out as she was taking photographs.

Elizabeth enjoying the view from the open platform. I would like to thank the Arizona Railway Museum for having us today and we were both highly impressed by all of their equipment that they have on display. After that, we drove to the Best Western Inn and checked in. I wrote the story then watched the Pittsburgh Penguins win their hockey game against the New York Rangers on the computer after we had KFC for dinner. We called it a night.