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McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park 1/31/2021

by Chris Guenzler

Elizabeth and I woke up in Chandler and walked over to the McDonald's next door to get breakfast which we took back to the room to eat. We packed up, returned the key then drove north to Mesa to Pioneer Park.

Southern Pacific 4-6-0 2355 on display.

The most interesting display board I have ever seen in a park. You press one of five buttons and various steam engine sounds are heard and sound so real that you think there is a train behind you. From here, we drove north to our main destination of the day.

McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park History

McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park is a 40-acre railroad park located in Scottsdale, Arizona. It features a 15 inch gauge railroad, a Magma Arizona Railroad locomotive, a railroad museum, three model railroad clubs and a 7 1⁄2 inch gauge live steam railroad. In 1967, the Fowler McCormicks donated 100 acres of McCormick Ranch to the City of Scottsdale stipulating that it be used as a park for all people to enjoy. The son of Anne and James Stillman, Guy Stillman, assembled his 15 inch gauge narrow gauge railroad replica in the property. He called it the "Paradise & Pacific Railroad" and was offered to the city in 1971. The U.S. Marines and Senator Barry Goldwater contributed in the railroad expansion. With their apportions to the railroad route expansion, the park officially opened the morning of October 4, 1975. The park's original name was McCormick Railroad Park, but in 1996 the park was renamed McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park in recognition of its founder, Guy Stillman. The City of Scottsdale sold 60 acres of the donated land to a developer several years ago.

We parked in the parking lot and started to look around the property.

Magma Arizona 2-6-0 6 built 1907 as Arizona and New Mexico 26 then El Paso and Southwestern 130.

Santa Fe baggage car 197184 which houses a museum but was closed.

Pullman private car "Roald Amundsen", the last of seven Explorer-series cars built between 1927 and 1929 for the Pullman Company's pool of passenger cars. It was frequently used as the United States Presidential Rail Car, and was used for every president from Herbert Hoover through Dwight Eisenhower. It was donated to the Park in 1971.

The Arizona Merci car is at McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park.

Paradise and Pacific "Stillman", former VIA Tempo coach 340 which used to be on the Denver Ski Train. Acquired by the Park in late 2002.

Paradise and Pacific "Scottsdale", former VIA Tempo coach 344 which used to be on the Denver Ski Train. Acquired by the Park in late 2002. We went into the station's ticket office and gift shop and bought our tickets.

The Charro Carousel that we rode after our train ride. This carousel was built in 1950 by The Allan Herschell Company and was purchased and restored by the Scottsdale Railroad & Mechanical Society.

Paradise and Pacific 2-6-2 12 now on permanent display.

Southern Pacific caboose 4220 near the train's boarding area.

The train on the run before we rode it.

Our tickets to ride.

The train returning to the station. Now sit back and enjoy a ride on the Paradise and Pacific Railway.

The eight-tenths of a mile ride around McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park which both Elizabeth and I thoroughly enjoyed.

Mining car on display.

Magma Arizona 2-6-0 6.

The 1894 Santa Fe station from Peoria, Arizona. Operating until 1972, the Peoria Depot was moved to McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park in 1974. Fully renovated, it now houses a large portion of the Park's historic train artifacts and memorabilia. Unfortunately, it was closed due to Covid-19 virus.

The 1907 Santa Fe station from Aguila, Arizona which is now at the Park.

The Southern Pacific station from Maricopa which is also at the Park.

A different use for a mine car. We walked toward the bridge on the east end of the property to get a picture of the train crossing it.

The semaphore signal I shot on the way to our photo spot.

The train crossing the bridge on the east side of the property.

The Roald Amundsen.

The Santa Fe baggage car. We then rode the carousel and enjoyed that ride. While Elizabeth went into the gift shop, I walked to the west end of the property to catch the train out there.

The train at the west end of the property. I then walked back, met Elizabeth who was coming to get me and we walked to the tower to photograph the train coming out of the tunnel.

The train viewed from the tower.

Fireman's side view of Magma Arizona 2-6-0 6.

Elizabeth and the Magma Arizona steam engine.

My view as I was walking out.

The Stillman Station.

McCormick-Stillman Park was voted the National Champion Best Park in 2019 by Engaging Local Government Leaders organization, which I think is fantastic. We returned to the car and on the way out, quickly stopped at the east entrance when we spotted two cabooses.

Paradise and Pacific caboose 111163 is originally Missouri Pacific 13150.

Paradise and Pacific caboose 042065, formerly Missouri Pacific 12283 and 13028 was built as International-Great Northern 283. We both enjoyed our morning at the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park and hope to return not only to ride the train again, but to also tour the museum and the model railroad building plus ride the Scottsdale Live Steamers which were not operating at the time of our visit.

. The Rest of Our Day

We headed east to our next stop which would be in Miami.

You cannot leave southern Arizona without getting pictures of some suguaro cactus.

The 1909 Miami Southern Pacific station.

The Miami Southern Pacific freight house. We then drove the short distance to Globe.

The 1911 Southern Pacific Globe station.

The freight house and station.

The Southern Pacific freight house. We walked down to Memorial Park.

Southern Pacific 2-6-0 1774 built in 1902.

The display board about the steam engine and other surviving class members. We had lunch at Subway and gassed up the car before heading to Safford.

While trying to locate Arizona Copper Company 0-4-0T 7 at the Eastern Arizona University Discovery Park Campus, we came across the Discovery Park Railroad 0-4-0 and train on display. he Discovery Park Express was a 24 inch gauge, steam outline, propane-hydraulic powered engine. It pulls two covered coaches which each comfortably seat 12 adults, and a caboose which provides additional seating and is wheel chair accessible. The train was built by J&E in 1997 and went into service at Discovery Park in 1998. The nearly 2 mile right-of-way of the Discovery Park Railroad is comprised of an upper loop around the observatory and lower "half-dogbone" which passes through the Circle D Ranch. The Circle D Ranch contains a loading platform for the train, an authentically furnished 1870's era ranch house and a barn building used for weddings, parties and other special occasions. The trackwork performed by the Roseberry Construction Co. includes four trestles and six spring switches and a wye. The nearly 2 mile trip lasts ~30 minutes. Days and hours of operation can be found on their website. Note: This railroad is no longer in operation.

Discovery Park Railroad passenger cars.

Discovery Park caboose. I then took Elizabeth to Walmart so she could pick up more film before we found the depot in town.

The 1928 Southern Pacific station in Safford. Our next stop was Clifton.

The 1913 Arizona and New Mexico station in Clifton which is the Chamber of Commerce and Art Depot. We walked up the road to the steam engine on display.

Arizona Copper Company Limited 0-4-4T 8, built 1897 and named "Copperhead". Our penultimate stop of the day was Morenci.

Arizona Copper Company Ltd. 0-4-0T 5 built 1888 on display at the Plaza in Morenci.

The two builder's plates - the original and the one when it was restored.

Link and pin coupling.

Ore car 16.

The history of the engines. We then started the trip back to Globe.

Clifton has a Mask Up policy sign on a gondola car on the north end of town and just a sign on the south end of town trying to stop the Covid-19 pandemic.

The long straight highway on the way back to Globe.

You cannot miss this completely unique extra large caboose in Thatcher. From 2011 to 2019, it was Caboose Frozen Treats owned by Wendy Skinner. We drove back to Globe and checked into the Best Western Copper Inn, put up the stories so far then went next door to Denny's for dinner. I wrote this story while watching "Smokey and the Bandit" which Elizabeth had never seen then called it a night.