Mogollon & Southwestern
The Desert Rim Gateway


          The Mogollon (pronounce Muggy-own) and Southwestern is based on the Arizona Mineral Belt Railroad.  In 1881, Colonel Eddy proposed to build the railroad from Flagstaff to Globe Arizona to service the copper mines.  The first stage of construction was to excavate a 3,100-foot tunnel through the Mogollon Rim, the greatest obstacle of the railroad.


          The Atlantic and Pacific was still at Winslow attempting to cross the Canyon Diablo.  Through Colonel Eddy’s persistence, the A & P agreed to buy $2400 of Arizona Mineral Belt stock and $30,000 in bonds.  With money in hand Colonel Eddy began digging the tunnel before laying any track from Flagstaff to that point.  He paid the workers $4 a day (in railroad stock).


Flagstaff had a booming lumber industry and the Ayer Lumber Co. was looking to expand their operation beyond railroad ties.  The hope was to sign a contract for the ties to Globe and then contract for the timbers for the mines, which would continue to need product long after the railroads were completed. After 70 feet of tunnel, Colonel Eddy ran out of money and the Arizona Mineral Belt Railroad was never finished.


As you view the railroad the east wall is Globe, Arizona and connects with the Southern Pacific RR.  The train leaves to the left or north and travels to Claypool and then through Miami, AZ.  Copper related industries have rail service in these three cities as well as other minor industries.  A small perlite facility is located on a long spur out of Miami, to the right.


As the train departs Miami to the north it begins to climb to the town of Payson where a team track, passing siding, with a small passenger station, and a working ranch is handled by rail.


Upon leaving Payson the train enters the Mogollon Rim tunnel and exits above the town of Payson and works it’s way up the outside of the rim, crosses two major bridges and doubles back within the canyon to reach the summit of the Mogollon Rim.


Once upon the rim the train arrives in Happy Jack where it will service a large copper mining complex.  There is a turning “Y” here with one leg servicing an old copper mine that has seen better days. 


Traveling on will carry the train by Mary Lake Lodge and into Ayers Junction and the lumber industries.  The junction also serves as a drop off point for the Santa Fe. The lumber trains move from here into the woods to bring the trees back to the mill.  This is the end of the line for the M&Sw and from Ayers must turn and travel the same track back to Globe.



Note:  the Arizona Railway Museum has a nice map on-line showing various railroads in Arizona,

 both those only planned and those built….  To see it click  <here> .