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.
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
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.
Arizona Railway Museum
has a nice map on-line showing various railroads in Arizona,
those only planned and those built…. To
see it click <here> .