Old 08-27-2010, 04:56 AM   #1
jdirelan87
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Default Looking for Operation Info on a few Southwest Shortlines

Hey all,

Been a busy couple months between several inspections and a long underway period. I haven't had much time for railfanning and now I'm thinking of rewarding myself with a train vacation. Any info on the operations and/or railfanning game plans on the following shortlines would be greatly appreciated.

Arizona & California
Arizona Eastern
Copper Basin (any major changes from this time last year?)
Black Mesa & Lake Powell
Utah Railway (around the Helper, UT area)

Thanks in advance!
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Old 08-27-2010, 05:55 PM   #2
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I've heard the Wildcat Loadout on the Utah is currently not operating, and that the Utah doesn't do a whole lot on weekends out of Helper anymore. Now the only place the Utah loads out of is the Savage Loadout at Wellington. I was up there last March, and the Utah was fairly active over Soldier, as was the UP, on a Friday. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised to find there was more than enough activity to keep me occupied all day on Soldier.
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Old 08-28-2010, 04:46 PM   #3
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A&C runs to Cadiz every day but Saturday, arriving mid to late afternoon to interchange with the BNSF Barstow local. They typically leave Parker, AZ midday if you're going to be on that end of the system.

AZER is now running on two lines, the original from Bowie to Miami, and now the former SP branch up to Clifton from Lordsburg, NM. They have trackage rights between Lordsburg and Bowie on the Sunset route. Historically there has been a morning turn from Safford to Bowie, then a turn from Duncan, AZ on the Clifton line to Bowie and back that meets him there in the morning. I will try to find out if this is still the case from a friend who was recently there. You can usually find them switching around Globe and Miami in the mornings, taking cars up to the smelter that the road train brought in overnight.

EDIT UPDATE: AZER now basing road crew at Ft. Thomas on Miami line. Day turn to Globe OD 0700 to meet the Miami local and return, then a night turn to Bowie at 1900. On duty times at Duncan are 0600 for Bowie turn and 1800 for Clifton turn. Saturday is off day both lines.

No changes on Copper Basin.

BMLP I'm unsure of, but people usually seem to do well catching daylight ops between the power plant at Page and the loadout (name escapes me). Access is relatively difficult in the middle section from what I understand, as it is Apache land.
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Last edited by ShortlinesUSA; 08-28-2010 at 05:18 PM. Reason: Updated info
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Old 09-19-2010, 06:18 AM   #4
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Does anybody have any information about this new Utah Southern operations around Cedar City? Or at least where they store the units when not in use? I managed to find a report saying they planned on running two iron ore trains a week. I would be content just getting a roster shot - they have two pretty decent SD40-2s with new paint.
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Old 09-20-2010, 03:40 PM   #5
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I've hit the Utah Southern twice and haven't had any luck each time. First time was before they really got running, and the second time they were shut down waiting for the boat to show up so they could send the last two trains up. When they're not running, they store the units up at Iron Springs, but it's not easy to photograph them from the road, and there's no obvious way to get closer to the units. However, apparently the guy who runs the USR is a railfan, so it probably wouldn't be a big deal to hike over closer for shots.

I'd like to catch them running soon, as access is decent, and the roads are good
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