After leaving the Clifton-Morenci area we drove south to Safford AZ, about 44 miles. Safford is a good size town, and there were plenty of motels. Freeport-McMoRan has a research center and mine at Safford, and I learned that many employees at Morenci live here.
Safford is on another Southern Pacific branch that is now owned by Genesee & Wyoming Inc. The branch is not covered in the 1990 SP employee timetable, so it must have become a shortline before that. It’s fairly long at 133 miles. The website lists agriculture, chemicals and copper as the commodities carried by Arizona Eastern. Notice on the map the proximity to the Copper Basin (CBRY), San Manuel Arizona RR (SMA) and the Southwestern RR (SW), all of which are copper haulers.
1. AZER_4.2016 map.
2. Inked Hammond AZ map 2_LI.
3. AZER depot Safford AZ, looking northwest toward Globe. Thursday, 05-02-2019.
4. Mission style architecture favored in this part of the country. Notice the snow on the mountain in the background. We could look back and see this mountain until we were about 10-15 miles from Globe (Safford to Globe on the railroad is 84 mi. but only 77 on the highway). AZER depot. Safford AZ.
5. AZER depot. Safford AZ.
6. The Globe Branch is not in SP’s 1990 timetable. SP Clifton and Globe branches. Click here for a larger view.
7. AZER B40-8s 4008-4002-4006-4004 coupled to a freight at Globe AZ ready to go east but no crew.
8. AZER 4008-4002-4006-4004. View 2. Globe AZ.
9. For you knowledgeable about the “Midland Trail” through Virginia, West Virginia and Kentucky, that’s US 60 and US 70 crossing the bridge through downtown Globe AZ. AZER 4008-4002-4006-4004. Globe AZ.
10. AZER 4008 B40-8. Globe AZ.
11. AZER 4006. Globe AZ.
12. AZER 4004. Globe AZ.
13. All of AZER’s B40-8’s are listed as coming from UP. Presumably they came from the SP originally. I shot a SP B40-8 on a mine run here years ago. AZER 4004-4006-4002-4008. Globe AZ.
14. I don’t know where AZER maintains a shop or servicing facility. Maybe at Bowie. Certainly not at Lordsburg, Clifton, Globe or Miami. AZER 4006. Globe AZ.
15. AZER 4002. Globe AZ.
16. CTI (Central Transport) has a trans load facility in the AZER yard. Globe AZ.
17. AZER depot in Globe AZ.
18. I don’t think these excursions have operated for several years. AZER Copper Spike Ry excursion schedule.
19. Looking east toward the yard. I’m not sure what the building is used for, but it is in excellent condition. AZER depot. Globe AZ.
20. AZER depot. View 2. Globe AZ.
21. The baggage building is definitely used for railroad storage. AZER baggage bldg. Globe AZ.
22. On display nearby is SP 2-6-0 1744. SP 1774. Globe AZ.
23. SP 1774. View 2. Globe AZ.
24. 1774 was donated by SP in 1956. It is a M-8 class built by Baldwin in 1901. Espee donated a lot of their locomotives. SP 1774 plaque. Globe AZ.
25. SP 1774. View 5. Globe AZ.
26. SP 1774. View 6. Globe AZ.
27. SP 1774. View 7. Presentation plaque. Globe AZ.
28. Most locomotives used in the desert southwest were oil burners. SP 1774. View 8. Globe AZ.
29. Leaving town toward Miami AZER crosses this neat wooden trestle. AZER trestle. Globe AZ.
We continue heading west on US 60, 7 miles to the big copper mining center of Miami.