Riding the Verde Canyon Railroad

pastoolio Aug 11, 2009

  1. pastoolio

    pastoolio TrainBoard Member

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    Hey all, the girlfriend and I took the Verde Canyon Railroad last Sunday, and I thought I'd share some of the pics I took :)
    The Verde Canyon RR started the tourist train back in 1990, and even though it's only 25 miles from my house, I never had a desire to ride it, mainly because it travels most of the same scenery I see on a daily basis. My girlfriend scored some free tickets through her work, and she told me that we were going to go ride it. Can't pass that up! It was a 4 hour ride, 40 miles round trip. It was a really nice ride, and totally different than what I expected. I highly recommend it to anyone coming to this part of the country. :thumbs_up:

    Starting off the journey with the Verde Canyon Railroad logo on the side of our car.

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    Each coach car had it's own viewing car, made from old flat cars. Our Coach car was the Cottonwood and our viewing car was the Clarkdale. The old mining town of Jerome is high up on the mountain

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  2. pastoolio

    pastoolio TrainBoard Member

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    For a higher price, you can ride the caboose. Looks like that would be alot of fun kicking it on the rear platform!

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    Here is our power for the day. Ex SP F7's (I think?)

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    And just behind them is the power car

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    This guy was sitting down below the station on the wye track.

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  3. pastoolio

    pastoolio TrainBoard Member

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    After we were all boarded, we had to wait for the "local". I didn't get a good look at the engine to tell if it was a GP7 or 9, but it looks ex SP (light package).

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    He was bringing in 7 hoppers loaded with coal for the Phoenix cement plant located in Clarkdale. These hoppers connect with the BNSF at Drake on the Peavine line (Ashfork to Phoenix.)

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    Once the local was clear, we stared moving. There is a small 4 track yard at the station, and across from it is the old smelter buildings.

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  4. pastoolio

    pastoolio TrainBoard Member

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    A little ways into our ride, they let us out on the viewing cars, where I spent the whole trip. Here we cross SOB canyon. The train slows to a stop so everyone can take pictures of the river below.

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    These 2 pics are taken while going around a large 180° curve. We are slowly dropping down to the river.

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  5. pastoolio

    pastoolio TrainBoard Member

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    This trestle was across the 180° curve.

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    pulling past the only siding we'll see on the trip. This siding is called Sycamore, since it's located real close to where Sycamore canyon meets the Verde canyon.

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    almost missed the sign! Had to swing around real fast.
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    MP 24

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  6. pastoolio

    pastoolio TrainBoard Member

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    The canyon starts to get steeper and closer together the further up we go.

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    The only tunnel on the line, about 500ft, and I was on the wrong side to get a good pic going this way =(

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    Just before the turnaround spot, we cross the Verde River.

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  7. fitz

    fitz Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Pastoolio, that was great coverage of their operation. I had seen many other posts on the net about them, but never with the kind of detail that you supplied. I think that is a neat idea to have an observation car with each coach. Nice photos and thanks for the interesting description of your trip. :tb-biggrin:
     
  8. pastoolio

    pastoolio TrainBoard Member

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    Pulling into Perkinsville, you can see the supports for the old water tower just behind the locos above the red roof buildings.

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    Perkinsville is our turnaround spot.

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    The old station

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    Looks like the truck has been there as long as the station!

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  9. pastoolio

    pastoolio TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks Fitz! It was alot of fun! I took quite a bit more photos of the surrounding scenery, but am trying to keep it to just train pics here. :)

    -Mike
     
  10. pastoolio

    pastoolio TrainBoard Member

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    As our motive power cut off the front and came around us, they handed out cold ice cream sandwiches to each coach car. Here they are stopped at our car.

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    and off they go to connect to the caboose and pull us back down the canyon.

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    As we go back down, I was able to get pics I couldn't get coming up the canyon. Back over the Verde River bridge.

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    Going back into the tunnel. There are tunnel supports on this side for only about 30ft or so, the rest is solid rock.

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  11. pastoolio

    pastoolio TrainBoard Member

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    Each car had an attendant letting us know what was coming up and what rock formations to look for, and pointing out various things along the way. Here is another scenery shot with the train in it.

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    As we went through the canyon, the attendant pointed out a bald eagle's nest, and then not far down from that, we seen her sitting on a rock ledge across the river from us. They don't have bald eagle's on their locos for nothing! =)

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    Since it was later in the day, the lighting was better at some places. Here we are climbing up out of the canyon.

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  12. pastoolio

    pastoolio TrainBoard Member

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    Here we are coming up to SOB canyon again.

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    Rolling across the bridge, with the shadow of our open platform car below.

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    It was around 5 pm as we roll back into the yard. Mingus mountain is above us with Jerome to the right.

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    One last pic of a MOW car sitting on a siding across from our car.

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    All in all it was a nice afternoon of beautiful scenery and great train riding. =)

    Mike
     
  13. MP333

    MP333 TrainBoard Supporter

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    Wow, great coverage Mike. It's definately on our to-do list, probably next year. Did you get any pictures of the ATSF section house at Perkinsville?
     
  14. pastoolio

    pastoolio TrainBoard Member

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    Steve, yep, this should be it. It's taken from the bad lighting side though :( I was taking pictures of other stuff as we went back past it.

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    Mike
     
  15. MP333

    MP333 TrainBoard Supporter

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    Thanks, it does look improved, the last shots I saw were much worse. These buildings are getting rare.
     
  16. fitz

    fitz Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    You have done more for the Verde Canyon in public relations than they themselves have done. I had no idea the scenery was so impressive along their route. BTW, did you go and visit Jerome, one of the really fascinating historical sites in Arizona? :tb-confused:
     
  17. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    That engine paint still looks really good. Amazing to see that Perkinsville depot somehow still standing.

    Boxcab E50
     
  18. pastoolio

    pastoolio TrainBoard Member

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    Fitz, I don't get up to Jerome much. Nothing really to do up there. I used to go up there almost every weekend when I was in high school. Lots of crazy parties ;)
    The history part of Jerome is pretty cool, I've done a little reading and driving around, but it's not really my cup of tea. I guess this stuff that's around where I live doesn't interest me much.
    The local model railroaders in Cottonwood have a great layout in the Clemenceau Heritage Museum that depicts the mining operations in Jerome and Clarkdale. The pictures on the website don't do their layout justice. It's really well done.

    Mike



     
  19. hotrod4x5

    hotrod4x5 TrainBoard Member

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    Very nice. I rode that about 17 years ago and the motive power was (I think) a GP-7.
     
  20. bravogjt

    bravogjt TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks for taking us along with you Mike. Great pictures as always!!

    Ben
     

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