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The Southern Pacific Ran to Miami? No way!

February 19, 2010

Yes way.  The Southern Pacific served Miami until 1988. Miami, Arizona, that is.

Which Miami were you thinking about?

SP GP35 6588, accompanied by 2 GP9's, drags into Miami, AZ on Jan. 21, 1978

Miami was the end of SP’s Globe branch. This line came off the Sunset mainline at Bowie, AZ and ran 135 miles north into the copper mining area of Arizona.

The line was started by the Gila Valley, Globe & Northern Railway, but during construction the line came under control of the Arizona Eastern Railroad. The line was completed in January 1899.

The SP gained control of the Arizona Eastern Railroad in 1905. In 1924, the SP merged it into its system and the Arizona Eastern was no more.

Fast forward to 1988. All Class 1 railroads were spinning off branches that they couldn’t operate profitably. The SP was no exception.

The SP sold the Globe Branch to Kyle Railways in 1988. In a moment of inspiration, Kyle named the line Arizona Eastern Railroad.

The line has been sold several times over the last 22 years. It’s currently owned by Iowa Pacific Holdings, but it’s still called the Arizona Eastern Railroad.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. March 14, 2010 2:05 pm

    Robert……..wow! at long last, I can prove that a train did come by Miami, Az.

    I was 5 years old in the early 1940’s…..the old conductor, a burly bearded man, would slow down in the town of Miami, we would board the train for a ride, while the bigger boys would take ice from one of the boxcars…..the conductor would feed me cookies.

    I am of mexican/papago indian decent…and that picture of the train brought back beautiful wonderful memories of my childhood……thank you.

    josie kirst

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