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Tom Crosthwait's Mogollon & Southwestern Railroad

History of the M&Sw:
The Arizona Mineral Belt Railroad

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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.

The Atlantic and Pacific RR 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 stock).

Flagstaff 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 be needed long after the railroad was done.

After 70 feet of tunnel, Colonel Eddy ran out of money, and the Arizona Mineral Belt Railroad was never finished.

The M&Sw of "Today" (mid-1950s)

The M&Sw begins in Globe, Arizona, where it interchanges with the Southern Pacific branch north from Bowie. A northbound M&Sw train departs Globe Yard (to the left) and travels past the old town site of Claypool into Miami, AZ. Copper related industries, as well as other minor industries, have rail service in these three cities. A small perlite facility is located on a long spur out of Miami (to the right).

As a train departs Miami to the north (left), it passes the Arizona Southern interchange and begins the climb to the town of Payson, AZ, location of a passing siding, small passenger station, and team track. A rail spur serves a working ranch.

Upon leaving Payson a train begins the grueling climb up to the top of the Mogollon Rim. It enters the Colonel Eddy spiral tunnel and exits high above the town of Payson. It works it’s way up a canyon, past the tank stop of Strawberry, crosses two major bridges, and doubles back along the opposite canyon wall to reach the summit.

Once upon the rim, a train arrives in Happy Jack – site of a large copper mining complex. A turning "Y" makes a connection with Clarke Valley Lumber Co. rails.

Continuing north (right), a train passes by Mary Lake Lodge and into Ayers Junction (south of Flagstaff), where it interchanges with the Santa Fe. This is the northern terminus of the M&Sw. The Clarke Valley Lumber Company sawmill is located just outside of town. CVLCo. lumber trains travel over their own tracks, as well as those of the M&Sw, to bring cut logs to the mill from the woods.



Ayers Junction, AZ. Happy Jack, AZ. Clark Valley, AZ. Boos’ Coal Tipple, Mary Lake, AZ Lavender Mine Tonto Creek, AZ. E. Verde Creek Bridge, AZ Strawberry, AZ. Meander Mine, AZ. Ayers Junction Business Dist. Buzz's Full Service Eubank's Place Champion Hill Creek Apache Maid Mine, Happy Jack, AZ. Switcher Duties at Apache Maid Tonto Basin, AZ. Meander Mine, AZ. Strawberry, AZ south.


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