Ash Fork to Prescott

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This line was chartered under the Santa Fe, Prescott and Phoenix Railway in May of 1891. Construction started in August of the next year at Ash Fork, and completed to Prescott in April of 1893.

The line traversed Limestone Canyon, and featured severe grades, curves and bridges. Derailments and rock slides were a constant problem.

In 1901, the AT&SF completed a route, also between Ash Fork and Prescott, with greatly reduced grades and only two bridges at Hell's Canyon. This route through limestone canyon was abandoned soon after.

Thanks to James for contributing information about this route.

Standing and looking at the Limestone Canyon section today, the sheer effort to build this must have been astounding...not to mention riding a train down this section of track. One also has to wonder why the current alignment to the east wasn't considered, since it was far easier to construct and maintain. I can only assume the bridge technology to cross the very-deep Hell's Canyon wasn't in place during the original construction.

This is an important piece of AZ railroading history that few people seem to know about.

James
Chino Valley, AZ
9/20/2016

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