The Crown King Branch
— ICC Abandonment Filings —
|Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway|
|Docket: 12513||8/5/1939||Section: 1|
|Application of California & Santa Fe Railway for abandonment by California, Arizona & Santa Fe Railway and discontinuance of operation by Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway of a line of railroad called "Crown King District" extending from Cordes to Blue Bell, Ariz, approximately 2.7 miles in length in Yavapai County, Ariz.|
|Length: 2.700 miles||Citation: 236 ICC 301|
— User Comments —
Interesting trip and town. Worth the drive. I'd like to know more about the Crown King railroad, especially maps.
John Sayre wrote a book called "Ghost Railroads of Central Arizona" that covers this line (and is not mentioned in the Wikipedia entry.) It is now out-of-print, but most Arizona libraries have copies and it can probably be purchased used.
REF: slight (approx. 2-3 mile orig rail route) correction.
I drive up to Crown King Often. As an old rail fan, am always looking at the mountain "cuts" of the old railway that is now part of the 27 mile long dirt road to Crown King.
On your original rail (white line) map, from Cleator up approx. 8 miles to the 1st "tight road switch back" (were the train had to go just past the switch - then run in reverse approx. 2 miles to the next),this is your reference point: From the 1st switch (hairpin), go back down 3 miles on the dirt road/white line, (this is mile marker 18 or 19 if driving it). Road (white line) heading slightly NE makes a 90 degree "curve" to the NW at this point. Looking slightly SE from here, 300 ft across the gorge, you will see the deep cut in the crest of this mountain range (easy to see - once you spot it). Then old rail bed can be followed up farther past this cut (past another switch) to where it intersects dirt road (white line) approx. 1 1/2 miles up from "curve".
What makes this important, is that there was a major tussle about 300ft long and about 100 ft height (at maximum point) across gorge that terminated right at the start of that deep cut on mountain range.
When driving up, I always look (across that gorge) at that deep cut that now terminates into "thin air". Rails removed late 20's, trussle removed late 30's approximately.
15min DVD : Road to Crown King, shows old footage of a car crossing this old trussle (when it was "planked over") just prior to being torn down.
PS, enjoying this site, thank you.