Poston Station to Florence Junction

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  • States: Arizona   
  • Railroads: AE, SP   

The Florence Branch

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Little evidence of this short abandoned route remains today. Here, near Parsons, the raised grade and ballast are still in place, but largely covered in sagebrush. View is facing northeast. Photo by Mike Palmer, February 2009.

Not much is known about this short spur. In all likelyhood it started out as the original routing of the Southern Pacific (via susbidiary Arizona Eastern) mainline east of Phoenix until the line was relocated to its current routing through Magma. From then on, it was most likely used as a short cut-off by the Copper Basin Railway in reaching the new Southern Pacific routing at Poston Station. While it shows up on maps as early as 1895, it is absent on a 1948 railroad map.

Today, little evidence remains of the line. All lineside structures, bridges, culverts have been removed. The only clues that remain are the rocks in areas that were once used as ballast.

See also Dock to Poston Station.

Thanks to Mike Palmer for contributing information about this route.

Historic ICC Abandonment Filings

SOUTHERN PACIFIC RAILROAD
Docket Number: 12488 Date: 7/24/1939 Section: 1
Application of Arizona Eastern Railroad Company for authority to abandon a portion of the Florence Branch between Poston and Florence, in Pinal County, Arizona, a distance of 5.61 miles together with all the sidings, spur tracks. and appurtenances.
Length: 5.61 miles Citation: 236 ICC 11  

According to David Myrick's "Railroads of Arizona, Volume II," the line was built in conjunction with the Phoenix Main. It opened on Dec. 1, 1925. It reduced by 80 miles the shipping distance of copper ore to the smelters in El Paso. Prior to then, all ore traffic had to move through Tempe and Maricopa. Traffic eventually dwindled and the line was abandoned.

Mark Dietrich
Tempe, AZ
4/15/2014

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Shortened Link: http://a-r.us/hq2
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