Avondale to Litchfield Park

The Litchfield Industrial Lead

Picture Point of Interest

GOOGLE MAPS no longer available: With apologies, I am unable to continue showing Google Maps. Google has forced my hand by increasing their map usage fee from nothing/free to OVER $300 A MONTH for the Abandoned Rails website! This is an expense that I simply cannot afford. Rest assured I am looking at available open source alternatives, so maps should be back online soon!

Greg Harrison

Showing of

Looking south at the grade crossing for the Phoenix-Goodyear Municipal Airport; there are no crossing signals of any kind here. In the distance you can see the former secondary SP (UP) main running left to right. Photo by Mike Palmer, February 2009.

This short branch was built in 1920 by the Arizona Eastern Railroad (a subsidiary of Southern Pacific since 1905). It connected to the mainline in Avondale via a wye, called "Litchfield Junction", from which the line extended northward 2.91 miles to the town of Litchfield Park. AE was officially merged into SP in 1924, who built a passenger depot at Litchfield passenger in 1926 (which is now privately-owned and has been moved from its original location).

The last shipper on the line, Dietrich Metal Framing, had rail service to their facilities about a mile north of Litchfield Junction, until October 2007, when the last train rolled over the tracks. While the rest of the tracks have not been used for some time (even the northern-most sections have been removed), Union Pacific only recently filed for abandonment of the line in 2008.

Today, some tracks and wooden crossbucks still remain, but a majority of the right-of-way has been obliterated by a golf course resort, a shopping center and housing addition. The former SP mainline is now the Union Pacific secondary main through Phoenix.

Historic ICC Abandonment Filings

Docket Number: AB 12 Sub 44 Date: 8/26/1976 Section: 1a
Application filed for authority to abandon line of railroad extending from MP 892.25 near Litchfield Park, in a northerly direction to the end of the branch at MP 894.26 at Litchfield Park, a distance of 2.01 miles in Maricopa County, Arizona. (This line Includes the station of Litchfield Park.)
Length: Unknown Citation:  

I live near here. The railroad recently (Jan 2010) removed the switch on what was left of the east side of the Y (near airport). The track in the top picture connected to the main via this switch. Now the main line is straight track through this area.

Tom Callaghan
Goodyear, AZ



All of the track, rails and ties, that are shown in the pictures are gone. In fact, it looks like it has all been cleared from the main line to Van Buren. Further North, hard to say without exploring on foot. Tracks are still visible from the I-10 overpass.

Tom Callaghan
Goodyear, AZ


There is an abandoned rail spur adjacent to my property on west osborn in phoenix az. I would like to make an offer to sp to purchase. the tracks have been removed. any suggestions on price

grne shaffer
prescott, AZ


Isn't the "main line" mentioned here actually the abandoned or deactiviated branch from Wellton to Phoenix ? This line runs through Hyder and I believe is over 100 miles in length.

Bill Wilsford
San Diego, CA


Correct. That is the same mainline. However it does remain active out to at least Buckeye. Unoin Pacific has been slowly upgrading the infrastructure throughout Phoenix, but still no sign of reopening the entire Wellton sub.

Chris Poole
Tucson, AZ


This branch is totally pulled up as of a few years ago. However there are vestiges of it. There is a canal that crosses Litchfield Rd abt 1/10 mi south of Indian School Rd. As you cross the canal, look to the west at the pedestrian bridge, and you will see it is simply the railroad crossing with some handrails added. Dated in the 1920's. .

Stan Jefferson
Litchfield Park , AZ


Shortened Link: http://a-r.us/a1m

Do you have any pictures or information about The Litchfield Industrial Lead? Please . You will get credit for anything you contribute.