Abra to Prescott

The Prescott District

The abandoned railroad route between Abra and Prescott, known as The Prescott District, of which 28.22 miles have been abandoned, was once operated in Arizona by the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway.

Historic ICC Abandonment Filings

ATCHISON, TOPEKA & SANTA FE RAILWAY
Docket Number: AB 52 Sub 28 Date: 5/29/1984 Section: 10903
Application filed for abandonment of a line of railroad known as the Prescott District of the Albuquerque Division, extending from mile post 29.10 at Abra to the end of the line at mile post 57.32 near Prescott, a distance of 28.22 miles, all in Yavapai County, Arizona.
Length: 28.22 miles Citation:  

I'm new to AZ and its railroads, and alas, I do not have a general RR map of the state. At the moment, I'm trying to digest things in bite-sized quantities (i.e., trying not to drown by input overload). One of my efforts is to get a handle on the Sante Fe line that served Prescott, whose passenger station is now being adaptively reused by Wells Fargo. This subsite informs one that the line from Abra, on the BNSF Phoenix Sub, ran about 28 miles to Prescott, which in 1984 was the end of track. I stress that was true in 1984, but perhaps the line ran farther prior to that year. I note several other abandonments south and southeast of Prescott, between the 1920s and 1973. For example, the intents to abandon both the Entro-Iron King (February 8, 1973) and Abra-Prescott (May 29, 1984) portions refer to Docket AB 52, Subs 1 and 28, respectively. Were these places once all part of the same line? Otherwise put, was the branch serving Prescott a stub line--one way in, one way out--OR did it continue south once upon a time, perhaps connecting to a main line leading into Phoenix? Thanks, Nelson

Nelson Lawry
Rollinsford, NH
4/18/2011

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yes the line ran from paulden, through chino valley, had a spur line that ran to mayer and crown king that connected north of prescott in the granite dells, then continued through prescott and on to skull valley, wickenburg, and then on to phoenix. they abandoned the line between prescott and skull valley because the sierra prieta range was too tough a climb, they had an a-b-b-a unit in prescott on stanby to assit. so they made a new line from paulden around behind the range that joins back up just south of skull valley. then in the early 80s a monsoon washed out a bridge north of prescott, so they abandoned the north half too. prescott tried to buy it for a tourist railway, but they wouldnt sell.

clay morgan
texas
6/3/2011

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If you would like detailed information on this line and its construction details, i highly recommend the David Myrick book "Santa Fe to Phoenix". Unfortunately, this book doesn't cover the United Verde that ran from Jerome junction over the mountains to Jerome. It is left for another volume by Myrick, but there are a number of other publications that cover it.

Strangely, the first major abandonment in AZ, that of the Prescott and Arizona Central, isn't covered by this site...but is detailed in this book. The P&AC was the first railroad to reach Prescott, starting from Seligman. This line only lasted several years due to a number of reasons, among them was the fact that is wasn't very well constructed.

Proof of this can be seen when you try to find remnants of the old ROW today....virtually no evidence of its existence can be found, save for the northern-most section in Railroad canyon just south of Seligman. I may have discovered what might be some parts of the old ROW in Chino Valley, but there is no way to be sure...and even Myrick's book notes that no accurate map of the P&AC has ever surfaced to date. The book does feature a "best guess" map assembled form various sources. Photographs show that near Prescott, the two competing lines ran very close to each other.

Strange that this significant line seems largely forgotten.

James
Chino Valley, AZ
1/10/2012

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For some historical perspective to actually view the railroad operating thru Prescott, anybody can watch the film "Junior Bonner" staring Steve McQueen & Robert Preston. There is a railroad yard scene at the old Depot and two Sante Fe engines running past running in between McQeen and Preston. The clips give an overall view of the surrounding railyard and businesses. Film was made in 1970.

Don Holliday
Temecula, CA
3/8/2012

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I have been trying to find the location of a Flag Station between Pauldin and Ashfork. It was nothing more than a Stopping off point for the locals. My Grandfather utilized this stop several time during the month of August 1913. If possible could I get a GPS approximation as to where this stop would have been, it was called VALLEY. Thank you.

Tony Boynton
Phoenix, AZ
3/10/2013

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Tony,

Hopefully you've found your information regarding "Valley". I too am looking for information on a community by the name of "Pride" on the Prescott line. My father, still living, was born in Puntenney, AZ and my mother in Cedar Glade. My father says that as a boy of 5 or 6 (about 1930)he lived in Pride where both my paternal and maternal grandparents worked and lived. He recalls the community (store, gas station, shacks and tents) being just north of present day Drake, where the family cut and supplied wood to the railroad. Any information on this location is greatly appreciated.

Ruben

Ruben Sanchez
Prescott, AZ
7/7/2013

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Ruben

Just North of Drake where the Old Highway 89 used to crossover the railroad tracks at MP 19.4. There are some concrete floors and a clearing where it looks like there may have been something there. You can see this if you go north over the Overpass on HWY 89 and turn right on the first road to the right about a 1/2 mile north of the over pass go east about 1/4 mile to the old HWY and head south stay on the old HWY and it should run into the Railroad fence. Drake is Railroad MP 21.3 I have worked for the old AT&SF and present BNSF for 38 years and have never heard mention of Pride Station. Cedar Glades is now called Drake and Puntenney is just west of big Hells Canyon Bridge there is still a Graveyard there.

Fred Garcia
Chino Valley , AZ
7/11/2014

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