The railway line to Tombstone started out as a two-mile graded right-of-way heading east out of the town of Fairbank. The grading was done by the New Mexico and Arizona Railroad from a connection with their Benson-Nogales mainline, constructed in 1882. However, the NM&A's parent, the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway, decided to not pursue a line to Tombstone, and only the grading was left, sans tracks.
In 1902, a mining boom in the town of Bisbee prompted the El Paso and Southeastern Railway to construct a line between Benson and Bisbee, which too traveled through Fairbank (indeed paralleling the nearby NM&A line for some of its length). Thanks to a similar mining boom in the town of Tombstone, the EP&SW constructed a branch line from Fairbank (utilizing the prior right-of-way graded by the NM&A from 1882) into Tombostone, completing it in 1903.
Operations over the line continued under the Southern Pacific Railroad (who leased the EP&SW in 1924 and purchased it outright in 1955). However, after production of the mines dwindled and stopped altogether, SP filed for abandonment of the line in 1959.