Note: While at one time abandoned, this right-of-way continues to see rail traffic today.
The Burro Mountain Railroad started out as a subsidiary of the El Paso and Southwestern Railroad (itself under the control of the Phelps-Dodge Mining Company) and established a 13-mile line from Burro Mountain Junction (at a connection with the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway) to the town of Tyrone (at its original location). When Phelps-Dodge closed the mines at Tyrone down in 1924, the EP&SW sold the line to the Southern Pacific Railroad, who abandoned the line in 1933.
In 1952, Phelps-Dodge reopened the mines in Tyrone as open pit mines; the expansion of the mines forced Tyrone to relocate to its current location. In order to support their operation, Phelps-Dodge rebuilt the Burro Mountain Railroad, using much of the original right-of-way. The line continues in use today.
The Burro Mountain Railroad, albeit a small short line, is one of the few railroad lines that crosses the continental divide.
Thanks to Joe Gill for contributing information.
|Southern Pacific Railroad|
|Docket: 9876||3/8/1933||Section: 1|
|App. of Burro Mountain RR. Co. and Southern Pacific Co. for certificate to abandon the Tyrone Branch, and its operation, between Burro Mountain Junction and Tyrone, in Grant County, New Mexico, a distance of 13.07 miles.|
|Length: 13.070 miles||Citation: 193 ICC 758|
Was there ever a railroad in railroad canyon in the Gila Wilderness?
About Railroad canyon. There are two Railroad canyons in the Gila. There were no RR build in either one.
The railroad was constructed by the El Paso & Southwestern railroad and this section was later owned by Phelps Dodge (mining) Company. The railroad was only 12 miles long with some spurs. The railroad connected with the Santa Fe south of Silver City, NM. After Phelps Dodge closed the mine they sold the rairoad to the SP. The "Tyrone Branch" appears to have never been used by the SP since they had no connection to it and their tracks were in Deming, NM about 47 miles away.