Yuma to San Luis

The Yuma Valley Railroad

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

Note: Part of this line is is still operated by a tourist railroad.

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This view is facing east near Sunset Route Junction, where the Yuma Valley Railroad once connected with the Southern Pacific's Sunset Route in Yuma, AZ. Photo by Mike Palmer, May 2010.

This abandoned railway was built as the Yuma Valley Railroad, a subsidiary of the Southern Pacific, and was constructed in 1914 from a connection with the SP Sunset Route at Yuma to the border town of San Luis. For a majority of its route, it ran parallel to both irrigation canals in the area and the Colorado River, and served local ranches along the line.

The line was cut back from San Luis to Gadsden in 1952, with the remainder of the line abandoned by SP in 1980. However, local interests purchased the existing line (from Yuma to Gadsden) for the purposes of running a tourist excursion train during the fall, winter and spring seasons. The ride offers a two-hour narrated excursion in restored Pullman passenger cars behind a vintage GE 44-tonner, viewing local wildlife and agriculture along the route. All of the rolling stock for this railroad has been removed from the property as of 2013.

Thanks to Mike Palmer for contributing information about this route.

WOW i was looking forward at figureing out a way how to purchase this abandoned railroad i lookedd so hard over google maps for this one, ohh well :(, i would do anything to visit this railway please respond back iff you can thank you.... especially if there are any steam engines

diego bemiss
Tucson, AZ


This line is actually owned by the Dept of Interior/Bur. of Reclamation as it resides atop the levee on the Arizona/east side of the Colorado River. It was actually built for the construction of the levee system for the Yuma Valley. Rail service was petitioned for and then operated by the SP until end of service.

As Mike points out, south of Gadsden the tracks are out of service and most are removed although you can still easily find the right of way.

Between Yuma and the area known as Steam which about aligns with 8th Street west the line still exists although not well maintained. There is a power generating station and teh Bur. of Rec. Desalination plant which has a significant amount of trackage should the plant ever be put into full operation.

The Yuma Valley tourist train operated for several years but ran into financial issues when the BofR required the YVRy to perform all the maintenance on the tracks at a level beyond what was needed and a cost that was not feasible. All the equipment was sold off, some going to the tourist line in Nevada and some for scrap.

There is a steam locomotive in Yuma, SP 2521, a 1907 built Baldwin Consolidation. More info and photos on the website www.yumamodelrailroaders.org

Lee Stoermer
Yuma, AZ


Shortened Link: http://a-r.us/6nw

Do you have any pictures or information about The Yuma Valley Railroad? Please . You will get credit for anything you contribute.