Friday, March 05, 2010

The Peavine, continued

I'm not the only one fascinated with our railroad history. After discussing plans for my previous post, a friend and neighbor sent me the tables that accompany this post -- thanks, Andy! They deal with various facets of the route, from the big city all the way up to the main line at Ash Fork.

Let's start with the question of elevations. I've turned the table above on its side so that you can read the names of maj0r whistle stops on the line from Phoenix to Ash Fork. It's designed to emphasize the elevation changes that our peavine railroad had to negotiate, starting with Phoenix at 1121 ft. and peaking at Prieta, on the Prescott side of the Iron Springs settlement, at 6148 ft. A bit of a climb!

Here is the stretch from Skull Valley (elev. 4297) on into Prescott (elev. 5370). The old time table showed that it took 1 hr. and 16 minutes to go from Prescott to Skull Valley vs. 1 hr. and 35 min. to climb from Skull Valley to Prescott. Phoenix to Prescott was 6 hr. 5 min but downhill Prescott to Phoenix took only 5 hr. 33 min. Incidentally, the stretch of the right-of-way from Doce to Ramsgate is currently a forest road -- a short outing I recommend; catch it south off Iron Springs Road a mile or so beyond the turn-off to the Iron Springs summer home settlement.

Here's the last of the material given me by the good neighbor -- a picture of all the buildings that made up the Prescott railroad station facilities in 1916. Note that the depot building was actually smack dab in the middle of what would have been Sheldon Street.

My Trip on the Peavine: I'm one of the lucky ones -- I actually traveled from Phoenix to Ash Fork in 1946 on the Santa Fe, leaving the big city about 4:30 PM. Twas a short train, consisting of one box car plus a combo railway express/mail/observation car -- the sort with an open platform at the end of the train, just like you see in pictures of Harry Truman as he made whistle stops when running for reelection. My big disappointment was that it was already dark by the time we headed into the mountains.


Anil P said...

Great to have you posting again. The gradient seems steep at most places. Were two engines used to make the climb.

I find railroads interesting. there's usually much history to them.

Would be wonderful to see pictures of stations along the way, more so those catering to rural stops.

Omegadad said...

Kewl Mom. I was hugely disapointed when I took the train from Flag to LA... dark all the way until you reach the SoCal urban sprawl.

But oooh how I love trains... keep em' coming.


AZ said...

My late uncle worked all his life for AT&SF, and in all those years he never took one single photograph. Dang!

Antipodean Curmudgeon said...

Good stuff in your RR postings. It's sad that the line met it's demise--dumb old economics!


Granny J said...

anil -- the longer trains certainly require two engines, though the little 2-car train I took up to the main line did not. And thanks for reminding me that I do have pix of two of the old RR stations.

od -- my most memorable train trip at night was the time, headed from Chi-town to Florida, that our route took us through a great brush fire. Eerie!

az -- what a real pity!

bro -- the line is still busy twixt Phx & Ash Fork; it's just Prescott that's totally out of the loop. And a pity, that.

Boonie said...

You were indeed lucky to ride on that railroad, and probably a few other things that are no longer options. I feel lucky to have ridden my bicycle on the Peavine.

Antipodean Curmudgeon said...

I note that you have your own private spammer--Mr/Mrs Anon.


Granny J said...

boonie -- I suspect you'll be able to ride a bike on the Peavine for a long time to come, if indeed you continue to ride your bike.

bro -- sorry -- I've banished Mr./Ms. Anon to a deep dark hole, so nobody will know what you're talking about!

Anonymous said...

Hi GJ,

Why was Prescott removed from the route as a stop?

You probably told us already, and I forgot. Send me to the principal's office?

~Anon in AV.

Granny J said...

anon av -- In the corner with ya, anon! The remnants of Hurricane Octave washed out a bridge on the link between Prescott and Paulden. At the time, there were, I believe, only three trains/week into Prescott & the Santa Fe powers that be decided that it wouldn't pay to repair the bridge. Efforts to revive the RR as an excursion train for tourists didn't fly, so everything got sold off.

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