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Santa Fe to Phoenix

Railroads of Arizona, Volume 5

by David F. Myrick

Arizona 5 jacket

... Trains magazine, April 2002

This is a new volume in David Myrick's acclaimed series of books about Arizona railroading. It is a history of efforts to construct a north-south railroad connecting Phoenix with the Santa Fe main line in northern Arizona, as well as the operations of that and connected lines, such as the route to California with a Colorado River bridge at Parker. The various mining roads tributary to the "Peavine," as the Santa Fe line was known, are also here, along with the rich mining history and associated railroads of the area around Prescott.

Prescott, capital of Arizona Territory, had no railroad until 1887, despite active mining in the nearby Bradshaw Mountains and the tantalizing completion of the Atlantic & Pacific Railroad across northern Arizona in 1881, only fifty miles to the north. Emergence of a railroad to Prescott was to be an important factor in the development of central Arizona.

Prescott's first railroad, the Prescott & Arizona Central, only lasted six years, and was succeeded by the Santa Fe, Prescott & Phoenix (the "Peavine"), a road which eventually became part of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. Later construction of the Parker line, a direct route from the Phoenix area to Southern California, is also described.

The history of these and associated railroads, such as the Bradshaw Mountain Railroad, is presented in this book, from early construction and operation through a rugged and arid territory, to the coming of modernization in the twentieth century. During much of this history, railroads were powered by steam locomotives, and both passenger and freight operations are described here. In addition, the book features numerous images of mines, mills, and mining camps throughout the book's territory. Enthusiasts of mining history will also find much to enjoy in this book.

The distinguished Western historian David F. Myrick, as in his previous books, brings meticulous research, numerous fine maps, and a superb collection of rare and historic photographs to this new volume of the Arizona series. As always, his writing is authoritative, clear and readable. Railroad artist John Winfield provided a dust jacket painting of a Santa Fe perishable freight train crossing Hell Canyon, north of Prescott, in the early 1950s. This book is a fitting companion to Volume 4, The Santa Fe Route,and is sure to take its place in libraries of railroad and Western history.

Santa Fe to Phoenix will provide fans of Arizona's railroads many hours of pleasurable reading. “

-- Keith L. Bryant, Jr.

Santa Fe to Phoenix is another installment in a distinguished series, providing a vast amount of information this isn't available anywhere else. It's a "must have" book for devotees and modelers of the Santa Fe and of western railroads in general, as well as for those who are interested in steam-era mining shortlines.”

-- Richard H. Hendrickson

Also available: Some full reviews of this book as well as the Table of Contents of the book.

Particulars: Santa Fe to Phoenix, Railroads of Arizona, Vol. 5, by David F. Myrick
Price: $65     Size: 280 pages, 8.5" x 11", hard covers; 261 photos, 29 maps, bibliography, index
ISBN: 1-930013-05-1      publication date: November 15, 2001
Distribution: Western Star Distributors, Lompoc, CA; or direct from publisher.