Looking at the massive open pit and tailings that remain, its hard to imagine the extent of the Clifton/Morenci narrow gauge "empire" that the tiny Porters operated on. I'd argue that it was the most intense and elaborate network of narrow gauge lines in the United States. This map of old Morenci (now gone) shows only a portion of the 20" narrow gauge, many lines are either underground or not shown:
Finally-this last map shows the reason for the multitude of narrow gauge lines: The area was mostly owned by three mining companies, the Arizona Copper Co., the Detroit Copper Co, and the Shannon Arizona Mining Co. Each had their own system of narrow gauge lines that often paralleled eachother, as seen in the photo Vern posted a little eariler in this thread. The railroad with the three loops (there was actually five) is the Morenci Southern. Prior to it's construction almost everything in the town of Morenci arrived via the Coronado Railroad and it's system f inclines and tunnels.
Thanks for the maps, Duane! I would agree, there were 20" tracks everywhere in the vicinity of Morenci, plus extensive dual-gauge in Clifton (20" and 3'). Later, the 3' was expanded to standard gauge.
Five railroads operating in a ten-mile radius of Morenci: the Coronado Railroad and Detroit Copper 20" lines, the Shannon Arizona and Morenci Southern 3' lines, and the Arizona & New Mexico 3' line connecting Clifton to Lordsburg (later rebuilt as standard gauge and now known as the Arizona Eastern). Talk about a great place to watch trains!
As a newbie here on the site, I really appreciate all the research people are doing on the various roads. Those small locos are quite beautiful. I was awe struck by the rock cribbing in one of the black and white shots as well. I suppose I should post some of my odds and ends on here just to contribute a bit.
____________________ Did I ever mention that I like trains?
Also-in the last two weeks USGS released its historic topo maps of AZ, including a much higher quality version of the one I posted earlier: Great surfing, the key is that you have to know the name and scale of the quad you need: