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MinerFortyNiner
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Well, I finally fulfilled one of my 'bucket list' items, got myself down the road to Clifton and Morenci, Arizona to photograph two of the last surviving 20" gauge Porters operated by the Arizona Copper Company. The ACC, nicknamed the 'baby gauge', was the first narrow gauge railroad in Arizona.



Here's #8, the Copper Head, on display near the railroad station in Clifton. She is definitely showing her age, I hope she gets a new coat of paint before too long. This is the only surviving 20" gauge 0-4-4 in its as-built configuration.



This is #5, the Forman, which was cut down around 1900 before being hoisted up the Coronado Incline to serve on the high line, shuttling cars along a short 20" line between the mine and the upper incline station. After she and two of her sisters had been abandoned for 63 years on the mountain following closing of the mine, she was hauled down and restored.



This is Detroit Copper #2, which served the mines around Morenci. She was preserved by a former engineer and is now on display at the Adobe Mountain Railroad Park in north Phoenix, Arizona.

I have more info. about the history of these amazing lokies on my website here: http://members.cox.net/vgniner/concept/history/history.html

And i have some photo CDs available for anyone interested here: http://members.cox.net/vgniner/trading/trading.html

Last edited on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 06:17 am by MinerFortyNiner

W C Greene
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I trust you stopped for a brew at The Cave in Clifton when you were there! Looks like you made a great tour of 20" loco locations. I will get there again one of these days. Great photos!

                Woodie

Herb Kephart
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Thanks, Vern!


Interesting that 5 and 8 were built with diamond stacks (which IMO adds nothing to their looks) when I would assume that the area that they ran in was pretty devoid of anything that would burn---or am I missing something?


Herb  :old dude:

MinerFortyNiner
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Well dang it all Woodie, I forgot about The Cave. Looks like I have to visit again soon and get that cold brew!

Herb, they all burned wood early in their careers, and then all were converted to burn oil later in their service careers (except #5 and her two sisters who worked on the high line between Coronado Mine and the incline). They burned mostly mesquite, as did the early boilers and furnaces for the mining operation. Entire forests of mesquite were cleared along the banks of nearby Gila River to supply to fuel needs. When these locos were restored, they got wood burning stacks...whether out of necessity or preference I don't know.

As for esthetics, I typically don't like diamond stacks much, but these are more like Congdon stacks with a shallower angle on the lower half. They are an acquired taste, and I've developed a certain appreciation for them

!:cb:

MinerFortyNiner
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Here are a few more images:



Here is another look at ACC #2 at the Arizona Mineral Museum, which is now renamed in honor of Arizona's upcoming centennial in 2012. Named William Grant, she was built in 1882 as a 0-4-2 and later cut down for work on the high line.



A view inside the restored cab.



Another look at #8 with her original trailing truck.



Here is Copper Head's smokebox door, proudly displaying her heritage.



A look inside #5's cab at the rear of the firebox.



Here is #5's running gear.



Here is another look at Detroit Copper #2, named La Nena.



Here's a detail view of La Nena's running gear.



And a look at her recently re-painted cab.

Last edited on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 07:28 pm by MinerFortyNiner

elminero67
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Vern-great pics, glad to hear that you made it out to Clifton/Morenci. As you saw, much of the historic landscape around Clifton/Morenci is gone, but there is still alot to see there if you have a little imagination.

MinerFortyNiner
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Thanks Duane...I guess massive open-pit copper mines have a way of swallowing up a lot of history! Too bad, the Chase Creek canyon would have been an amazing place to watch trains.

W C Greene
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Verne-when you were checking out Copperhead in Clifton, did you visit the jail-right in front of the loco? We went inside and down to where the "cells" were. I can't imagine being held there, I am sure it made malfeasers and miscreants change their ways after being chained to the cave floor all night. Also, did you get to visit the museum/station? It was closed when I was there last.

                            Woodie

MinerFortyNiner
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Yes and no...the station was open as I was leaving town, but I was already facing a 4-hour trip home after a very busy day trying to see everything. It is now the office for the Chamber of Commerce, so hopefully it will be open regularly.

Agree that the Jail is most disagreeable.

I was able to meet a very nice docent at the Greenlee County Historical Society museum in the Chase Creek district, I was luck and it was open in the afternoon. Joe Brinkley showed me some interesting artifacts at the museum, and told of stealing honey from a beehive made in one of the boilers of the three abandoned Porters on Coronado Mountain when he was a spry lad. Heh, Porter Brand honey!

:cb:

Last edited on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 04:25 pm by MinerFortyNiner

elminero67
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I have a paper I wrote on Clifton/Morenci with good mappage of the narrow gauge. Unfortunately it is in PDF: Does anyone know how to attach a PDF?

elminero67
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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:


elminero67
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This 1902 topo only also only shows a portion of the lines. Although it doesn't look particularly steep, keep in mind that the contour level is 100'.

elminero67
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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.

 


MinerFortyNiner
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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!

Last edited on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 11:52 pm by MinerFortyNiner

Traingeekboy
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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.

GUTMACH
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Pretty tempting to load 'Copperhead' onto a flatbed, take it home, and plop it in the backyard.

Interesting area, I try to get out there once a year.

W C Greene
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Next time you get to Clifton, have a couple of cold ones at "The Cave"...fun indeed.
Woodie

elminero67
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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:

http://cida.usgs.gov/hqsp/apex/f?p=262:18:1960690599858955::NO:RP::


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