San Manuel Arizona Railway Company


The San Manuel Railway Company was built in the late '50's to haul copper products from the mine and smelter at San Manuel to the interchange at Winkleman (Hayden) with the SP (now the Copper Basin Ry). They also have a 6 mile line from the mine down to the dumper near the smelter. Motive power is now mostly GP38's, and a couple of GP9's and GP40's. As of June 25, 1999 the railway has been shut down account the copper mine at San Manuel has been closed. It is not likely that the mine will ever reopen, but there is a chance that the smelter will, seeing as how several millions of dollars were just spent on upgrading it. Nope - the smelter has been torn down! What a waste of money that was. All equipment other than the engines have been scrapped. All of the RS units have been sold to other shortlines and 3 of the GP units are still stored serviceable at San Manuel.

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smarrco_3.jpg (206036 bytes) Here is one of the Company's RS3 units at the ore dumper in San Manuel. May 14, 1990.
sma_mm1.jpg (248952 bytes) This train is crossing the mammoth wooden trestle at Mammoth, AZ on a hot May 20, 1991. The RS3 is gone now, and the 2 GP38's are painted blue and yellow.
smarrco_van.jpg (228780 bytes) On Oct. 28, 1991 the southbound train had this caboose, freshly painted and sometimes called "The War Wagon" by the crews. At Mammoth.
sma_ore.jpg (307487 bytes) Here is RS3 #3 hauling a load of copper ore to the dumper a few miles away. Shown here at San Manuel on April 6, 1992.
sma_cab.jpg (200850 bytes) Here is one of the unique ore/cab cars on the SMARRCo. Note the control cab built into one end of a regular ore car, and note the shield over the front windows with some ore piled on it. April 6, 1992 at the San Manuel ore dumper.
sma_4.jpg (250773 bytes) With the arrival of a couple of GP9's the RS3's were bumped from ore drag service. Here is GP9 #4 just leaving the mine with a load of copper ore on Dec. 21, 1992.
sma_2rs.jpg (287624 bytes) On Jan. 4, 1993 I got this shot of 2 RS3's on the trestle over Smelter Wash with the "unit" train, shoving a load of sulfuric acid up to the mine. Note the empty hoppers on each end for safety cars. Near San Manuel.
sma_4_1.jpg (205890 bytes) A roster view of GP9 #4 at the ore dumper at San Manuel on Jan. 4, 1993. The low winter sun is still quite strong. This unit is now painted a CSX-like yellow/blue/gray.
sma_16.jpg (237671 bytes) Here is the local entering the Copper Basin interchange yard at Winkleman on Mar. 15, 1993 with GP38 #16 freshly painted in a Santa Fe inspired color scheme.
sma_17.jpg (233781 bytes) Again at the Copper Basin interchange yard in Winkleman is the local, this time with the #17 still in the original orange, along with a Santa Fe unit that had just been bought by SMARRCo, but not yet repainted. March 22, 1993.
sma_3a.jpg (196676 bytes)

Here is an ex CSX GP38-2 at the ore dumper in San Manuel on Jan. 24, 1994. This engine was originally numbered 3, until someone realized they still had RS3 #3 on the roster.

sma_unit.jpg (234688 bytes) This is the "unit train" headed up to the mine with a trainload of sulfuric acid, which is used in the copper mining reduction process. At San Manuel Oct. 29, 1994.
sma_mm.jpg (248596 bytes) The southbound train from Winkleman to San Manuel is crossing the trestle at Mammoth on Oct. 29. 1994 with 2 freshly painted GP38's in the new blue/yellow scheme.
smarrco_dud.jpg (234765 bytes) Here is the northbound train to Winkleman to interchange with the Copper Basin on April 29, 1995. For a time they didn't know what road name to put on the units....note that one is unlettered, and the others have either Magma or SMARRCo. Shown here at Dudleyville.

This sign says it all about the current status of this line....taken January 18, 2012 at Hayden. Nothing has run for several years, but I understand there are 3 engines stored inside and serviceable at San Manuel. Maybe someday they will run again.

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This Web Page and all photos on it copyright 1990-2012 by Ted Ellis. All Rights Reserved.