Magma Arizona Railroad

This little railroad (now dormant) was well known for running some of the last Baldwin engines in the country, and at times they would be doubleheaded! Here are some photos of the Baldwins, plus a few other shots. For more information and the history of this railroad, find a copy of the book Rails to Carry Copper   by Gordon Chappell (Pruett Publishing Co., 1973, now out of print) - there is a lot of good information about the Magma Arizona RR.

Would you like prints of most any of these slides? Go to for details!

marr_8_1.jpg (210433 bytes) Here is Baldwin #8 at Magma Junction on Aug. 3, 1987. This was the only S-8 ever built with dynamic brakes. This engine is now in Oregon on a tourist railroad.
marr_9.jpg (202845 bytes) Here is Baldwin #9 arriving at Magma Jct. April 18, 1988. This engine is now stored at Superior and is for sale for the scrap value of the steel. It has expired air brakes and friction bearing trucks.....
marr_9_2.jpg (287499 bytes) Another view of Baldwin #9 just west of Steamshovel Crossing on its way to Magma Jct. on May 23, 1988.
marr_9_3.jpg (246445 bytes) On May 31, 1988 I was lucky enough to gain access to the engine shop in the mine complex at Superior and photograph all three of the Magma's engines in one shot.
marr_10.jpg (247658 bytes) Here is a shot of #10, which was rarely used account it would spread the tracks on the tight curves at times. This is now in the Arizona Railway Museum in Chandler. May 31, 1988.
marr_ss.jpg (211461 bytes) No. 8 is headed westbound at Steamshovel crossing near Florence Jct. on Dec. 26, 1989.
marr_8_9.jpg (354069 bytes) Doubleheaded Baldwins were not exactly common in 1991, so I was more than happy to dodge snakes and other critters to get this photo! Queen Valley, Sept. 30, 1991.
marr_two.jpg (282649 bytes) A month later I was lucky enough to get another doubleheader in Queen Valley. Oct. 28, 1991. Note the "dummy" exhaust stacks on the second unit....a hood section from another engine was used and the extra stacks left in place.
sma_8.jpg (239837 bytes) About a year later the Baldwins were retired and the railroad upgraded to a SMARRCo RS3. (Magma & SMARRCo are owned by the same copper mining company). Here Alco #8 switches the Superior yard on Nov. 2, 1992.
sma_qv.jpg (309665 bytes) March 15, 1993 finds Alco #8 on the way out to Magma Jct. with a train of perlite in Queen Valley.
sma_dh.jpg (227452 bytes)

This doubleheader with the Baldwin #9 and the Alco #8 is just leaving Magma Jct. eastbound on Jan. 17, 1994.

marr_fj.jpg (204207 bytes) A week later Alco #8 is westbound at the Florence Highway crossing near Desert Wells. Jan. 24, 1994.
marr10_qv.jpg (280508 bytes)

On July 19, 1994 Baldwin #10 made its last run on MARR tracks as it was donated to the Arizona Railway Museum in Chandler. Shown here in Queen Valley.

marr_10_1.jpg (218254 bytes) That evening we went to Magma Jct. and expended a bunch of #5B flashbulbs on the 10. Film was Kodachrome 64 exposed at f5.6 and 6 or 7 bulbs on the engine and 2 bulbs on the steam era water tank in the left background. Flashbulb lighting by John Sharp.
marr_9_1.jpg (219723 bytes) Here is one of the SMARRCo RS3's repainted in the new blue/yellow color scheme and lettered "MARRCO". Shown here at Magma Jct. on Oct. 10, 1994.
magma_qv.jpg (350231 bytes) On a beautiful late November morning the Magma's train is headed westbound through Queen Valley towards the interchange with the Southern Pacific at Magma Jct. with a trainload of perlite. Taken on Nov. 21, 1994.
marrco_9.jpg (206703 bytes)

This engine is at Magma Jct. on the night of June 12, 1995. The exposure was made with 6 No. 25B flashbulbs on Kodachrome 64 film at f 5.6. Flashbulb lighting by John Sharp.

marrco_2.jpg (239943 bytes) Here is Baldwin #8 being taken to Magma Junction after being donated by the Magma Copper Co. to a museum group in Oregon, which is where this engine came from when the Magma bought it. Shown here in Queen Valley, AZ on Aug. 3, 1995.
marrco_3.jpg (210396 bytes) That evening we got this flashbulb photo of the #8 on its flat car at the SP interchange at Magma Jct., AZ. Aug. 3, 1995 with flashbulb lighting by John Sharp.
marr111495.jpg (233745 bytes) Here is the train headed to the SP interchange at Magma Jct. on Nov. 14, 1995. It is crossing a fill in the Queen Valley area.

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This Web Page and all photos on it are copyright 1998-2004 by Ted Ellis. All Rights Reserved.