In the pre-merger days of 1995, Southern Pacific ran a nonstop parade of trains across its Sunset Route and one of the most scenic stretches was the Lordsburg District between Tucson, Arizona and Lordsburg, New Mexico. Pentrex takes you back to that significant time in Southern Pacific history, when semaphore signals still lined the mostly single-tracked route and spring wildflowers blanketed the ground. The action is fast and furious and The Southern Pacific was in the middle of a major track expansion program at the time.
You’ll see the line under different phases as fifty miles of new track, several bridges, and new signals were being added. Once the construction was done, the semaphore signals came down, but we captured these historic artifacts while they were still in use. Big time mainline railroading takes place here. You’ll see hot trains and drag freights working hard across four mountain passes: Mescal, Dragoon, Raso, and Steins.
These trains are headed by SD40-s, SD45T-2s, SD45s, B30-7s, even an SD45R in Kodachrome paint. Denver & Rio Grande SD40T-2s, CSX SD60s, and Cotton Belt GP60s and B40s add interest, as well as many colorful leased locomotives. Amtrak’s Sunset Limited travels these rails and you’ll also spot trains from Santa Fe, Union Pacific, San Pedro Southwestern, and Arizona & Eastern. Steep grades, old coaling towers, a major construction project, and the last days of the semaphore signals on one of our favorite fallen flags make The Stormy an exciting program you’re sure to enjoy!