The Cimarron Valley Railroad, built circa 1912, spans 245 miles of midwest terrain with interchanges in Boise City, Oklahoma and Dodge City, Kansas. The railroad provides freight service, hauling approximately 10,000 carloads per year. Agricultural commodities such as wheat, corn and milo are primary transports.
The line runs through one of the largest corn and second-largest wheat producing areas of Kansas. Columbian Chemical is among the world’s largest producers and marketers of carbon blacks, a substance used in rubber manufacturing and the pigmentation of inks and plastics. Sand, cement, poles, pipe and fertilizers are other commodities moved on this line.
The railroad was purchased from Burlington Northern-Santa Fe Railroad in February, 1996. The operation has five GP30s, two GP40 locomotives and 24 employees to accommodate the large customer-base. Offices for the railroad are in Satanta, Kansas at the former Santa Fe Railroad depot.
Southwestern Railroad consists of two lines; one privately-owned and one leased.
The Whitewater Line, located in New Mexico, serves the Chino copper mining and smelting complex owned by Freeport McMoran near Silver City, as well as two other small shippers.
The original 25.9 track miles were purchased from the Santa Fe in June 1990, running from Whitewater to Hurley, Hanover Junction and Santa Rita. An additional 27 miles of track from Whitewater to Deming was purchased in July 1994. In 2002, the line was extended from Deming to Rincon, New Mexico with a lease from the Burlington Northern/Santa Fe. The other Whitewater branch runs from Rincon to Burrow Mountain Junction and serves the Freeport McMoRan copper mine at Tyrone, New Mexico.
The traffic-base on the line consists of industrial chemicals, metal ores, coke, scrap metals and copper products and byproducts. Both branches are laid with 90- and 100-pound rail.
The base of operations recently relocated to Deming from Hurley, New Mexico. Hurley is the location of the historic depot, fueling facility and sanding tower, which also were acquired in the purchase transaction. Ten locomotives are used to move copper ore. In addition, sulfuric acid and copper products are moved outbound from the Hurley refinery to the Black Mountain siding interchange six times per week. Nine people are employed on this line.
This line is known as the Verde Canyon Railroad because it follows the scenic and remote Verde River from Clarkdale, Arizona to the remote ranch of Perkinsville.
Although the line was originally purchased by David L. Durbano strictly as a freight operation, in November 1990 passenger excursions were inaugurated on the scenic and historic portion of the railroad. From the beginning, the excursion operation has met with very positive operating results.
Because of the unparalleled beauty of the Verde River Canyon, as well as the rich history of the area, the excursion train has proven to be a tremendously popular attraction for tourists visiting Arizona. It was proclaimed by Governor Janet Napolitano to be “one of Arizona’s Treasures.”
Passengers aboard the train are treated to numerous historic markers along the track, which include remains from memorable mining days and ancient Indian ruins. The Verde Canyon Railroad is recognized as one of the most beautiful train rides in America. Cliffs rise hundreds of feet above the river floor, dotted with sandstone caves and overhangs, as balancing rocks loom over the Verde River. An abundance of native flora and fauna are visible from the open-air viewing cars which access all coaches.
The Verde Canyon Railroad train consists of eight first-class cars, two coach-class cars, a luxurious caboose and six open-air cars. Approximately 95,000 people ride this railroad each year.
The Clarkdale Arizona Central Railroad, LC, located in central Arizona, was purchased from the Santa Fe Railroad in April 1989. The route, comprised mainly of 90# rail, is laid from Clarkdale to Drake, Arizona. At the present time, the primary customer on the line is Phoenix Cement.
The base of operations is at Clarkdale. Two GP-7 locomotives are utilized to make three trips per week, hauling loaded cement cars outbound and loaded coal cars inbound. The balance of the available crew time is used to perform routine track and locomotive maintenance.
The Oregon Eastern Railroad is a division of the Wyoming Colorado Railroad, Inc. The line was purchased in 1989 by David L. Durbano. It originates in Ontario and ends at Celatom, Oregon. The line includes approximately 27 miles of track and accompanying real estate. The primary hauls on the line are diatomaceous earth and agricultural products.