History of the Arizona and Pacific Railroad's Phoenix Engine

Arizona and Pacific Railroad's

HiWay House

Engine "Phoenix"

History of the Arizona & Pacific Engine "Phoenix"

          Engine No. 1 of the A & P RR , the "Phoenix" is the origninal workhorse of the railroad. It was originally purchased by Del Webb in September 1959 and operated at his HiWay House Hotel and convention center in Phoenix. The track wound its way around the flower gardens, swimming pools and barbecue cabanas of the sprawling and manicured grounds of the hotel in central Phoenix. Webb at the time was developing numerous commercial and residential properties throughout the Southwest and also owned the New York Yankees. Reportedly, Yankees manager, Casey Stengel, several of his star players, the cast of Gunsmoke, and numerous notables from the entertainment and sports fields who stayed at the hotel rode the train. We'd love to have photographs. Local brownie and cub scout troops included train rides on the HiWay House Express as part of their regular activities.


Del Webb's Hiway House

Hiway House

S16 at the Hiway House

Arriving from the factory

The engine arrives from the Allan Herschell factory

Unloading the cars

Unloading the cars

Brownie Troop

A Brownie troop enjoys a ride on the train

Retired SP Railroad Men

Kids weren't the only ones enjoying the train

          The hotel had a ten year run (56-65) when it competed very successfully for the local conventions and traveler. Interest in the hotel began to wane after the completion of the interstate highway through Phoenix routed traffic several miles to the south and Webb sold the hotel in 1965. It changed hands several additional times before it was abandoned as that part of town deteriorated even farther. The State of Arizona eventually purchased the property and converted it to operation as a Women's prison.

Hiway House S-16

A photo taken in front of the Hiway House coffee shop

Thanks to Tim Cavender for restoring the photo to it's original colors

Hiway House S-16

Recently discovered photograph taken in 1961

Hiway House S-16

Another photograph taken in 1961

Photo courtesy of Ron Paludan

Photographed by Ted Paludan on July 5th, 1964
Courtesy of Ron Paludan www.railwaystation.com

          It is believed the train was last operated in early 1975. We were lucky enough to purchase the derelict train at a state auction in May of 1995. To say that the train had merely fallen into disrepair after many years of neglect is an understatement. Twenty years of neglect, vandalism and theft had taken a tremendous toll on the diminutive S-16.


Pictured in the 1970's

Another 70's picture

Reverse view 1970's

Auction notice

Auction notice

click here to see the restoration

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