2012 Arizona and Pacific RR Annual Report

2012 Arizona & Pacific RR

Annual Report

Four S-16's

Four of the A&P RR S-16's

          Every year as I look back on what we accomplished during the prior twelve months, I think it’s been one of the busiest years ever on the A & P and this year isn’t any different. It was a very busy year.

          It was so busy that I didn’t have much opportunity to travel to visit other railroads this year. The only out of state railroad I visited was the Nevada Railroad Museum in Boulder City where I had the opportunity to be a passenger on both the narrow gauge “Eureka” and the 7.5 gauge club railroad.

          This year we had less Construction Projects than in years past, but more than made up for that with Shop Projects and Acquisitions.

Construction Projects in 2012

          We finished the brick pillar and custom brackets for the post that displays our double-sided “Lookout for the Locomotive” sign near Verde Jct. The pillar matches those already constructed at various places along the A&P.

Look Out For the Locomotive

Lookout for The Locomotive Sign

          We added an additional “Stop, Look, Listen” sign and four yard limit signs to the railroad. We also acquired several whistle “W” and “slow” signs that I need to paint, fabricate posts for and get mounted.

          We built a new set of steps and walkway from the loading platform to serve our patio area we are calling Verde Jct. It is shaded by trees in the summer and provides a nice place to sit and relax and watch railroad activity or just sit and swap railroad stories.

Verde Jct

Verde Junction

          I finally got the four exhaust fan covers that we fabricated for the ceiling in the engine house powder coated and mounted. They look pretty good and work fine – just took me forever to finally get this task completed.

Maintenance Projects in 2012

          We added 30 tons of granite ballast to the roadbed front and rear. Much of the ballast went to leveling and reballasting the sidetracks in the rear of the yard.


Moving ballast

          We also made some minor gauge adjustments to our switch on the Rock Creek Trestle (Trestle No. 1).

          Monthly we work on checking the gauge and regauging the curves when necessary, lubricating and maintaining switches, tightening tie plates and replacing ties. It isn’t exciting, or photogenic or sexy, it just needs done. There is always something that needs done on a railroad. From painting to lubricating to routine track and train maintenance projects to keeping batteries charged, there is always something demanding your time.

          We are a small group on the A & P and sometimes it takes awhile to get things accomplished. It is mostly Dave and I. I get some machine shop help from Jerry, some fabrication assistance from Erich, brick and block help from Ruben and occasional labor help from Eddie, Frankie and Grande.

Shop Projects in 2012

          Most of the shop projects centered on the restoration of the F & MV equipment although we did make some progress on G-16 No. 582 and our two A & P maintenance cars.

          We finally finished lettering and numbering our MOW cars MW 21 and MW 22.

MOW Cars

MOW Cars 21 and 22

Acquisitions in 2012

          We acquired Miniature Train Company G-12 engine No. 377.

G-12 No. 377

G-12 Number 377

          We acquired the railroad assets of the Flagstaff and Middle Verde Railroad this year. This involved dismantling, removing and transporting the rail, switches, many of the ties, the extra rail, the rolling stock, locomotives, parts, railroad tools, signs and miscellaneous track side appurtenances.

F&MV Rail

Some of the F&MV Rail loaded onto a trailer

F&MV Gon

F&MV Gondola Car making the trip south

          This was a huge project that took two weeks to accomplish, but several prior weeks to ready the man power, schedule vacations, reserve trailers and equipment and formulate the plan to accomplish it efficiently.

F&MV Engines

F&MV RR Engines headed for Peoria

          It was several very long, hot and exhausting days as after loading the trailers and trucks on the Verde Valley end and driving 90 miles, we still had to unload everything in Peoria. Some of the rail was donated to a non-profit and some will be used in the years ahead to expand the Arizona and Pacific Railroad. The engines and rolling stock will all be incorporated into the operation of the A & P in Peoria.

F&MV Engines

F&MV RR Engines arrive at the A&P RR

Hiway House S-16's

The two Del Webb Hiway House S-16's at the A&P RR

S-16 “Red River”

S-16 Red River

S-16 Red River

          The only significant project on the “Red River” this year was solving the intermittent fuel issue. After some initial frustration with not being able to recreate the problem except when several people were here to see her run, we replaced the fuel regulator and that solved the problem.

G-16 No. 582

G-16 No. 582

G-16 No.582

          We still have No. 582 up on the rack and she hasn’t seen the rail yet, but we aren’t too far away. We completed several projects on No. 582 this year and have several others underway.

          We rebuilt the throttle vacuum canister assembly including the three roller bushings. We now have a smooth throttle transition throughout the complete RPM range.

          We modified our hard plumbing to the hand valves to allow longer flexible hoses; this modification allowed us to improve the alignment of some downstream fittings and hoses.

G-16 No. 582

G-16 No.582 dash and hand valves

          We added the extruded aluminum trim pieces to the lower nose and also mounted the OEM set of front grab bars we found.

          Our right side number board on the 582 had a crack in the housing where the mounting hole was tapped. We had the aluminum welded and then we drilled and retapped the hole properly and finally have it remounted. This was a time-consuming “small” project, but the nose is the first thing you see and he needs to be right.

          We worked sporadically on the cowl panel. It isn’t the cowl panel that was originally on this G-16 and was about 3/8 too wide to fit properly. We trimmed the sheet metal, fit it correctly, filled the extra holes and removed the damaged faux vent grilles. We will be replacing the raised center strip and the vent grilles in the next few weeks when we get back to this project.

          Instead of rods on both sides to support the open hood, we will use two gas cylinders off of auto hatchbacks to open and support the hood. We have made several versions of brackets and tested cylinders of various psi and lengths and aren’t quite where we want to be yet, but are getting closer to having it all worked out and fabricated. An electric solenoid will pop the hood release.

G-16 No. 582

G-16 No.582 hood support

          A skilled design and fabrication friend of ours designed and built a parking brake system utilizing the brakes and brake shoes already in place on the G16. We have it installed and I am very pleased. It tightens four brake shoes on two wheels. It isn’t designed to stop a fully loaded train at speed, but is great to keep the train from creeping after the engine has been shut off and the vacuum bleeds off. If the train experienced a catastrophic vacuum failure it would be of some help slowing the train down, but again that isn’t its primary purpose.

          We trimmed and fit the cockpit seat (also not original to this G-16) to our frame and also cut and fit several pieces of channel to secure the wiring behind the seat and in the cockpit area. We also reworked the glove box door beneath the seat and got it working properly.

G-16 No. 582

G-16 No.582 rear view

G-16 B Unit

          We obtained a couple of the gauges and switches needed for restoration of our B unit, but still have a long way to go to have everything we need for that dash. It has twice the knobs, switches and gauges of the G-16 A unit. If you have some G-16 dash components laying around that you might not use, email me – maybe we can work out a parts swap.

          I also cut new faux grille panels that we will use on the hood.

F & MV Gondola 202

Gon 202

Former F&MV RR gondola 202

          The trucks under 202 were cleaned, rebuilt, lubricated and painted. The wood components received two coats of paint. Push pockets were added and the coupler brackets were sanded and painted. The car was lettered and numbered and placed back in service.

F & MV Gondola 203

Gon 202

Former F&MV RR gondola 203

          The trucks under 203 were cleaned, rebuilt, lubricated and painted. One axle and two wheels were replaced. The wood components received two coats of paint. The functional drop bottom doors were serviced, lubricated and adjusted. The coupler brackets were sanded and painted. The car was lettered and numbered and placed back in service.

F & MV Jordan Spreader

Jordan Spreader

Former F&MV RR Jordan Spreader

          The trucks under the Jordan Spreader were cleaned, rebuilt, lubricated and painted. Two axles and four wheels were replaced. The wood components received two coats of paint. The middle blade was shortened by one inch on each side as it was too wide to clear our loading platform. We ground the bottom and ends of the two pivoting arms to straighten and clean up their appearance. We lubricated each of the pulleys and hand winches. The coupler brackets were sanded and painted. The car will be lettered and numbered and placed back in service in early 2013.

F & MV Track Inspection Car

Track Inspection Car

Former F&MV RR track inspection car

          The track inspection car had a mouse nest and several petrified mouse carci inside the engine shroud. We pulled the shroud and cleaned out the mess. We replaced the throttle cable and drained the gas tank and fuel bowl of bad fuel. We adjusted the shifting rods and replaced the battery. The track inspection car was placed back in service.

F & MV Engine No. 1 the “Tucson”


Former F&MV RR Engine #1 Tucson

          The engine had only run twice in the past year and a half before relocating to Peoria. The battery was replaced. We rebuilt the carburetor, drained the tank of old fuel and checked and replaced all the fluids. She leaks a significant amount of transmission fluid from the front and rear seals, but that will be a project for another time. She also has an intermittent problem with the headlight and dash light wiring. We will resolve that problem in the weeks ahead. The “Tucson” was returned to service.

F & MV Engine No. 2 the “Coconino”


Former F&MV RR Engine #2 Coconino

          The battery was replaced. We rebuilt the carburetor, drained the tank of old fuel and checked and replaced all the fluids. We completely replumbed the hydraulic drive system and converted it from parallel to series. We also rebuilt the power trucks. We replaced the gear on each motor and the gear on each axle. We replaced one axle and two bad wheels. The other truck had two broken springs and a stirrup bushing missing. One of the two hydraulic motors on both trucks was bad and was replaced. We replaced the hydraulic fittings and hoses on each of the four motors. Both trucks were cleaned,lubricated and painted. We eliminated all the hydraulic leaks, increased the top speed slightly and increased the pulling power dramatically.

          There are still a number of things that need completed before this job is finished. Overheating of the hydraulic pump has been an issue with this locomotive for some time. We are adding a cooler and fan for the hydraulic oil and will also be adding a fluid filter as it did not have one in its original configuration.

G-12 MTC Engine No. 377

          We acquired our G-12 this year. We believe it was built in July of 1950. We only received one power truck with this engine and it was a mess. It has been rebuilt and is ready to go under the engine when she is uncrated.

G-12 No. 377

G-12 No. 377

Rebuilt G-12 Power Truck

Rebuilt G-12 power truck

          We are still looking for a number of components to complete this engine and I would like to restore it as close to original as possible. The primary components I am missing and looking for are: the front drive truck, the front drive line, an original motor with both clutches, the roof-mounted horns and the throttle handle. Ideally, someone out there will have replaced the original motor and dual clutches set up with a new unit and modern technology and have the original sitting in the corner of a shed somewhere. If any of you know the location of any of these parts shoot me an email.

Engine House and Collections

Engine House

The east wall of the engine house's display of collectibles

          We acquired some location signs from the F & MV RR right-of-way with the balance of that railroad. We will be mounting and displaying some of those signs in the months ahead in our engine house.

          We added another unusual variation of a Miniature Train and Railroad Company torque wrench to our engine house collection and display.

Torque Wrench

Miniature Train and Railroad Company torque wrench

          We added two vintage oil cans and several MTC advertisements to the engine house displays.

Engine House Collectibles

Some of the many collectibles displayed in the engine house

          We also added a flat screen TV in the engine house on which we watched the Arizona Cardinals lose 11 games…

          Dave acquired another original builders plate for our collection – this one off a Spillman Engineering steam train.

Spillman Engineering

Spillman Engineering builder's plate

          We acquired another vintage photograph of the ”Sandusky” running at Cedar Point in Ohio.

Miscellaneous Projects

          Early in the year, we finished the massive xeriscape project in the front yard in which all the grass was removed and replaced with low water usage plants, gravel and drip watering methodology.

Front Yard Xeriscape

Panorama showing the completed front yard Xeriscape

          While all the gravel was being delivered for the front yard, I increased the order by 30 tons and earmarked that amount as ballast for the mainline and sidetracks of the A & P. At least 80% of the gravel went into the backyard by wheelbarrow or ballast car; I was so burnt-out on moving gravel…


Ballast work on the mainline and side tracks

          We also had to rebuild a section of the block wall in the back yard after a neighbor planted a palm tree next to the wall to block his view of our engine house from his patio. As it grew, it expanded into and destroyed the wall. We did the work, but the neighbor paid for the repair.

Wall Repair

Repairing the block wall

Travels in 2012

          I didn’t have much time to visit other railroads this year as I was so busy here and with my real job, but I still managed to get out a little bit. The railroads Dave or I visited this year were:

Flagstaff and Middle Verde RR

Malcolm Mackey's Flagstaff and Middle Verde Railroad

McCormick Railroad Park

McCormick Railroad Park's Paradise and Pacific RR

Daisy Mountain Railroad

The Daisy Mountain Railroad in Anthem's Christmas train

Encanto Park

Enchanted Island Express at Encanto Park decorated for Christmas

Desert Breeze

Desert Breeze Railroad in Chandler Arizona's Christmas train

Freestone Park

Freestone Park's Christmas train in Gilbert Arizona

Superstition Scenic RR

Superstition Scenic RR's narrow gauge Brookville engine

Eureka and Palisade RR

Eureka & Palisade engine visiting the Nevada State Railroad Museum in Boulder City

          We dusted off the video camera (had to read the manual to remember how it worked) and shot footage at two railroads in 2012. Click on the links below to see the videos that were posted to youtube.


Visitors in 2012

          We had the opportunity to host many friends and guests during the year and look forward to more of the same next year.


The A&P RR hosted several friends and guests in 2012

Plans for 2013

          We had a very productive year in 2012 and have lots of plans for 2013 and beyond including:

          As with every year, it is a pretty ambitious list. Hopefully, we’ll get through at least half of it.

          Several of the projects we had hoped to at least get started this year didn’t happen for various reasons – mostly just busy with other projects that took a great deal longer than I had planned. The acquisition of the F & MV RR this year was unexpected and a massive undertaking in both time and expense. Disassembly, removal and transporting the railroad and then the immediate and considerable attention that almost all of the equipment required dominated our time the second half of the year.

          Here is a list of some of the projects I had planned for this year that we just never got to…

          The painting projects in particular will likely get bumped another year as we work to get all the new acquisitions from this year restored and working properly before we start taking other things apart.

          Our A & P RR website celebrated ten years on the internet in June of this year. We had more than 7,700 web visitors this year bringing our total to over 91,000. Considering that we don’t allow advertisements, don’t sell anything, don’t give anything away, don’t have a political agenda, don’t have a city, state or national affiliation and don’t have photos of any naked women on here, that’s a lot of visitors over the years.

          The website has changed many times since its inception including this year as we added the “Roster” page, added a video section and added a section detailing some of our larger construction projects over the years. It is still amazing to me that two guys in Arizona sharing information and writing about their weekend projects get 7,700 web visitors a year checking in to see what we’re working on and on the progress of our Allan Herschell and Miniature Train Company collections. We hope we keep the site and our projects fresh and interesting enough that you’ll keep coming back in the years ahead.

          Have a Great New Year and Happy Railroading Everybody!

S-16 Panorama

Arizona and Pacific Railroad panorama

Railroad Lantern


Switch Stand

Switch Stand


Three of the A&P RR's S-16's

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