2016 Arizona and Pacific RR Annual Report

2016 Arizona & Pacific RR

Annual Report

A&P RR 2016

Arizona and Pacific Railroad 2016

          This is the thirteenth year I have written an annual report and 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. This year isn’t any different; it was a very busy year.

Construction Projects in 2016

          We typically describe construction projects in this context as brand new construction as part of or adjacent to the right-of-way. We didn't really have any projects that met that description this year. We did quite a bit of work replacing ties, but nothing that would constitute new construction.

Maintenance Projects in 2016

          We serviced our 9 switches. We lubricated where needed, adjusted the springs, cleaned debris out of the frogs, wings and points and cleared gravel ballast as necessary. We tightened, and in some cases replaced with longer ones, the four mounting lag screws on the foot plate of all the switches.

          We started a large scale project of examining each tie and checking/tightening every lag screw. We have approximately 1800 feet of track on the A & P. We have 2 ties per foot so approximately 3600 ties and 4 tie plates and lag screws per tie. In the ten switches we have, there are 8 ties plates and lag screws per tie. I am still in the corporate world Monday through Friday, so I have Saturday and Sunday afternoons to work on the projects here. This year, I hope to get through a full assessment and refurbishment of each tie and get at least 3 of the mainline switches gauged with flat bar.


Work train carrying lag screws, tie plates and tools for track maintenance


          There were no large acquisitions this year.

Shop Projects in 2016

          We didn’t have any significant shop projects this year. Many of the smaller projects don't get mentioned in the monthly or annual report.

S-16 Phoenix

          We cleaned and serviced the carburetor on the Phoenix this year. Part of the fuel problems here are with the fuel that we are allowed to purchase in Maricopa County and some is the result of five very hot months in the summer when we really can’t run because of the heat and they largely sit idle.


Recently serviced Phoenix

S-16 Sandusky

          We didn’t have any issues with or perform any significant repairs on the Sandusky in 2016. She continues to run with very little maintenance other than keeping the batteries serviced and charged.


Running the Sandusky

S-16 Red River

          We cleaned the fuel jets and the choke assembly and replaced the electric fuel pump on the Red River this year. She started right up and ran great after the attention.


Running the Red River

S-16 Tucson

          The Tucson received a carburetor rebuild as the result of the EPA mandated gasoline that is available here and other than that ran well all year. We had a minor (one truck) derailment late in the year that bent some brake linkage that required removal, straightening, priming and repainting. As soon as the paint dried, I hit it with steel wool and sand paper so it looked faded and as if it had been in place for years.


The Tucson runs the rails of the A&P RR

S-16 Coconino

          We finally solved the great Coconino mystery. The Coconino always ran hot, really hot. We had installed three fans to help dissipate the heat but she still ran really hot. We had always assumed the problem had to do with the hydraulic pump and the amount of additional heat that it generated. We ran her for many years dealing with the overheating issues. This year, our friend Jerry Graves decided to pull the side covers off of the Wisconsin and see if something was blocking the cooling fins. The cooling fins and ducts were packed solid with mouse nests and remains.

          We removed the debris, but after several years of running her hot some engine damage has taken place. We will replace her with a rebuilt engine and then as time permits, rebuild this one. At least we finally know what was causing the ongoing problem.


Mouse nest blocking the cooling fans

G-16 No. 582

          We replaced the battery in the No. 582. The last one was three years old and that is just as long as they last out here in the heat.


G-16 Engine No. 582

G-16 B Unit

          The majority of our time and efforts this year went into our G16 B Unit. The B unit was bead blasted of its several layers of paint and rust and a coat of primer was applied. The bolster rollers and pins were installed, several sections of the brake lines were repaired or replaced, the original quick release couplers were all replaced and the draw bars were mounted.


Bead blasting the B-Unit

          The trucks that were originally rebuilt in 2014 and stored outside under a tarp, were touched up cosmetically and reworked to hold vacuum. We got the chassis in place on the trucks and got the safety hook half moons aligned and bolted in place.

          We replaced the missing engine screen. We replaced two and added one 6 pin connector for the electrical on the B Unit. Dave ran electrical on the B unit from the front 6 pin connectors to the instrument panel so we are effectively tied into the wiring of the A unit. We straightened some of the grill work on the air intake sheet metal.


Electrical connectors installed in the B-Unit

          We fabricated mounting brackets and installed the vacuum tank in the B unit. We fabricated mounting brackets and got the old style throttle and brake valves mounted in the instrument panel. We started work on the throttle and brake application plumbing.


B-Unit throttle and brake valves

          We installed porthole window frames, steps, ladders, grab rails and sand doors to the B unit.


B-Unit with various trim pieces applied

          We got the A & B units coupled together. Even in the current state of incompletion of the B unit, it is great to see the AB together and both rolling on the rails again after both had been stripped and left for scrap so many years ago.


Pulling the B-Unit behind the G-16 A-Unit

          Many time-consuming tasks remain on the B unit, but we made significant progress on her this year.

Maintentance of Way Equipment

          The track inspection car and MW trailer No. 201 are seeing quite a bit of activity in conjunction with the tie inspection project. It is easy to carry a few ties, buckets of plates and lag screws and the needed tools and be close to the work.


Track inspection car pulling MOW car #21 out to the site of some trackwork

G-12 MTC Engine No. 377

          We continue to gather parts for our G-12 restoration project and I would like to restore it as close to original as possible. The primary components I am missing and looking for are: an original motor with both clutches, an original knob that mounted on top of the hood and operated the hood latch and some of the window frames and panels. There are other small original pieces for the dash that we are looking for as well.

          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.


G-12 Restoration

Engine House and Collections

          Dave found us a Hiway House Hotel key and fob from the Tucson Hiway House that are on display next to the key and fob from that location that simply reads “Train”. We acquired a handful of other Hiway House items over the year. We also obtained some large-scale catalogs and sales documents that we are excited about.


Tucson Hiway House Key Fob

Miscellaneous Projects

          Over the years, we have owned five S16 coach cars. Two from the Phoenix Hiway House, one from the Tucson Hiway House and two from Cedar Point. We still have the Verde Vista from the Tucson Hiway House. The other four cars were traded or sold over the years for various parts we needed to complete our S16 engines and tenders. I retained the coach lights off the coaches. Over the years, I acquired the correct faceted lenses in white, red and green for the four plus sets of Allan Herschell coach lights. We located seventeen of the twenty that we have and added all of the correct lenses in the right locations and bagged them into sets of 4. The other three coach lights will turn up in some forgotten box at some point. I wish I had kept another one of the S16 coaches, but was more interested at the time in acquiring all the other parts we were missing.


S16 Coach Marker Lamps

          I got the three gates including the western right-of-way gate disassembled, sanded, primed and painted. Weather got in the way of the same activities on the eastern right-of-way gate.


Re-finished ROW gates

          I repainted the green park style lamp posts that stand among our full size railroad displays.

Travels in 2016

          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 and I visited in Arizona were:

McCormick Railroad Park

Holiday Lights on the Paradise & Pacific RR at McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park

Scottsdale Live Steamers

Scottsdale Live Steamers


Marana Pumpkin Patch and Farm Festival Railroad

Wildlife World Zoo

CP Huntington #380 at the Wildlife World Zoo and Aquarium

Visitors in 2016

Visitors to the A&P RR in 2016

Vistors to the Arizona and Pacific Railroad in 2016

          We had the opportunity to host many friends and guests during the year and look forward to more of the same next year. Scheduling conflicts with my corporate world schedule, didn’t work out for a few potential visitors this year, but we hope to catch up in the near future. The majority of our visitors are local and you know who you are, but we get guests from all over the country.

          Here is a sampling of the out of state visitors.

Plans for 2017

          We had a productive year in 2016 and have lots of plans for 2017 and beyond including:

          Longer range plans include

          As with every year, it is a pretty ambitious list. Hopefully, we’ll get through at least half of it. We are a small group on the A & P and sometimes it takes awhile to get major projects accomplished. We have many volunteers to run the trains, not many to help with projects and maintenance. It is mostly Dave and I working on these projects. I get some machine shop and fabrication help from Jerry, brick and block help from Ruben and labor help from Carlito and others.

          Our A & P website has been on the web now for 14 1/2 years. As I sit here today finalizing the 2016 annual report, we have 125,291 hits since we established this site in June of 2002.

          There were numerous similar sites when we started this internet project and everyone updated their site on a regular basis. Discover Live Steam.com had an annual contest honoring the best related large-scale railroad website in several different categories. The first week of the month, I could always look forward to reading what several other railroads had been up to the month before… There were five magazines that focused on large-scale railroading and a couple of sites posting well-written and well-researched articles on the pioneers of this endeavor. It was a really exciting time in our hobby. Live Steam continues; the other magazines disappeared long ago. With a couple of exceptions, all of the railroad websites are gone too. The websites doing monthly updates has dwindled to … us. There is some activity on Facebook and in Yahoo groups, but very little.

          The interest in our website reached its high point in 2008 when we had almost 11,000 visitors. It decreased annually for five years after that until enjoying a minor resurgence in 2014 and 2015. We had almost 9400 visitors in 2015; it fell to 8146 this year. I write the blog and Dave is the webmaster who tries to make sense of the photos, write the captions and corrects my mistakes. I asked Dave recently how much longer he wanted to continue with the updates and the website in light of the waning interest in the hobby. He said as long as I do. We will continue through the end of the year 2017 and complete a 2017 annual report. We’ll see how much interest (visits) we receive this year and determine if we will continue with the site as you have come to know it at the end of the year. Those of you that have been visitors to the site for almost 15 years and have lived this journey with us – thank you for watching and visiting our little railroad.

          Have a Great New Year and Happy Railroading Everybody!

You can view previous Arizona & Pacific Railroad Annual Reports by clicking here

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