Adobe Mountain Railroad

Guide to Arizona's Miniature Railroads


Adobe Mountain

The Adobe Mountain Desert Railroad Park

The Adobe Mountain Desert Railroad Park in Phoenix, Arizona

          The Adobe Mountain Desert Railroad Park, located in Phoenix, Arizona at 23280 N. 43rd Avenue (just south of Pinnacle Peak Road) is home to the Maricopa Live Steamers, Arizona Model Railroading Society, Arizona Garden Railway Society, and the Sahuaro Central Railroad Heritage Preservation Society.

          The Maricopa Live Steamers is a 30 year old organization that had a small layout at McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park in Scottsdale, Arizona for many years before relocating to the spacious Adobe Mountain Desert Railroad Park. These 7 1/2" gauge enthusiasts have an impressive operation.

Park Sign

Maricopa Live Steamers

Live Steamer Logo

Maricopa Live Steamers logo

Train Yard

Train yard beneath ominous skies


Old photo showing MLS at McCormick-Stillman Park

          More than 6 miles of track runs through the rugged Arizona desert at Adobe Mountain Desert Railroad Park. During the November 9th, 2002 train festival, I thoroughly enjoyed two rides each exceeding 15 minutes and covering nearly 3 miles apiece, with only a few hundred yards of shared track between the rides.

train ride

A view from my first ride


Riders enjoying the trip

          There are working block signals, a turntable, many trestles and loading platforms scattered throughout the layout. The park's other residents provide additional railroad ambiance with grand scale static displays and garden scale layouts.


One of many trestles


Bridges in the distance

Loading Platform

Loading platform and water tank




Grand scale displays provide ambiance

Static Display

Static steam engine


H.J. Ottaway, Wichita Kansas

Garden Scales

Arizona Garden Railway Society

          Not only was I impressed by the layout, but the storage facilities are quite clever as well. There are numerous on site "Mobile-mini" storage units which contain multi-level storage for engines and rolling stock. The storage units are aligned in two rows that face each other with a large track between them. On the track rides an ingenious hydraulic lifting unit which can be raised or lowered to the level of each storage track and the cars are easily rolled onto the lifting unit, then shuttled over to a spur line which gives access to the 6 miles of track. Apparently the city didn't like the look of so many storage units in one place, so the Maricopa Live Steamers have cleverly decorated them with false fronts to look like an old-west town. Their sense of humor is evident in the law offices of "Dewey, Fleecem, and Howe", and the "Russ T. Plough Farm Implements" building.


One of several "Mobile-mini" sheds

Sheds in the Distance

Sheds in the distance

Old-West Town

Old-west false fronts disguise the sheds

Hydraulic Lifter

The hydraulic lifter

          For additional information we suggest you visit the Maricopa Live Steamers website.

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