R&G Ranch

Guide to Arizona's Miniature Railroads


Arizona & Repblic Railroad

Arizona Republic Railroad

Defunct Railroad

          Unfortunately the Arizona Republic Railroad is no longer in operation

The Arizona Republic's "Mr. Train" at the R&G Ranch in Phoenix, Arizona

          Located in Phoenix, Arizona, the R & G Ranch is a very private park for the exclusive use of the employees and families of Phoenix Newspapers, Inc. – now part of the Gannett media conglomerate. The park was named for the two newspapers owned and operated for many years by PNI the Arizona Republic and the Phoenix Gazette. The Phoenix Gazette (the evening newspaper) ceased operation several years ago, however, the Arizona Republic continues to serve as the morning newspaper in metropolitan Phoenix.

          The beautiful little park is situated in the mature Arcadia district of Phoenix and dates to the late 1950s. The lush green grounds are full of plants and shrubbery which are meticulously trimmed and well-maintained. Near the rear of the family-friendly park, beyond the Olympic size swimming pool and the wading pool for youngsters and past the partially enclosed dance and activities pavilion lies the loading platform for the train.

Lazy R&G Ranch

R&G Ranch

Loading Platform

Approaching the loading platform

          Added to the park in 1961, the train affectionately known as “Mr. Train” is a National Amusement Device “Century Flyer” (pre-1959 model). The two passenger cars are open on both sides and are in fantastic condition. The cars are the standard swept side model with 4 seats each and are painted red and blue. The engine has had some shop modifications including removal of the front skirt, but is in remarkably good shape considering its age. Believed to be the only NAD “Century Flyer” in operation public or private in Arizona, it is quite a treat getting to ride “Mr. Train” and the children just love it. Resplendent in its red, white, blue paint scheme, the polished metal of the engine glimmers under the bright Arizona sun.

Mr. Train

Mr. Train


Century Flyer cars

          The loading platform was added in 1963 and serves not only as the point at which enthusiastic young passengers board the train, but also serves to protect the train from the seasonally harsh climate in Phoenix. There are no side tracks or structures other than the loading platform and two hand-painted wooden railroad crossing signs.

Loading Platform

Loading platform

Front View

National Amusement Devices Century Flyer

          The track layout is rather simplistic and is a slightly modified oval of approximately 850 feet in total track length. The track work is very nicely done as the rail is straight and level and the curves are smooth and uniform. Elevated slightly, the track is well-ballasted and utilizes 12 pound rail. The track gauge is 24 inch. The track circles several small barbecue areas and numerous mature citrus trees on its route through the rear section of the park. The ride is strictly low speed and depending on whether a line of passengers is present may involve several loops around the track. The rides are free of charge.


Passing through picnic grounds

Track through citrus trees

Circling through citrus trees

          Although the park is open several days a week, “Mr. Train” only operates during special functions like the company wide picnic or the annual Easter Egg Hunt.

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