While the tourist railroad is no longer in operation, the history of the Yuma Valley Railroad still lives on..... here are some pictures of the existing equipment and past memories of the line.
The work to contain the waters of the Colorado River started with the levees being built in 1907-1908. In 1914 the Southern Pacific working as the Yuma Valley Railroad was constructed to Milepost 23.95 at the border town of San Luis, AZ. The line was cut back to MP 18.08 in 1952. In 1980 the SP abandoned the line and it was taken over by the US Bureau of Reclamation and the Yuma Live Steamers (operating as the Yuma Valley Railroad) started weekend passenger service over the line October through May, during the cooler times of the year.
Route Map with mileposts:
|0.0||UPRR junction, Yuma station|
Yuma Valley Railway #3, May 2009, ex- United States Marine Corps 1975 built GE 44 ton center cab 152405
photo by L. Stoermer
Yuma Valley Railway passenger coach car 644 observation, used in the movie " The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean" starring Paul Newman.
May 2009 photo by L. Stoermer
YVRY #2921, ex-Long Island Railroad commuter car,ex Metro North Commuter Car , now known as the "Fugitive Snowbird". 2010 photo by L. Stoermer
Yuma Valley Railway pass car #2931, the Waldo Forester. Ex-USAF, a 1923 Pullman Chair Car formerly a US Army Ambulance Car during WWII. 2010 photo by L. Stoermer
The Charlotte E, last serviced in 1989, last operated about 1990. 2010 photo by L. Stoermer
YVRy locomotive came from the Tank Car Corp in Oreland, PA. Used from years ?---? Note still in original paint. A 1952 Davenport Bershler was a former US Army engine.
2010 photo by L. Stoermer
USBRSteam Locomotive #1 along the Yuma Valley railroad about 1908. USBR Photo.
USBR picnic train probably along the line towards Laguna/ Potholes, dated 1908. Appears to be either USBR #3 or #4 tank engine. USBR photo.
Thanks to early YVRy member Carl Hudson for sharing these pictures of the YVRy early years. His stories of some of the people and times we hope to share with you here. Enjoy the pictures here! All photos here courtesy of C Hudson.
YVRy first locomotive the Charlotte E. About 1988, members are (L-R) Carl Hudson Fred Jones, Irwin Went, Gene Glasgow, Tim Gilliland.
Carl notes "One thing we had to do was press off the left front driver and put it on the right rear. lt was better than the one that was there. Center driver is blind. When we put it back together the front wheel set was enough smaller, we didn't even want to hook up the chain drive to it. Worked just fine in most cases with two axel drive."
Couple more views of the Charlotte E after being painted green at Walt's Station site, August 1990.
Gadsden/ Walt's Station about 1990, location of end of line of YVRy and the bar b cue lunches until route was restricted by USBR because of track conditions.
A machinist in El Centro retired from US Gypsum that had worked on the company railroad there, was able to turn the Charlotte E's wheels, giving some new tread on her shoes.
A view from the cab of the Charlotte E about 1990. Carl says he trimmed the weeds and brush which enabled the train to get to the Somerton (Gadsden) Mesquite Charcoal plant located at Walt's Station.
YVRy #1 the Charlotte E August 1988 along the route.