Tales from the Morgue: Railroad from Tucson to Phoenix

2014-03-21T09:45:00Z 2014-04-28T06:13:03Z Tales from the Morgue: Railroad from Tucson to PhoenixJohanna Eubank Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
March 21, 2014 9:45 am  • 

With Tucson often relegated to ugly stepsister status among Arizona cities, it must have been quite refreshing to have those in Phoenix clamoring for a railroad line to Tucson.

Of course one must accept the fact that most of them probably were more interested in getting through Tucson than in getting to Tucson.

From the Arizona Daily Star, Wednesday March 18, 1914:




Tucson, Phoenix & Tidewater Railroad, with Capital of Three Million To Construct 120-Mile Line Linking South Western with Santa Fe



Phoenix Is Asked To Vacate a Street So Road May Enter City; To Be in Operation in 18 Months Is Promise


PHOENIX, Mar. 17.—Another outlet for Tucson to tidewater and "a main line railroad" for Phoenix—that is the glowing promise contained in articles of incorporation filed today for the Tucson, Phoenix & Tidewater railroad, with a capital stock of $3,000,000. Enthusiasm has been almost at the riotous pitch at Phoenix since the articles were filed and at the meeting of the city council tonight plans were initiated to provide entrance for the new railroad into Phoenix.

The incorporators of the new railroad are James D. Douglas, of Douglas; W. C. Foster, of Phoenix; E. A. Wells, of Prescott. Mr. Douglas, who has no connection with the Phelps-Dodge company, is the majority stockholder, it is said, though it is not known how much stock he owns. The character of these stockholders, who are well known all over the state and southwest, is accepted here as ample guarantee of the good faith of the company, and Phoenix is joyously celebrating the early fulfillment of its most cherished dream—to be on the main line.

120 Miles Long

The railroad is incorporated for three million dollars; $20,000 per mile on its trackage and $20,000 per mile in bonds. The proposed road will be 120 miles in length, from Tucson to Phoenix.

Application will be made to the Arizona corporation commission at once for permission to issue stock and bonds. It is promised that construction will begin as soon as the preliminaries of incorporating and financing are disposed of and it is asserted that the road will be in operation in 18 months.

Asks Right-of-Way

At a meeting of the city council tonight the city of Phoenix was asked to vacate Madison street, where it is proposed to bring the road into Phoenix. Some opposition developed to the granting of the request, and a committee was named to report a plan by which the road could enter the city without the necessity of destroying the street. This committee will report at a special meeting of the city council Monday.

Route of Road

The Tucson, Phoenix & Tidewater railroad will make direct connection with the El Paso & Southwestern railroad at Tucson. At the Phoenix end it will connect with the Santa Fe at Twenty-second avenue. The route eastward will be to Tempe, thence to either Mesa or Chandler, thence to Florence, thence straightaway for Tucson. The road as promised will be standard gauge and the tracks will be laid with heavy steel. It will be the shortest route to the seaboard from Tucson and it is stated here that it will carry the Golden State Limited and other trans-continental Rock Island trains.

There is no apparent connection between the new railroad and the El Paso & Southwestern or the Rock Island, in fact, the articles of incorporation state that it has no connection with any other line.

And so it was that Phoenix got its dearest wish.

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About this blog

"Tales from the Morgue" is a way for the Star to share stories from the treasure trove of information held in its old files.

Johanna Eubank, aka the Morgue Lady, was a research assistant in the Star Library — also known as News and Research Services — for 18 years before becoming an online content producer. She has had her share of sneezing fits after digging into dusty old files, so she's sure to find a few old stories to re-examine.

If you have suggestions, comments or questions about this blog, e-mail jeubank@tucson.com

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