Black Mesa & Lake Powell - Arizona

Pertaining to all railroad subjects, past and present, in the American West, including California, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming, Montana, and The Dakotas. For specific railroad topics, please see the Fallen Flags and Active Railroads categories.

Moderator: Komachi

Black Mesa & Lake Powell - Arizona

Postby ozarkrails » Mon Jun 12, 2006 7:35 am

During a recent trip to Arizona we passed a coal mining operation, the railroad that serviced that operation was electric, someone went to a great deal of expense to install overhead wiring, most likely an electric company. Does anyone know who operates this railroad? Location is in the northeast corner of Arizona.
ozarkrails
 

Postby SSW9389 » Mon Jun 12, 2006 8:07 am

The name of the rail line is the Black Mesa and Lake Powell. Google that and you should find all the information you need. :wink:
COTTON BELT: Runs like a Blue Streak!
SSW9389
 
Posts: 317
Joined: Mon Jul 12, 2004 9:22 am
Location: Shelbyville, Kentucky

Postby Milwaukee_F40C » Sun Aug 06, 2006 11:11 pm

How many electric freight railroads like this exist in North America?
Milwaukee_F40C
 
Posts: 391
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2005 2:37 pm
Location: IC Centralia Sub, MP 309

Postby SlowFreight » Thu Aug 10, 2006 4:10 pm

You can find a few more of them here:

http://www.trainweb.org/southwestshorts/

Don't forget IATR, which has more in common with interurbans than steam roads, even today.

The Muskingum Electric RR is now gone, but it was even more notable in that it was built and operated unmanned remote control for its entire history (about 30-35 years), and served Big Muskie, the largest walking dragline ever built (now scrapped).

I don't know anything about it, but there's also a river dam in Iowa that has an electric railroad on top of it, and the agency that owns it bought an ex-SEPTA Stafford interurban when SEPTA retired those.
SlowFreight
 
Posts: 278
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2005 6:27 pm
Location: The wilds of Brooklyn

Re: Electric Rails In Arizona

Postby BlockLine_4111 » Mon Aug 14, 2006 9:16 pm

ozarkrails wrote:During a recent trip to Arizona we passed a coal mining operation, the railroad that serviced that operation was electric, someone went to a great deal of expense to install overhead wiring, most likely an electric company. Does anyone know who operates this railroad? Location is in the northeast corner of Arizona.


I have to take a ride down there to check this out. IIRC they used E60s, a little different from the classical Amtrak/NJ Transit ones, but they ran 'em off 50kV/60Hz IIRC.

AIR this line is now OOS, not sure if anything has changed.
BlockLine_4111
 
Posts: 1939
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 5:58 pm
Location: Northern NJ

Navajo Mine E-60s...

Postby Komachi » Tue Aug 15, 2006 12:39 am

Actually, Block...

The Navajo line has 2-3 former Amtrak E-60s... we had a discussion about them on the Amtrak Forum when they were being retired.


Go here...

http://www.railroad.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=572


Amtrak 961, 966 and 968.


Or were you and ozarkrails discussing another operation down there?
User avatar
Komachi
 
Posts: 1206
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 12:26 am
Location: Minnesota, USA

BM&LP...

Postby Komachi » Tue Aug 15, 2006 1:04 am

As an additional thought or two...


Here's a link regarding the Black Mesa and Lake Powel from Southwest Railfan...
http://www.trainweb.org/southwestshorts/bmlp.html

Some pics from algomacentral.railfan.net...
http://algomacentral.railfan.net/bmlp.htm

Rich Clark's Railroad Photo Page (roster shots)...
http://members.aol.com/e44e33/Railpix/BMLP.htm

Wikipedia reference (also notes abandonment on Dec. 31, 2005, when the power plant was closed down)...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Mesa_and_Lake_Powell


Okay, you guys can find more on your own...


Although, it is interesting to note that the BM&LP retired it's original fleet of E60CF locomotives and replaced them with the E60C-2 units built for NdeM (for an electrification project that never materialized).

Some of these mining operations are quite interesting, I would have loved to have seen them in operation. Especially the Muskingum Electric Railroad, while not a western road, was completely computer operated (from what I've read)... a sight to behold, I'm sure.
User avatar
Komachi
 
Posts: 1206
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 12:26 am
Location: Minnesota, USA

E60s...

Postby Komachi » Tue Aug 15, 2006 1:07 am

And a final note I stumbled upon at Wiki, regarding the E60s...

The Navajo scrapped its three E60s in 2003.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GE_E60


Just some food for thought for ya.
User avatar
Komachi
 
Posts: 1206
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 12:26 am
Location: Minnesota, USA

Re: E60s...

Postby BlockLine_4111 » Tue Aug 15, 2006 12:04 pm

Komachi wrote:And a final note I stumbled upon at Wiki, regarding the E60s...

The Navajo scrapped its three E60s in 2003.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GE_E60


Just some food for thought for ya.


Which 3, the ex-Amtrak three units?
BlockLine_4111
 
Posts: 1939
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 5:58 pm
Location: Northern NJ

Postby Komachi » Tue Aug 15, 2006 5:20 pm

Block,

Yeah, the Amtrak units. Sorry, should have speciifed that.


Well, now the BM&LP has shut down, but what of the Navajo? Is that still up and running, or has that, too, shut down? Just currious. (What sources I've found are from 2003 or thereabouts, nothing much newer).
User avatar
Komachi
 
Posts: 1206
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 12:26 am
Location: Minnesota, USA

Postby BlockLine_4111 » Tue Aug 15, 2006 9:41 pm

I am extremely surprised it was closed down given domestic and geo-political considerations. A surging US population (i.e. population growth) and issues with foreign (e.g. muslim) and Alaskan oil supplies I am surprised (to say the least).

Now with trouble brewing with Iran I see this plant opening again in the near future.

An operational plant = JOBS and stable local economy. Also a source of reliable power genarated by US sourced fuel.
BlockLine_4111
 
Posts: 1939
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 5:58 pm
Location: Northern NJ

Postby SlowFreight » Wed Aug 16, 2006 10:06 pm

Usually, when an operation like BM&LP closes, like the Muskingum did a decade ago, it's cuz there's no coal left to dig :( That's also what happened with BC Rail's Tumbler Ridge line with its unique GF6C's. Those were some of the first thyristor-controlled electrics, which IIRC allowed for efficient solid-state power conversion on high-voltage AC, vs. systems like the old CN commuter, which used a motor-generator set to produce 600vdc for the traction motors. The GF6C's were built on SD40-2 chassis with cowl carbodies, and I think one might have been preserved. The Tumbler Ridge operation lasted from about 1984 to 1998+/-, and shut down when the mine shut down.

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=115943

Butte, Anaconda, and Pacific similarly shut down in the 1970's when the copper ran out. Kennecott Copper had an amazing rail system in the Bingham, UT, open-pit mine, all electrified, until the late 70's when they began dieselizing it with GP39-2's that had 12" (!) of clearance above the rail, thin fuel tanks, and REALLY tall cabs

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=75251

Couldn't find any pictures of their electrics.

Oh well. Can't remember any more right now...
SlowFreight
 
Posts: 278
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2005 6:27 pm
Location: The wilds of Brooklyn

Postby Arborwayfan » Mon Sep 04, 2006 5:48 pm

The BC Rail was advertising a whole electrification package for sale at the time they ended passenger service a few years ago. They called it a "turnkey electrification" package or some such: the transformers, the electrical equipment, the locomotives, maybe even the poles for the catenary. I wonder if anyone bought it.
Arborwayfan
 
Posts: 652
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2004 11:27 am
Location: Terre Haute, Indiana

Postby TB Diamond » Mon Sep 04, 2006 8:26 pm

A BA&P electric locomotive was stored behind a fence at Butte, MT back in the mid-1990s. Possibly still there.
You can't go home again- Thomas Wolfe
TB Diamond
 
Posts: 1632
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2005 9:40 pm
Location: Rocky Mountains

Postby SlowFreight » Wed Sep 06, 2006 9:56 pm

I had previously forgotten about the Deseret Western, which operated an isolated mine-to-mouth operation in Utah with ex-Mexican E60's, plus two built new to order.

http://thedieselshop.us/DesWsn.HTML

They appear to still be running.
SlowFreight
 
Posts: 278
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2005 6:27 pm
Location: The wilds of Brooklyn

Next

Return to Western Railfan

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest