Westbound BNSF O35 job has just passed Goldbadge at the eastern end of the Ennis Sub and is crossing Dysart and Thunderbird in El Mirage on February 13, 2005.
The Ennis Subdivision in 2009 is a nine-mile light-duty branch line that is served almost daily. Speed limit on the line is 10 MPH, enabling a relatively easy chase of the O35 job. Thankfully for railfans,
several industries along the right of way justify the continued existence of the Ennis Sub, including dimensional lumber, steel, and liquified petroleum gas. The train symbol for the Ennis Sub is the O35.
Please click here to view my O35 Locomotive photo page with many photos of the various locomotives that I've photographed working the O35 job the past few years.
I also recommend the following website for more information detailing former ATSF operations on "The Peavine" in Phoenix: A Guide to ATSF in Phoenix
A new feature to this website is the addition of hyperlinks to satellite images located at the Windows Live Search Maps website.
Please click on
the U-2 icons: (I chose this over a satellite) interspersed throughout this page for a satellite image/notes of the location(s) discussed in the text.
The Ennis Sub is served by the O35 (oh-35) Sunday - Friday as near as I can tell. I live a short
distance from Goldbadge and I rarely hear them on a Saturday but it does happen. Power is typically a single GP-series unit but there have been two and three units lashed up
on occasion. While on the sub, the unit(s) can be found just about anywhere, from near Grand Ave all the way out to Fennemore. Often it'll spend the night at Calgas. If the O35
is on the mainline it can be seen from Lizard Acres to MP 175 (El Mirage Curve.)
AAR Channel 50 is used on the sub. You'll alse hear them call BNSF DS 13 on AAR Channel 84 for
a track warrant to occupy the Phoenix Sub and work between Lizard Acres and Ennis / El Mirage. They keep the O35 symbol while on the main.
The Ennis Sub is 10-MPH. Chasing a train is fairly easy in the rural locale. Several grade crossings
provide a place to park and get some photos, as well as the areas near most of the online customers.
The Ennis Sub diverges to the west away from the Peavine at approximately MP 174.1
in the town of El Mirage approximately halfway along the Ennis / El Mirage yard tracks. The track immediately
crosses Grand Avenue / US 60 and heads southwest toward Goldbadge.
Below is a photo showing the Ennis Sub crossing Grand Avenue in El Mirage.
The former station of Goldbadge was removed in 2006 and was the site of a lumber customer. It was located east of the
intersection of Thunderbird and Dysart and a Super Walmart now occupies this triangular parcel of land.
Below is the O35 pulling west past the station sign at Goldbadge.
I haven't found a station sign for Sun Valley but there are two industries in the immediate vicinity. The
first, a lumber yard, is to the west of the track, and is about a half mile north of the Peoria Ave grade crossing. The second, a steel customer, is
to the east of the track, and is adjacent to the Peoria Ave grade crossing.
Below are two photos showing activity at both of the Sun Valley customers. In the first view, an empty centerbeam lumber flat is pulled out. The second view shows that centerbeam as well
as the empty gondolas being pulled out from the customer closest to the Peoria Avenue grade crossing.
Bumstead has a small siding and a station sign. I've seen boxcars and gondolas with steel coils parked here. It is located east of the
grade crossing at Litchfield Rd, several hundred yards north of Olive Ave.
Below is a photo showing the O35 approaching Bumstead as seen from Litchfield Road.
Webb Spur is a former spur that entered Luke AFB. At the junction, Webb Spur continues south while the Ennis Sub diverges to the west, parallel to Olive Ave all the way to Fennemore. Webb Spur has a station sign but unfortunately the only side of the sign printed with the name faces north. A decent
photo with a train is probably only possible on late summer afternoons when the sun is favorably positioned to the northwest of the sign. After crossing Olive Ave, Webb Spur continues to the
south towards Luke AFB but is now truncated just north of Northern Ave and is just over a mile long. Webb Spur is occasionally used for overflow storage.
Below is a photo of the O35 on the Ennis Sub with the Webb Spur station sign and trackage. South is to the left in this photo.
In the second photo, the O35 is returning from shoving some loads of green pipe on the Webb Spur on the south side of Olive Avenue.
Calgas is the next industry, less than a mile from Webb Spur and easily photographed from
Olive Ave. Liquified petroleum gas is stored here underground until needed by utility customers at which time it is pumped back into tank cars and delivered. Occasionally the power for the O35 job is parked here.
Below is a photo of the O35 working Calgas alongside Olive Avenue.
Reams is an unmarked siding just west of Calgas. Long cuts of lumber and tank cars are often stored here.
Below is a photo of the O35 working Reams alongside Olive Avenue.
Wayne has a short stub spur. It is located just east of the grade crossing at Sarival Ave.
Please click the photo to see the other side of the caboose. These photos were taken on September 20th, 2004.
For a several years, this former BN Caboose (12430) sat on the spur at Wayne. In 2008 it was given a new lease on life as a "shoving platform" for the O35 job. In this capacity I first noticed
the caboose on the mainline on the morning of March 15, 2008 behind the Local after the Local returned from Castle Hot Springs. I didn't know the caboose was anywhere near the mainline at the time, but I
imagine the Local simply shoved into the Ennis siding to hook onto the caboose and pull it out so they could shove cars into the Ennis siding that they'd brought back from Castle Hot Springs. That's
my theory for that morning but I can't prove it.
Since then, the caboose has been in pretty much continuous use as a shoving platform or "idler car" behind the locomotive. At any rate, it's cool to see a caboose in use in my neighborhood in any capacity.
December 11, 2008 and the O35 job waits to cross Grand Avenue and work the Ennis siding.
Fennemore is a major fertilizer customer and also the end of the Ennis Sub. The track crosses
Cotton Lane while turning to the north. A siding exists here as well as a station sign, and remnants of the track can be found to the north and south for a short distance.
At one time the track connected to a Wye at Beardsley on the Peavine a few miles to the north. End of track to the south was a station called McMicken near what is now Indian School Rd.
Below is a photo of the O35 working Fennemore alongside Cotton Lane.
Aeromoe's Guide to Railfanning the Peavine
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