As of mid-2008, I've lived here for four years now and I'd not yet visited the Arizona and California at Parker, Arizona. That all changed in the wee hours of July 4th when I heard the BNSF "Repo Train" get a warrant from Castle Hot Springs to Matthie at about 0200 hours in the morning. I'd heard that train had two SD70MACs for power so I figured I'd make the trip along the ARZC from Wickenburg to Parker and try and catch the train (well, the unique power set and train) at Parker after sunrise. The timing worked out since the Repo had to wait at Aguila (20-odd miles west of Matthie/Wickenburg) for the Eastbound ARZC that swaps with the BNSF at Castle Hot Springs. That meet took place about 0330 and with just a couple hours until sunrise, I had no doubt the Repo train would be pulling into Parker after sunrise. My only concern was would the eastern sky be free of clouds so I'd have some sun to illuminate the train as it rolled into town.

Below are some photos I took of that first trip to Parker. Five of the eight active locomotives on the ARZC roster were on the train I'd seen at Aguila and the remaining three were parked at the engine facility in Parker.

The BNSF "Repo Train" (typically B-PHXSBD) rolls into Parker at is seen at the south end of the ARZC yard at 06:24am. Thankfully, the sun had risen high enough to clear the pesky clouds near the horizon.

This former Norfolk Southern GP40 (ex-NS 1345) is the latest addition to the ARZC roster. It has been to Castle Hot Springs a number of times but I've only seen it there once.

ARZC tank car adjacent to the engine house.

GP38-2 3894 on the north side of the engine house.

Arizona and California work crane.

Arizona and California #58, a heavyweight passenger car. One source indicates this is the former AT&SF 58

Looking south, we see the layout of the Arizona & California at Parker. The"Repo Train" parked near the depot for a few minutes before departing west.

The BNSF "Repo Train" (typically B-PHXSBD) rolls out of Parker and into California while crossing the bridge across the Colorado River. 06:47am.

The train is seen while negotiating a sweeping curve to the west. The rear end of the train is still on the bridge.

The cut at Harcuvar (MP 56) is seen looking west. In David Myrick's book "Santa Fe to Phoenix" a 1964 photo shows a realignment being constructed here before the tunnel was "daylighted."

Some web links:

RailAmerica website for Arizona & California RR
Wikipedia entry
A link to some very nice "vintage" ARZC photos

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My NS Southern West District Webpage
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