Copper Basin Railway (CBRY)


Photo taken from

NS-CN-CP-Saturday-Scranton-Pa-7-11-2015 (112)

The Copper Basin Railway began life as a line built by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway (ATSF) subsidiary Phoenix and Eastern Railroad called the¬†Magma-Winkelman line between 1902 and1904. The P&E built the railroad from Phoenix – Winkelman via Florence and it had planned to build a connection with the Southern Pacific (SP) at Benson but that didn’t happen and Winkelman became the end most terminus.

The railroad was leased and operated upon completion by the Santa Fe subsidiary Santa Fe, Prescott and Phoenix Railway. The P&E eventually became an operating subsidiary of SP and then the railroad was leased and became a non-operating subsidiary of SP and operated by the Arizona Eastern Railroad. The railroad was then sold to the AER in 1945 and the AER was then merged (along with the P&E back) into SP in 1955. (confused yet?)

Although never connected to the SP, the track at Winkelman was extended for another 6.35 miles to Christmas, Arizona in 1911 by the AER. Espee abandoned the section in 1961.

On August 15, 1986 the Espee sold the line to mine operator Kennecott Copper and the CBRY was started. In the summer of 2006 ASARCO Copper Corporation bought the entire railroad and has been operating it since.

The Copper Basin Railway