Monday, April 16, 2012

Southwest Trip - 6

Hi, Our plan for our 6th day was to return to Cienega Creek for some sunny shots, and then head for the Hayden, AZ and the Copper Basin.  We got 2 eastbound trains and a bunch of west bound trains.  It seems this is fairly typical for early AM.  Here are 2 different photos of the second eastbound train.

There are number of angles to shoot westbound trains.  Two are shown below.

The Copper Basin has a main line from Hayden to Magma.  This is a former SP branch.  Connecting to this branch at Ray Junction is the line to the Ray Mine.  The railroad runs up to the junction with the UP at Magma Monday through Friday.  The crew leaves in the late afternoon; or late evening if copper anodes or cathodes are being delivered.  If the train is a late evening train the crew will wait with the train until the UP arrives the next morning.  A smelter job is called at 6:00 AM Monday through Friday and heads up to the smelter about 7:00 AM.  Ore trains operate  throughout the day seven days a week.

There was a train sitting outside the dumper in Hayden waiting to unload when we arrived.  The crew would unload part of the train, run around, couple to the rear, and push the rest of the train through the dumper.  Raw ore was transferred by conveyer belt from here to the smelter up the hill to the right.

Below is another view of the dumper with a huge tailings pile to the left of the locomotives.

The tailings pipeline is to the left of the locomotive.
The folks in the office were very friendly and gave us the schedule for the rest of the day.  This made it easy to plan.  Here the empties are northbound at Kearny, AZ returning to Ray Mine.

The empty train has exited the main line and is on the mine trackage at Ray Junction.

Ray mine can be seen from a public observation area.

Loads are about to join the main line at Ray Junction.

Our next location was at Kearny.

We caught the train one more time between Kearny and Hayden

before it arrived at the dumper.

At this point we headed for Globe, AZ, the nearest point we could find lodgings.  We decided to return in the morning for some more photos before moving up to BNSF's Transcon.  I hope you enjoyed the photos.

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