Trains were important to economy

Mark PelletierThere is a rich history of railroading in Arizona that has declined significantly from the peak of the pre-WWII era. Learn what once was in the Valley area and what still exists. The Santa Fe (now BNSF) is still very active across northern Arizona but mid-state lines which served mining and north/south traffic are all but gone. Where were they located? Are there still some isolated unique service lines that are not connected to the national grid? How did railroads increase migration to Arizona and how did they lead to the growth of tourism?

At 1 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 24, Mark Pelletier will present background on railroading in Arizona: what it was, what it is and why, and what it might become. Phoenix is by far the largest metropolitan area in the country with no passenger rail service. 

As a transplanted Midwesterner, it often seems to Pelletier that there is no railroad activity in our state at all – certainly not in the West Valley. He doesn’t encounter trains blocking the roadway and virtually never hears the rhythmic sound of crossing bells or even the distant wail of a whistle. To someone from a railroading family, even after 15 years in Arizona, he still misses trains!



DATE /TIME:  Thursday, Feb. 24, 1 - 3 p.m.


COST:  $20