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Southern Pacific double track at Mescal, Arizona

Southern Pacific train GSLAF entering double track at Mescal, Arizona

After some consolidation of operations in 1924 a short connecting track was built from the west end of Mescal siding to reach the El Paso Southwestern tracks just north of this location. The El Paso Southwestern track then became the westward main track and the original SP route along the Pantano Wash became the eastward main. During the 50s, traffic over two routes between Mescal and El Paso was concentrated on the north line (original SP route) and the south line was downgraded. The El Paso Southwestern line from Mescal south to Fairbank was abandoned in 1961. Train GSLAF (Extra 8748 West) is cresting the top of the hill at Mescal and then using this short connector to access the El Paso Southwestern track. First three engine numbers of train GSLAF are 8748, 4701, and 6723.

Southern Pacific train GSLAF entering double track at Mescal, Arizona

Waiting at the end of double track is Extra 6606 East. We saw this engine yesterday at Hayden.

Southern Pacific train GSLAF meets work train at Mescal, Arizona

Mescal is the top of the hill at 4,080 feet. It is one percent climb coming east out of Tucson and a 1.2 percent grade for westbound out of Benson. Mescal is at milepost 1023.

Southern Pacific work train at Mescal, Arizona

The work train has backed into the short connecting track and will tie the train down for the night in the Mescal siding. Coming east out of Tucson is the Douglas Local. Disk 56