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Santa Fe Railway train in Johnson Canyon Arizona

The train has gone over Supai and is now dropping down the old westbound main to Ash Fork. This line was abandoned in 1960 when the Crookton cut-off was completed. The grade descends at 137 feet per mile for the first five miles.

Santa Fe Railway train in Johnson Canyon Arizona

The descending grade increases to as high as 161 feet per mile after McLellen. It is no wonder that this is one of the first places that the Santa Fe wanted to add a second track. In 1911 the railroad built a longer route to the north between Ash Fork and Supai. It reduced the grade to 95 feet per mile. The newer route is still used today as the line to Phoenix. The shot below is looking back on the train as it exits Johnson Canyon tunnel. The tunnel was at milepost 388.

Santa Fe Railway train in Johnson Canyon Arizona