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Santa Fe Railway empty Joseph City coal train heads up the branch at Defiance

Santa Fe caboose on the empty Joseph City coal train as it heads up the branch at Defiance

On May 31, 1989 the Joe City Coal (train CJCDN) was headed up the branch at Defiance for another load of coal from the McKinley mine. This branch line and train began operations in 1962 with the opening of the McKinley mine at the end of the branch and the Cholla power plant at Joseph City. This train was also called the PM Turn as the coal company is Pittsburg & Midway. Because of the many back-up moves the train had to make at Joseph City, it continued to use a caboose several years after most cabooses had been replaced by EOT boxes.

The McKinley mine opened in 1962 and shut down in 2009. The Cholla power plant now gets its coal from the mines at the end of the Lee Ranch branch, so these scenes will not be repeated.

Santa Fe Railway empty Joseph City coal train heads up the branch at Defiance

I remember a trip the family made to Georgia in 1963 and we camped out at the rest area off US 66 near the Cholla power plant. An empty coal train left the plant with an F7 B unit sandwiched between two GP7s. This train will meet a loaded train at Mentmore two miles north of here. Disk 66