Apache Railway Company

Apache Railway Company

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The Apache Railway was incorporated in 1917, when it began construction of a rail line from Holbrook south, reaching Snowflake in 1918. It was extended south to McNary in 1920.

From October 1, 1931, until 1936, amid the Great Depression, the APA was placed in receivership.

A tourist railroad, the White Mountain Scenic Railroad, operated steam powered passenger excursions over the Southwest Forest Industries-owned line from McNary to the logging camp of Maverick, AZ, beginning in 1964. As track conditions deteriorated, the excursions were cut back in later years to a point about half way to Maverick. In the final years, it operated north from Pinetop Lakes to a place called Bell Siding on U.S. Route 60. In 1976, the White Mountain Scenic Railroad ceased operations and moved its equipment to Heber City, Utah to be used on an excursion there known as the “Heber Creeper.” The line from Maverick to McNary, with some elevations exceeding 9,000 ft (2,700 m), was removed in 1982 after the McNary sawmill closed.

By the 1980s, the Apache Railway was Arizona’s only remaining logging railroad. The track from Snowflake to McNary was abandoned in 1982.

The Apache Railway offered passenger service until the 1950s. In July 1954, the mixed train operated on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, departing McNary at 7:15 am, arriving Holbrook at 12:15 pm, departing there at 1:30 pm and returning to McNary at 7:00 pm.

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