On August 27, 1966, the Santa Fe's first unit train rolled out of York Canyon in New Mexico's Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The trains destination was the giant Fontana plant of the Kaiser Steel Corporation. The train consisted of nine diesel units and eighty-four 100 ton, blue and black coal cars. The unit train will make a round trip every four days, covering 2,164 miles, the longest precision scheduled unit train in the United States.

The first train was a test train. Regular unit train service began on September 28. The Santa Fe purchased 101 special gondola cars and 11 diesel locomotives esspecially for this service.

The New Mexico coal mine in York Canyon is owned by Kaiser Steel. To reach the mine the Santa Fe built a 57 mile branch northeast from French, New Mexico. The new line passes through Dawson, once the end of the Southern Pacific's recently abandoned Tucumcari - French branch.

In the building of the new York Canyon line over 395,000 cubic yards of rock and 1,590,000 cubic yards of earth were excavated and used in the embankment. Of 23 bridges built, the longest was 280 feet. In all 8,637 tons of 131 pound rail were placed on more than 114, 800 crossties. Underneath was 108,157 cubic yards of ballast.

The new branch has the longest continuous welded rail in the U.S. The longest single piece of rail is 21 miles. No clickety-clack here!

This is the realization of 15 months and four million dollars worth of engineering and construction work.

The mine facilities are owned by the Kaiser Steel Corporation and have a capacity of 400 tons per hour. The coal is crushed, washed and graded at the mine site before being loaded into the cars. The cars can be loaded in about 1 minute each.

More deposits of coal remain in the Arizona - New Mexico areas served by the Santa Fe. Look forward to more developement and more unit trains in the future of the ever growing southwest.


A Regular business meeting of the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum Association, Inc., will be held at the time and location noted below. One important event of the day will be the counting of ballots. Location: Old Library Building in El Cajon. Time and Date: 7:30pm December 18.

by Dick Pennick

(A continuing series of interesting rules taken from old employees' timetables)

From San Diego & Arizona Ry, timetable No. 14, February 10, 1918.......

"Trains operating between National City, Chula Vista and Salt Works will work under Yard Rules, and between National City and Chula Vista will be governed by current Time Table of the San Diego Electric Railway."


PSRMA has appointed Douglas Reynolds as storekeeper. He replaces Terry Durkin, who resigned the position recently.

The storekeeper is responsible for the purchase of materials used to keep museum projects on the move. Among the items used by the museum or soon to be used are sheet metal, paint, sand and automotive parts.

The job of storekeeper is one of the museum's busier activities.


Another of the railroads of Baja California is brought back to life. Read about this little known line in the upcoming issue of THE DISPATCHER, out about December 31. 25 cents per copy. Write, DISPATCHER, 7861 Normal Ave, La Mesa, California 92041.


Report is the official publication of the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum Association, Inc., of San Diego County, California.

Officers are:
Stanton W. Kerr, president Lee B. Adams, vice president Richard Pennick, secretary Charles Gerdes, treasurer

Report editor is:
Charles L. Kent Museum Address P.O.Box 4081, San Diego, Calif 92104