Monday, November 30, 2009

Copper Spike Railroad

Sunday we took another train ride, this one on the Copper Spike Railroad from the old town of Globe to the new (at least relatively) Apache Gold Casino in San Carlos. Globe is a historic mining town east of Mesa. First they mined silver there and the story goes they found a large ball or globe or glob of silver, so they named the town Globe. The vein of silver soon played out, but they found a lot of copper and the town grew. As a matter of fact, they are still mining copper there, as well as in several other places in Arizona. This is a view of one of the mines.

We arrived in Globe just before 11 a.m. and found that the next train left at 11:30. We bought our tickets, then a volunteer offered to open the Globe museum next door for us and another couple. Globe has been refurbishing its historic sites and the museum is nicely done, if small. The historic train depot has been restored and opened in January. This is the second winter season for the tourist train.

The folks who own the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad, which has a train from Alamosa to La Veta in Colorado, also own the Copper Spike. In 2006 we rode the San Luis Express in Colorado a week after it began operation. You can read about that trip in my blog:
We rode it again in July 2007. This summer we watched the train pull into La Veta and saw a young man being trained to be a conductor. To our surprise, he was the conductor on our Sunday ride. Here you see the photo John took of him in La Veta and my photo of him and the car attendant on Sunday.

The Copper Spike makes four round trips a day between Globe and Apache Gold. Sunday was cool and rainy, with some hail mixed in at times. As we drove into Globe, we saw this wonderful rainbow.

By the time we boarded the train, the sun came out, but maybe the weather was the reason there were only four other passengers on our trip out of Globe. We were the only passengers returning from the casino. We could have gotten off there, stayed a while, and returned on a later train, but we didn't. Our interest was in the train, not the casino.

The Copper Spike has some neat old cars. First we visited the vista dome car.

We walked through the dining car.

Then we settled in the club car, where we later bought some popcorn. This is the view out the window of the back door in the club car.

It was a fun way to spend our Sunday outing.

1 comment:

  1. I love your obsession with historic train rides. The scenery is lovely. What a treat the rainbow was. I have occasionally seen horizon to horizon rainbows across our valley.