What is now the Arizona Eastern Railway was chartered as the Gila Valley, Globe and Northern Railway (GVGN) in 1885 and had a slow and dubious start.
Like most history which improves with age and the retelling of stories. Globe’s GVGN was described in some detail by local author Clara T. Woody in her book, “Globe, Az” by Clara T. Woody and Milton Schwartz. The book is available through the Gila County Historical Museum and the Bullion Plaza Museum and Cultural Center.
She says of the local train….”For all its importance to Globe and its environs, the GVG & N could not be taken with complete seriousness. It was a struggling operation with some overtones of the comic. Its tri-weekly schedule caused it to be spoken of as the Try Weakly.
It was also known as the Get Off and Push, or the Gila Monster.”
When the train was too long, the engine could not pull it up the hill from Cutter Flat and the crew would cut it in half, leaving the rear half with passengers in the caboose until they could get back and bring them in. How those passengers would growl, waiting out there on a cold winter night until probably midnight or later when they were du in at 9:30pm.”
Today, the railroad which launched as the GVGN is owned and operated by Genesse and Wyoming, which purchased the Arizona Eastern from Iowa Pacific for a total of $90 million.
Globe, Az by Clara T Woody and Milton Schwartz
Writer, photographer. Passionate foodie, lover of good books and storytelling. Lives in Globe. Plays in the historic district. Travels when possible.