Ash Fork Station

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Ash Fork
Former ATSF station
Station statistics
Address I‑40 Bus. (Lewis Avenue)
Ash Fork, Arizona
Coordinates 35°13′33″N 112°29′17″W / 35.225828°N 112.488155°W / 35.225828; -112.488155Coordinates: 35°13′33″N 112°29′17″W / 35.225828°N 112.488155°W / 35.225828; -112.488155
Line(s) Main Line (1882–1960)
Santa Fe, Prescott and Phoenix Railway (Phoenix Branch)
Structure type at-grade
Tracks 2
Other information
Opened 1893 (first station), 1907 (second station)
Closed 1905 (first station), 1969 (second station)
Owned by BNSF Railway
  Former services  
Preceding station   Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe   Following station
toward Los Angeles
Main Line
Terminus Santa Fe, Prescott and Phoenix Railway
toward Phoenix

Ash Fork Station is a railway station previously used by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. Also on the station site was the Harvey House Escalante hotel. Service to Ash Fork began in the early 1880s when the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad (predecessor of the Santa Fe) built through town. After the completion of a line in 1895—the Santa Fe, Prescott and Phoenix Railway—to Phoenix, Ash Fork became an important junction point for the Santa Fe.[1]


The first station in Ash Fork was an 1893 structure made out of red Coconino sandstone, and built in the same style as the current Flagstaff station.[2] The structure was one of the first made by the railroad and became too small to handle the amount of passengers at Ash Fork. It was destroyed in a 1905 fire.[1][2]

Built in 1907, the second structure was built as part of the famous Esclante hotel and restaurant. It was part of the Fred Harvey Company, although built after Harvey's death.[3][4] The cost of construction was $150,000 (now $2.6 million due to inflation).[5] Ash Fork was a meal stop; all trains stopped so passengers could eat.[1] The Harvey House eventually closed in 1948—nothing remains on the site presently.[6]

Ash Fork's service on the main line lasted until 1960, when the Santa Fe completed a bypass around Ash Fork. This was done to avoid the steep Johnson Canyon, west of Ash Fork.[7] The junction point shifted to Williams Junction and the line to Phoenix became the only service through the town.[8] The former main line west of Ash Fork was abandoned.[9] This, combined with I-40 bypassing the town, began the decline of Ash Fork.[3]

The final regular passenger service to Ash Fork ended in April 1969, when train number 42, nicknamed the Hassayampa Flyer, was discontinued.[8][10]


  1. ^ a b c "Finest Station on the Santa Fe System". Arizona Journal-Miner (Prescott, Arizona). August 2, 1905. Retrieved October 9, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Trimble, p. 16
  3. ^ a b Trimble, Marshall (2001). Ash Fork. 
  4. ^ Griswold, p. 13
  5. ^ Melzer, pp. 86–87
  6. ^ Witzel, p. 49
  7. ^ Trimble, p. 8
  8. ^ a b Schwieterman, p. 10
  9. ^ Microsoft. "Ash Fork, AZ". Bing Maps (Map). Cartography by Nokia. Retrieved October 9, 2011.
  10. ^ "A Brief History Of Public Transportation in Metro Phoenix". Arizona Rail Passenger Association. Retrieved October 9, 2011. [dead link]


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