Yuma Valley Railway

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Yuma Valley Railway
Locale Yuma County, Arizona, USA
Dates of operation 1914 (predecessor)–Present
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Headquarters Yuma, Arizona
0.0 UPRR junction, Yuma
1.0 Steam
8.5 Willets
10.2 Spillway
15.0 Somerton
21.0 Gadsden
San Luis

The Yuma Valley Railway was a heritage railroad in Arizona, which formerly operated an excursion passenger train on the rail line following the Colorado River levee between Yuma, Arizona and Gadsden, Arizona. The train has not operated since 2005, when the line was embargoed by the Bureau of Reclamation. The equipment had been parked idle across the canal and south of the Yuma Quartermaster Depot before May 2013.

The Yuma Model Railroaders, the local model railroad group, committed to preserve and cosmetically restoring all historical rolling stock in Yuma, including those of the Yuma Vallley Railway. [1] [2] [3] In May 2013, the 44-ton locomotive and passenger cars were moved to the Virginia & Truckee Railroad in Virginia City, Nevada.[4] The remaining equipment is expected to be scrapped.

Motive Power and Rolling Stock[edit]


The YVRY was originally owned by the U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Reclamation. It was part of the Interior Department's irrigation and flood control project along the levee of the Colorado River.

The U.S. Government's railroad was known as the Yuma Valley Railroad and operated from 1914 and into the 1980s. The Yuma Valley Railroad originally extended 25 miles from Yuma to the Arizona/Mexico border town of San Luis. In 1947 the Yuma Valley Railroad was leased to and operated by the Southern Pacific Railroad, at which time the 9 miles from Gadsden to San Luis were idle and later abandoned.


  • Robertson, Donald B. (1986). Encyclopedia of Western Railroad History: The Desert States: Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah. Caldwell, Idaho: The Caxton Printers. p. 114. ISBN 0-87004-305-6. 
  • Tea Benduhn, ed. (2006). Tourist Trains 2006 (Empire State Railway Museum's 41st Annual Guide ed.). Waukesha, Wisconsin: Kalmbach Publishing. p. 15. ISSN 1546-2730. 
  • Walker, Mike (1995). Steam Powered Video's Comprehensive Railroad Atlas of North America - Arizona & New Mexico. Kent, United Kingdom: Steam Powered Publishing. p. 16. ISBN 1-874745-04-8.