Black Mesa and Lake Powell Railroad

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Black Mesa and Lake Powell Railroad
Black Mesa and Lake Powell RR Map.png
Eastbound train on the Black Mesa and Lake Powell Railroad, May 19, 2007. Note the Ferrocarriles Nacionales de México (N de M) livery on the locomotives
Reporting markBLKM
LocaleNavajo Nation, Northern Arizona
Dates of operation1973 (1973)
HeadquartersPage, Arizona

The Black Mesa and Lake Powell Railroad (reporting mark BLKM) is an electrified private railroad operating in Northern Arizona, USA within the Navajo Nation which transports coal 78 miles (126 km) from the Peabody Energy Kayenta Mine near Kayenta, Arizona to the Navajo Generating Station power plant at Page, Arizona. It is completely isolated from the national rail network and does not interchange with any other railroads. As a result, like metros, light rails, and trams, this is not controlled by the Federal Railroad Administration.

The line was constructed in the early 1970s and was the first railroad to be electrified at 50,000 volts. It is owned by the Salt River Project and the co-owners of the Navajo Generating Station.


The line is electrified by means of 50,000 volt (60 Hz) overhead catenary with electricity supplied by the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority.

During normal operations, the railroad operates 3 round trips per day. The BLKM uses E60 locomotives that were either built for the railroad or purchased from Mexico. Eventually, all six E60CFs built new for the railroad will be replaced by six of the 'newer' ex-NdeM E60C-2s acquired in the late 1990s. Two additional E60C-2s will be kept for spare parts. The refurbished E60C-2s are being repainted into the company's revised red-white-blue horizontal stripe paint livery.

Forty new aluminum coal hoppers have also been purchased from FreightCar America to replace some of the aging fleet of thirty-year-old FMC and Ortner hoppers.

See also[edit]


  • Walker, Mike (1995). Steam Powered Video's Comprehensive Railroad Atlas of North America: Arizona & New Mexico. Faversham, Kent, United Kingdom: Steam Powered Publishing. p. 6. ISBN 1-874745-04-8.
  • Carr, Wes. "Black Mesa & Lake Powell". Retrieved March 14, 2006.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 36°33′15″N 110°31′35″W / 36.55417°N 110.52639°W / 36.55417; -110.52639