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Forums › Reviews › Arizona Trail Reviews › Old Railroad (+WWII outpost) (Ash Fork) - 1.5
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Old Railroad (+WWII outpost) (Ash Fork) - 1.5
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Mr_R2FJ
Obstacle Crusher
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Joined: Nov 29, 2007
Posts: 1851
Location: Phoenix

PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 12:26 pm    Post subject: Old Railroad (+WWII outpost) (Ash Fork) - 1.5 Reply with quote

Synopsis

Very short drive from I40 to the old railroad tunnel and WWII outpost. There's even a new geocache up there that some may enjoy finding left by our very own R2FJ pair. GEOCACHING

As an additional note, there is a crater to the west of the road you will see on your way out/in.

Group Size:

The size should probable be kept down to 4 trucks or less. The parking at the end of the road is VERY limited and turning around space is limited. There's one way in and one way out and the road is a very narrow shelf road.

Difficulty
1.5 - This is most likely not a maintained road, but isn't technically difficult. It has a very narrow shelf road out to the tunnel and space is limited. Longer vehicles should take care that turning around at the tunnel may not be an option and it's a long way to go in reverse. Stock FJ of any configuration should have no issues getting to this location.

Length

5.2 miles one way.

Location

Directly east of Ash Fork on I40. There are alternate routes to this location, but the one given here is the most direct.

Aerial of the trail:


Pictures

Shelf Road on the way in


Tunnel



WWII outpost


Short walk up the old trail route


Lots of hobo artifacts - 1929!


Previous AZFJ Runs to this Trail

GPS Track

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brianr
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Joined: Apr 15, 2011
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2011 10:04 pm    Post subject: Re: Old Railroad (+WWII outpost) (Ash Fork) - 1.5 Reply with quote

this location is actually called Johnson tunnel.

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Jimbolio
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 4:51 am    Post subject: Re: Old Railroad (+WWII outpost) (Ash Fork) - 1.5 Reply with quote

What was it for?

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brianr
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 9:59 am    Post subject: Re: Old Railroad (+WWII outpost) (Ash Fork) - 1.5 Reply with quote

I originally thought when I saw this thread that it was part of the old Santa, Phoenix & Prescott railroad...some further reeading into the long ago published David Myrick "Railroads of Arizona" series books (5 of them, all over 600 pages each) dispelled this.

Johnson tunnel was part of the original Atlantic & Pacific railroad built in 1882. Then used by the Atchison, Topeka & Santa fe (the ATSF we are all familiar with seeing in modern times) line through Ash Fork before the relignment to the Double/Perrin/Eagles Nest area in 1959-1961...which is referred to as the Crookton line change (the man partly responsible for this lives in Prescott, just had a beer with him coincidentally Saturday).

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Jimbolio
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 10:54 am    Post subject: Re: Old Railroad (+WWII outpost) (Ash Fork) - 1.5 Reply with quote

WOW Brian, thanks that's some really cool information. I thought they wouldn't have gone to such effort for a tunnel unless it hid a big cannon, or something. That is some 19th Century history right there.

It seemed pretty narrow in some of the pics, but I guess some rocks had rolled down the hill side in the last 120 years.

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brianr
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 12:52 pm    Post subject: Re: Old Railroad (+WWII outpost) (Ash Fork) - 1.5 Reply with quote

Indeed. That line was part of the old "pre transcon" and trains ran on thru the tunnel up until 1961, then moving to the present day transcon on the "Crookton line change". Supposedly during WW2, the tunnel was guarded against sabotage since its proximity to the army depot.

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2010 Tacoma; hail damaged, trail carnaged, snorkeled, super white dbl cab. FOR SALE!

2012 FJC; stock like a mofo.
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Homedad
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 1:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Old Railroad (+WWII outpost) (Ash Fork) - 1.5 Reply with quote

The only thing better then reviving a three year old thread...

Outstanding info from a new guy!

Good work Brian!!!

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brianr
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 8:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Old Railroad (+WWII outpost) (Ash Fork) - 1.5 Reply with quote

thanks, being a railroader its fun to research historical sh*t like that. Know a little more than the rest of my colleagues.

Theres a few other railroad related areas I'd like to go to, namely the old abandonded ROW (right of way) near McNary in the white muntains to Alpine where the White Mtn Scenic railroad operated steam trains until the late 70's.

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2012 FJC; stock like a mofo.
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Dravur
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 3:08 pm    Post subject: Re: Old Railroad (+WWII outpost) (Ash Fork) - 1.5 Reply with quote

Ok, I did this trip yesterday. And no one with a stock anything except an ATV is going to be getting to the tunnel from now on. One part of the trail is washed out and the only thing getting past it is an ATV. The roadbed is too narrow for the FJ. I did hike up to the tunnel. It was about 1.5 miles or so up the roadbed.

It was a fun little trip and if you turn off Welch road, you can see the remains of a section of Route 66... all crumbly and in disrepair. If you guys want a ton of pics of the area, go see my facebook page, Shawn Shipley, and the last few entries are from that area. They show route 66, the Tunnel and the big washout. Also nearby is the remains of an old railway station, and a Giant crater.
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FatRat
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 3:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Old Railroad (+WWII outpost) (Ash Fork) - 1.5 Reply with quote

At what are the coordinates of the washout? I am interested in seeing that impact crater that is next to the trail.
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Dravur
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 3:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Old Railroad (+WWII outpost) (Ash Fork) - 1.5 Reply with quote

The impact Crater was on the way to the turn off to the railroad siding, it is about 400-500 feet across. The washout was along the railroad siding and is about 1 mile up the roadbed from Welch Station.
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Dravur
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2013 7:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Old Railroad (+WWII outpost) (Ash Fork) - 1.5 Reply with quote



The sinkhole on the trail to the tunnel. Only Santiago would try it.
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marlin39a
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Joined: Oct 19, 2013
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 11:07 am    Post subject: Re: Old Railroad (+WWII outpost) (Ash Fork) - 1.5 Reply with quote

I go up here now and then. Trailer my ATV to Welch Road and ride in. Great country to see especially in October.
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