Phoenix Railroad City

Decent Essays
When you hear “Phoenix” many things may come to mind. The heat, the large suburban population, the Suns. Trains, however, are something that most people don’t think about when they hear Phoenix. By all means, Phoenix is not a railroad city. However, while Phoenix may not be the railroad capital of the country, we do have a very rich history with the railroads.

The picture to your right may be new to you. It might be a familiar sight. What is it? Well, it’s obviously a train station, but which one? It’s not San Diego’s Union Station. It’s not the Tucson or Albuquerque Amtrak stations. Although it might be surprising to think about, this station is the Phoenix Union Station! To those who have lived in Phoenix before 1996, when Amtrak discontinued service, this may not be all too surprising. However, for us post 96’ transplants, the thought of an Amtrak train, and for that matter any passenger train, traveling through the Phoenix Metro is a weird and humorous thought. Yet, for twenty years now, Phoenix has been the largest city in the United States without passenger service. Amtrak had rerouted the Sunset Limited after the Union Pacific
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The Sunset Limited was leaving the metro area, passing Buckeye, at about 1:30 in the morning, when the passengers were suddenly awoken by the derailment of the train. Emergency services from the city of Buckeye raced to the wreck. As emergency crews arrived they found nearly a hundred people injured and one dead. Spotted along the tracks were several notes, signed by a group called the “Sons of Gestapo”. The derailment was sabotage. The FBI was called to the scene. Investigators had found several ties were pulled up and that the track’s circuit system was tampered with so it wouldn’t alert the trains in the area of damaged track. Twenty years laters, and the investigation is still ongoing. It is said this incident may have contributed to the rerouting of the Sunset
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