Continuing our journey across the former Southern Pacific’s Sunset Route, the Gila Subdivision covers over 255 miles of track between Yuma and Tucson, Arizona. Around 35 trains traverse this transcontinental main line every day originating in Texas, Kansas, Louisiana, Illinois, Nebraska, Arizona, and California.
We begin along the Colorado River at Yuma, where trains cross from California into Arizona. The railroad snakes around the harsh, lifeless Gila Mountains skirting the edge of the Castle Dome Valley. Following the old route of the Butterfield Stage, trains pass through Dome and Wellton before cresting Mohawk Pass and dropping down to Gila Bend.
The beauty of the desert comes alive as we climb through the Maricopa Mountains decorated with giant saguaro cactus near Shawmut. The final leg of the journey leads us southeast through Maricopa and the Casa Grande Valley. After passing Picacho Peak, we wrap up at UP’s busy yard in Tucson.
This is desert-railroading in the harsh Sonoran Desert country of Arizona. This is Union Pacific’s Gila Sub.
This program was shot in April 2023.
Shot in beautiful 4K!
1 Hour 50 Minutes