The Copper Basin Railway (CBRY) is an Arizona shortline railroad that operates from a connection with the Union Pacific Railroad (UP) at Magma, AZ and running to Winkelman in central to eastern Pinal County, Arizona - a distance of 54 miles (87 km). The CBRY also has a 7-mile (11 km) branch line that runs from Ray Junction to Ray, Arizona. CBRY then interchanges with the San Manuel Arizona Railroad (SMA) at Hayden, Arizona. The CBRY is a “common carrier” rail line, capable of hauling various types of loads: copper concentrates, ore, finished and unfinished copper, sulfuric acid, lumber, Gatorade, plastics and military equipment.. However, its primary customer is the ASARCO Inc. Ray Copper mine according to L. S. “Jake” Jacobson, President and Chief Operating Officer, hauling copper ore from the ASARCO Ray Mine to the Hayden Smelter.
The Magma-Winkelman line was constructed by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway (ATSF) subsidiary Phoenix and Eastern Railroad between 1902-1904. The Phoenix and Eastern built the railroad from Phoenix - Winkelman via Florence. It originally proposed to build to a connection with the Southern Pacific Railroad (SP) at Benson, Arizona, 45 miles southeast of Tucson but the line was never built past Winkelman. The track at Winkelman was extended 6.35 miles (10.2 km) to Christmas, Arizona, in 1911 by the Arizona Eastern Railway. That section of track was abandoned by the SP in 1961.
The railroad was leased to the Santa Fe Railway upon completion of construction on December 10, 1904, and was operated by the ATSF subsidiary Santa Fe, Prescott and Phoenix Railway. On March 13, 1907, the Phoenix & Eastern became an operating subsidiary of the SP. On March 10, 1910, the Phoenix & Eastern was leased and became a non-operating subsidiary of the SP and operated by the Arizona Eastern Railroad. The railroad was sold to the Arizona Eastern Railroad on October 31, 1945. The Arizona Eastern Railroad was merged into SP on September 30, 1955. In summer 2006, ASARCO Copper Corporation purchased the entire railroad.
For more information contact:
L.S. (Jake) Jacobson, President & CEO
Copper Basin Railway, Inc
Highway 177 – Hayden Junction
P.O. Drawer I
Hayden, AZ 85235