Benjamin Hill - Around the Shops

Benjamin Hill
Although I did not see any mainline action in northern Sonora, I did have a chance to take a self guided tour of the former SBC General Shops at Benjamin Hill. Most of the equipment was left outside in a derelict and rusted condition. However, some pieces were in better shape than they look - in my opinion.

Of course, the highlight of the tour was the discovery of SBC 2203-B, an EMD FT B unit. This locomotive was former Northern Pacific, coming to SBC with 2203 - the A unit. While 2203 is in the Puebla Museum, the last remaining FT B unit rusts away in the yard.

Scribed I97 - presumably meaning Inventoried in 1997, after the privatization of FNM.

The distinctive FT windows, flanked by rust.

A look inside at the end of the prime mover and turbo.

Former SBC passenger cars Mexicali Rose and Maria Elena were also found in the yard. Both of these cars were frequently used on the Southwest Railroad Museum's trips to Puerto Peñasco.

A look at the interior of the Maria Elena reveals that the car has been vandalized. However, most of the hardware and equipment was still in good condition and could easily be repaired. The friction bearing trucks are a different story though.

Cabooses in the yard are still lettered for FNM's Region Pacifico.

A former FC Pacifico weed spraying box car.

A variety of cabooses left in the yard. Notice the passenger tucks.


Gregslaton said...

Did you run across Pullman SPANISH EYES which was there at Benjamin Hill along with MEXICALI ROSE and MARIA ELENA....might have been was there in the back side of the yard at last report.

Nate Muhlethaler said...

Greg, The Spanish Eyes is definitely not at Benjamin Hill. as of 2008, and confirmed again Oct, 2009.

I've been involved in a few discussions of this car. Its believed tobe scrapped.

Enrikito said...

Hi Nate, i have photos, pictures and documents above SBC railroad, becase my grandfather was railroadman since 1935-1975.

michael said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nicholas Webster said...

Nice shots! Did you happen to see ex-Ferrocarril Sonora Baja California Railroad Railcar #2501 there somewhere? It came from the old Tonopah & Tidewater Railroad in Nevada and I'm looking to see it could be a possible canditate for restoration, considering the fact that it's the only T&T locomotive left.