Category Archives: Trips – 2022

New Trip Report – Steam in the Cane Fields

It’s been a very busy year, and while I’ve managed to get some time out with the camera, I haven’t had much time to actually process the images and do the write-ups. However, there was one that was close enough I thought I’d get it finished off, so that 2022 didn’t go by without a single railfan trip getting posted.

At the end of January, Trains Magazine ran the first photo charter on US Sugar’s rail system around Clewiston, Florida. These lines primarily serve the sugar industry, bringing cane from the fields to the mill, as well as bringing other supplies in and moving finished product out. Recently, US Sugar completed restoration of former Florida East Coast 4-6-2 #148 as part of a public relations effort. We spent three days out with 148 on the line, seeing parts of the operation that are normally far from the public eye.

Come along and see this very unique operation – the last sugar hauler in North America! Click here for the the full write up and pictures.

The Pyrex 701s of Bisbee, Arizona

As an insulator collector, I was largely born too late to see many of the glass pieces that adorn my house up in the air and doing what they were designed for – carrying the power, telephone, and telegraph signals that built our modern world. There are small pockets, though, where a few have survived on the lines and can still be seen and appreciated in the wild. The former Phelps Dodge power system around Bisbee, AZ, is one of those places. These lines, which powered the mines for some 60 years, still have a few of the largest single-piece glass power insulators ever made – the Pyrex 701s.

Two Pyrex 701s sit unused atop a pole near Highway 92 at Lowell, AZ

On my way back from the annual February Yuma Insulator Swap-meet, I decided to detour down through Bisbee and see what remained. Honestly I was surprised. In the nearly 20 years since I’d last been down here, only a few had disappeared. 20 of these big beauties are still up in the air and visible from public property.

Click here for a little history and photos of what remains of the big Pyrex 701s of Bisbee.