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From Gila Bend the railroad climbs up out of the Gila Valley on a one percent grade for almost 20 miles to Estrella. Train LAHOU (Extra 6546 East) is approaching the east end of Shawmut siding in September 1973. Shawmut is about two thirds of the way up the hill at about 1,350 feet in elevation and is at milepost 870.This train handled manifest traffic for Houston and beyond. Disk 56
In 1959 the SP reduced the curves of the original mainline in this area. Shawmut is rather unique as the siding follows the original alignment and still has the sharp curves. You can clearly see how the railroad took out the curves in the satellite view from Google below.
Steve took the last two picture on December 19, 1971. We were on a short train chasing trip across Arizona. In the picture above an eastbound train has just left Gila Bend and begun the climb to Estrella. In the picture below a lowly manifest is in the hole at Estrella meeting the APW (Auto Parts West).