In the late 1800s and early 1900s, copper was a growth industry in the United States. The rapid growth of copper production and the surrounding towns in southeastern Arizona made it clear that wagon freight to and from main line railheads was no longer a sufficient means of transportation - there was a need for more direct rail connections to the eastern markets.
Fruitless discussions with the Southern Pacific led to building the El Paso & Southwestern Railroad, an independent railroad, to El Paso, Texas, financed entirely from cash reserves of the Copper Queen Consolidated Mining Company. In the meantime, the El Paso & Northeastern, a line not affiliated with either railroad, was building northward from El Paso, up through the Territory of New Mexico, creating new towns as it went along the way. In 1905, the two railroads were joined and their operations merged as rapidly as possible.
The EP&SW story is told in three parts: first, the origins of the western part of the system; second, connecting El Paso with the coal mines of Dawson, New Mexico; and third, the merger of the eastern and western lines in 1905 into a unified system. Throughout its story, strong personalities influenced the activities of the system: James Douglas of the Copper Queen at Bisbee, Arizona; Charles Bishop Eddy and John Arthur Eddy, guiding the EP&NE; Attorney William Ashton Hawkins who, along with Douglas, influenced the merged EP&SW system until its sale to the Southern Pacific in 1924.
Southern Pacific Historical & Technical Society, hardcover with dust jacket, 216 pages, standard landscape format 11 x 8.5 x .75 in., over 330 photographs, maps and diagrams.