Virtual Conversations: Return to Copper Country

Our first presentation for Virtual Conversations is “Return to Copper Country: Rediscovering the railroads of Clifton and Morenci, Arizona,” by Scott Lothes. View it now on YouTube.

The copper mining region of far eastern Arizona is home to spectacular railroading and intriguing industrial history. Lothes, the Center’s president and executive director, became fascinated with the area during a college internship in 2000. He recently returned and was pleased to discover that, like a good wine, they have grown even more interesting with time.

Lothes became the Center’s full-time executive director in 2011, after serving on its staff part-time since 2008. In 2013 he succeeded John Gruber as president and editor of the Center’s journal, Railroad Heritage. He is a regular contributor to Trains, Railfan and Railroad, and other railroad publications, with more than fifty bylined articles and some 500 photographs in print.

Learn more about Virtual Conversations, the Center’s first-ever online conference.

Arizona Eastern Railroad train 203 emerges from Tunnel 1 and is about to enter Tunnel 2 on the steep climb out of Clifton, Arizona, on March 9, 2020. The train is hauling copper concentrate milled at Freeport-McMoRan’s Morenci Mine, the largest copper mine in North America. Photograph by Scott Lothes