|Trains and Kingman go hand in hand. Kingman was named after Lewis Kingman, the locating engineer for the railroad, the man responsible for selecting the location of the roadbed. The town got its start as a small railroad camp for the Atlantic & Pacific Railroad. Surveyor Lewis Kingman named the spot for himself.
At times more than 100 trains per day pass through Kingman's BNSF's main line in northern Arizona. This is a wonderful place to watch trains, even while sitting in your vehicle
watching the constant parade of BNSF trains roll by.
Like to hear the train horns? BNSF officials said that train horns are blown about 700 times a day within city limits.
Kingman was (and still is) a rail yard town, although fewer trains actually stop because they are diesels which do not require coal or water. The old water tanks, used to fill the tenders of steam engines, are still visible near the station which is still used by Amtrak.
Amtrak Southwest Chief travels through Kingman twice daily. One train is heading east and the other train west. Arrival time is generally between Midnight and 4am. The Southwest Chief follows a route ages older than railroading. First the earliest Indians discovered its twists, turns, and passes, then Spanish conquistadors and fur trappers. The train crews change at Kingman so you can see it almost every night.
The historic downtown area of Kingman also has Locomotive Park which is home to famed steam engine #3759. It was built in 1928 by the Baldwin Locomotive Works of Eddystone, PA. Engine No. 3759 is a Northern-type coal burning steam locomotive and ran passengers between Los Angeles and Kansas City for more than 20 years. It was retired by the Santa Fe Railroad with a total of 2,585,600 miles of services. This Northern Type coal burning steam locomotive was converted to run on oil fuel in 1941. The last steam engine to traverse the line to Kingman, it was presented to the City as a historical monument in 1957 by the Santa Fe Railroad.
In 1882, Kingman (formerly known as Middleton) established as a siding on the new Atlantic and Pacific Railroad and the The first train pulls into Kingman.
In 1880, Lewis Kingman surveyed along the Atlantic and Pacific right of way between Needles and Albuquerque. By 1883 the track was completed. The town grew rapidly in the first few years. In 1887 the county seat was moved to Kingman and by 1888 most of the original town sites had been sold. The discovery, in May 1900 of Gold Road, a rich gold strike in the Black Mountains, helped to make Kingman a center for the mining activities of the county.
There are several excellant vantage points to view and photograph trains in Kingman and the nearby Kingman Canyon. Flat desert vantage points are just a few miles to the south of Kingman.
And if you like historical structures, Kingman is said to have about 60 individual National Register historic properties. Kingman, Arizona is the Heart of Historic Route 66 where the longest remaining unbroken stretch of The Mother Road slices through its historic downtown.