Maricopa Historical Society members aboard the California Zephyr next to the Amtrak station. File photo

The Pinal County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a measure to transfer the ownership of the California Zephyr railcar to the Maricopa Historical Society. 

Located along the Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway near State Route 347, the California Zephyr has a rich history in American rail lore.  This particular car was seen in the films “A League of their Own” and “Pearl Harbor.”

Since coming to Maricopa in 2001, the railcar served as an Amtrak station on the Sunset Limited Line and a historic site. The historical society has conducted semi-annual tours of the car for years.

“This makes so much sense to transfer the ownership to the nonprofit Maricopa Historical Society,” Supervisor Anthony Smith of Maricopa stated.  “We are pleased to help keep alive this symbol of an era when Maricopa played an important role for rail travel in the United States.”

According to the terms of the sale, the Maricopa Historical Society will pay $1 for the transfer of ownership.

“The Zephyr is one of the most identifiable landmarks in the City of Maricopa,” said Mayor Christian Price.  “We are thankful for this partnership between Pinal County and the Maricopa Historical Society that will preserve our proud history.”

Paul Shirk, president of the Maricopa Historical Society, said the transfer of ownership will allow the group to upgrade the car, build displays that can be interchanged, add a research library along with holding special events and open houses for the public to see the railcar.

“We wish to acknowledge and thank Supervisor Smith, Mayor Price and their staffs for the support and assistance in bringing this process to a successful conclusion,” Shirk said.  “This is an example of true inter-agency and community cooperation to support and maintain history in the City of Maricopa and in Pinal County.”

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