McCormick Stillman Railroad Park (originally McCormick Railroad Park) was part of a ranch owned by Anne and Fowler McCormick whose maternal grandfather was John D. Rockefeller. In 1969, the McCormick’s donated 100 of their 4,236-acre ranch to the city of Scottsdale to be used as a park. Their purpose was to make Scottsdale a better place for everyone to live and encourage others to give as well.
Eventually, the size of the park was cut to 30 acres and it was agreed between the city of Scottsdale and Guy Stillman, who chartered the Scottsdale Railroad and Mechanical Society, to create a railroad park. Stillman was Anne’s son from a previous marriage. During that same year, Stillman donated two 5/12 scale locomotives and moved his Paradise and Pacific steam railroad to the park. The Paradise and Pacific railroad has almost 4000 feet of mainline track, about 1500 feet of sidetrack, trestles, a tunnel, a passenger loading platform, a turntable, a water tank, two crossing signs, an engine house and a machine shop. (2,3)
For more information on the Paradise and Pacific Railroad visit: www.arizonaandpacificrr.com/spot/mccormick/mccormick.html
Besides having an interesting park history, the park is also home to many other historic attractions:
- The Scottsdale Railroad Museum is located in the park and is made up of the Peoria Depot which was used by the Santa Fe Railroad between 1894-1972 and was moved to the railroad park in 1974, the Roald Amundsen Pullman Car, and one other building. The park is also home to two other wood-framed depots including the Aguila and Maricopa Depots which were restored and moved to the park.
- The Roald Amundsen Pullman Car was one of the last cars built for the Pullman company in 1928 for a total of $205,000. It is known for being used by multiple presidents: Herbert Hoover, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, and Dwight D. Eisenhower. “It was on this car in 1940 that President Franklin Roosevelt and Canadian Prime Minister W. L. McKenzie King signed the agreement that provided for the joint defense of North America, now known as NORAD. The car was donated to the park in 1971 by Mr. and Mrs. Franz Talley.” (8)
- The French Merci (Thank you) Car was one of forty-nine 40 & 8s given to the US in gratitude for their support to the French people during WWII. They were filled with mementos and valuables such as toys, musical instruments, wedding dresses, and medals from deceased family members. The 40 & 8s cars were given their name during the war because they were large enough to carry 40 men or 8 horses. (8)
- The Scottsdale Charros Carousel is an antique carousel built in 1950 registered with the National Carousel Association was purchased by the Scottsdale Railroad and Mechanical Society. It has 30 horses and 2 wheelchair chariots shaped like covered wagons.
Visiting the Park
McCormick Stillman Railroad Park is a wonderful place to visit with families and young children, and has become one of Scottsdales most visited attractions, having over 1 million visitors each year. It is open 363 days a year, only closing on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Depending on the month of the visit, the hours may change, but the park always opens at 10:00am. All rides are open the same hours as the park and the museum is open from 10:00am-4:00pm daily. Rides and museum entry costs 1 ticket each. Each ticket is $2, but there are ticket books and park memberships which can be bought as well.
Everyone visiting the park also get free admittance to the 10,000 square foot model railroad building which houses train displays from four model railroad clubs. Each club has 1,280 square feet of display space and each display has orange hands on the barriers that allow visitors to interact with the displays. When the had is pressed, different items in the exhibit will begin to move. Visitors have a chance to see multiple different scales of railroad from the smallest Z scale to G scale trains. (5)
Fore more information of the model railroad clubs, click here:
Scottsdale Model railroad Historical Society (HO Gauge)
Paradise & Pacific Railroad Club (O Gauge)
Sun N Sand Model Railroad Club (N Gauge)
- Fowler McCormick and Guy Stillman [Photograph]. Retrieved from http://taboogenocide.com/international-harvester/fowler-mccormick-and-guy-stillman/
- Guide to Arizona's Miniature Railroads. (n.d.). Retrieved from www.arizonaandpacificrr.com/spot/mccormick/mccormick.html
- History: From a Vision to Today. (n.d.-a). Retrieved from https://www.therailroadpark.com/about/history/
- McCormick Stillman Railroad Park. (n.d.). Retrieved from oldtownscottsdale.com/mccormick-stillman-railroad-park/
- Model Railroads: Little Trains-Big Fun. (n.d.-b). Retrieved from https://www.therailroadpark.com/rides-and-attractions/model-railroads/
- Rides: Ride the Railroad. (n.d.-c). Retrieved from https://www.therailroadpark.com/rides-and-attractions/rides/
- Scottsdale Railroad Museum: Railroad History Brought to Life. (n.d.-d). Retrieved from https://www.therailroadpark.com/rides-and-attractions/exhibits/
- Trains and Cars: A Century of Railroad History. (n.d.-e). Retrieved from https:www.therailroadpark.com/rides-and-attractions/trains-cars/