All Aboard McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park
By Don Santiago Summer 2019
Minutes away from Scottsdale, Arizona’s luxurious resorts, upscale shopping and fine dining, sits the thirty-acre McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park. As the name suggests, it is indeed a railroad themed park not just for train enthusiasts, but also for families.
The park opened on October 4, 1975. Upon entering, one is greeted by the Magna Arizona Railroad Number 6 steam locomotive on one side and on the other side, a Merci train box car that was once used by France to aid European countries devastated by World War II. Both are also within walking distance of two Paradise and Pacific railroad dining cars that can be rented out for events and meetings.
Now cross the railroad tracks, and after a short walk inside, you are immediately impressed by the size and the influence of trains upon the design, while still maintaining the feel of an old western town. What you may gravitate towards is the beauty of the fully restored and operational antique Charros Carousel giving you no doubt this park is for kids of all ages.
If you’re now craving a snack after the short walk, there are two dining options in front of you. There’s a snack shop operating, to no surprise, out of a Southern Pacific Railroad Caboose or, step inside Huntley’s General Store for more food options. But you may want to ignore those hunger pangs as you hear the sound of a train whistle followed by a booming voice beckoning “All Aboard!” There you’ll find a replica of a Paradise and Pacific Railroad train- a reproduction of a Colorado gauge railroad, about to depart from a replicated train depot, to take you on a leisurely one mile ride around the park.
For those who are interested in train history, take a tour of a Roald Amundsen Pullman Car that was used by four presidents during the 1940’s. And right next door is the “do not miss” highlight of the park, the ten-thousand square foot building housing model railroads of different gauges operated by several local model railroad clubs.
Step inside and you are immediately greeted by a friendly volunteer ready to answer any questions you may have. There are three model railroads, each a different gauge: O, N, and HO. And each model railroad reflects a part of Arizona from its desert landscape to its rich history in mining. Recognizable landmarks can be easily spotted and then there are the friendly volunteers standing nearby eager to answer questions. Each layout has a great viewing area and there plenty of interactions within reach for the little ones.
Even if trains are not your interest, stay outside and play, or sun bathe on one of several large grass fields, and let the kids enjoy themselves on the playground; also train inspired, while you just relax or plan your next celebration, event and/or barbecue for the park offers also offers these amenities.
But no matter your intention, the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park is an enjoyable place to visit, relax and enjoy the great Arizona weather for both adults, kids of all ages, and even the inner child.
McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park
7301 E. Indian Bend Road
Scottsdale, AZ, 85250. Phone: (480) 312-2312.
Open all year long.
Fees to ride the Charros Carousel, the Paradise and Pacific Railroad, or tour the Roald Amundsen Pullman Car.
See website for prices and hours: www.therailroadpark.com
Contact the author at [email protected].