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Benson, AZ (BEN)

One of the few flagstops in the Amtrak system, Benson is a gateway to the natural wonders of Kartchner Caverns State Park, Coronado National Forest and Texas Canyon.


Station Facts

Benson, AZ Station Photo

Benson, Arizona

105 East 4th Street Benson, AZ 85602

Annual Station Revenue (2014)
$256,984
Annual Station Ridership (2014)
1,961

Ownerships

Facility Ownership Union Pacific Railroad
Parking Lot Ownership Union Pacific Railroad
Platform Ownership Union Pacific Railroad
Track Ownership Union Pacific Railroad

Features

10 Long Term Parking Spaces 10 Short Term Parking Spaces Accessible Platform

Routes Served

  • Sunset Limited
  • Texas Eagle

Contact

Alex Khalfin
Regional Contact
governmentaffairsoak@amtrak.com
For information about Amtrak fares and schedules, please call 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245).

Local Community Links:

Station History

Benson is a flag stop. If there is a reservation for a passenger boarding or detraining at Benson, the train will stop. If not, it simply continues through town. Passengers use a small shelter on a platform.

Located along the old Southern Pacific (SP) main line from Los Angeles to El Paso, Benson was established in 1880 with the arrival of the railroad. The station built at that time was razed in the 1970s after Southern Pacific halted its passenger services. A replica of that structure stands near the site of the original and serves as the town’s visitor center.

Benson has an extensive transportation heritage that spans the 19th and 20th centuries. In the 1850s, a station on the Butterfield Trail Stage Line was laid out a few miles to the north of the present town. This route was established to convey mail from St. Louis and Memphis to San Francisco in less than 25 days. Benson received its name from Judge William Benson, a friend of the President of Southern Pacific. In addition to SP, the El Paso and Southwestern Railroad connected the town to Tucson, while the Sonoran Railroad ran from Guaymas, Mexico, terminating at Benson.

This rail network was developed in relation to the area’s rich mineral deposits. Gold, silver, and copper were mined in the San Pedro River valley in well known towns such as Tombstone and Bisbee, from which it was shipped to Benson for collection, smelting, and distribution.

Benson is known today as the “Gateway to Kartchner Caverns State Park”—a series of spectacular caves only discovered in 1974. Two spelunkers found the caverns but kept their existence a secret for four years, fearing that unregulated visitation might damage the natural wonder before it could be properly surveyed and protected. It was not until 2003 that a portion of the caves opened to the public, after decades of preparation and quiet negotiations with the state and landowners. If the caves were not enough to attract a nature lover, visitors can also use Benson as a jumping off point for Coronado National Forest, San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area, and Texas Canyon.

Amtrak does not provide ticketing or baggage services at this station. Benson is served by the tri-weekly Sunset Limited/Texas Eagle (Westbound: Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday; Eastbound: Monday, Thursday, Saturday).