Benson, AZ (BEN)
Benson is a gateway to the natural wonders of Kartchner Caverns State Park, Coronado National Forest and Texas Canyon.
105 East 4th Street
Benson, AZ 85602
Annual Station Ridership (FY 2017): 2,036
- Facility Ownership: Union Pacific Railroad
- Parking Lot Ownership: Union Pacific Railroad
- Platform Ownership: Union Pacific Railroad
- Track Ownership: Union Pacific Railroad
For information about Amtrak fares and schedules, please call 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245).
At Benson, passengers use a small open-air shelter adjacent to the tracks. The community is located along the old Southern Pacific (SP) main line from Los Angeles to El Paso, Texas, and 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).
Platform with Shelter
- 10 Short Term Parking Spaces
Number of spaces available for Amtrak passengers to park for the day only not overnight. Parking fees may apply.
- Accessible Payphones
- Accessible Platform
Accessible platform is a barrier-free path from the drop-off area outside the station to the station platform.
- Accessible Restrooms
- Accessible Ticket Office
- Accessible Waiting Room
- Accessible Water Fountain
- Baggage Storage
Baggage storage is an area where passengers may store their bags equivalent to 'left luggage' in Europe. A storage fee may apply.
- Bike Boxes
- Checked Baggage
- Dedicated Parking
- Enclosed Waiting Area
- Help With Luggage
- High Platform
A high platform is a platform at the level of the vestibule of the train with the exception of Superliners.
Self-service lockers are available in select stations for passenger baggage storage
- Long-term Parking Spaces
Number of spaces available for Amtrak passengers to park overnight. Parking fees may apply.
- Parking Attendant
- Pay Phones
- Shipping Boxes
- Ski Bags
- Wheelchair Lift
Wheelchair lift is a platform-mounted lift for loading passengers from low platforms onto trains that do not have onboard ramps.