Pivot Point Plaza
While checking out the Yuma area we stumbled upon a large steam locomotive sitting on a track in the middle of nowhere. Well, maybe not the middle of nowhere but it is kind of random. It’s located at the end of Madison Ave on the west end of Gateway Park.
Although there looks like there would be a ton of parking as you travel to the end of Madison Ave, you will quickly find out the large parking lots are for the Hilton Hotel and the Pivot Point Conference Center.
Park Your Vehicle At Gateway Park
Our suggestion if you want to check out the train is to park at Gateway Park and walk over. It’s a short walk and parking at Gateway Park is free. We will be posting a blog on Gateway Park shortly.
Back to the Steam Engine. This outdoor exhibit opened in 2010 and sits on the exact site where the first train entered Arizona in 1877. The locomotive sits on the original track and concrete pivot which turned the rail bridge to allow boats to pass.
Read The Signage To Learn The History
Set up behind the locomotive is an area that has signage that gives all the areas history. As you follow around the outside area, you can read everything about the Yuma Crossing National Historic Landmark.
There is supposed to be some kind of sound system that recreates the sound of a passing steamboat and the piece of the rail bridge swinging open and the sounds of the steam engine arriving at the station but on our two trips there we did not find this sound system.
You can walk completely around this locomotive and even climb into the cockpit checking out what it would have been like to drive this beast back in the day. The locomotive was in surprisingly good shape. While walking the outdoor courtyard (for lack of a better term) you can look out over the Colorado River, Gateway Park, and take in some views of the Ocean To Ocean Bridge.