Man Car (Underground Passenger Car)

Man cars outside the Queen tunnel

     Man cars were introduced underground when the distance travel from the mine entrance to the work place by the miners became excessive.  Miners in Arizona were paid “collar to collar”  this means from the time they enter the mine until the time they leave. Arizona miners were also were limited to 8 hour shifts (this changed to 12 hour shifts in 2012) the increased travel time  and lack of production, became too costly. Most miners in Bisbee did not travel  on man cars , they walked instead to their workplace,   Only one version of this car is known and a blue print exists that is dated February 8, 1944. The print states that they are called Underground Passenger Car and are for the Cole shaft.    The 800 level of the Cole shaft back to the interior shaft was a main trip for these cars. The cars are also known to have been used in the in  Junction, Campbell, Dallas lasting until the underground mines closed in 1975.

Miner siting on Man car  2966 level, Campbell mine Circa mid-1950’s

Miner siting on Man car Junction mine Circa 1940’s

1944 blueprint of man car by the Phelps Dodge Corp

End of man car showing link hook up inside the Queen  tunnel


Richard Graeme IV  2012, pers. comm., 2 March

R.J.J. ,“Underground passenger car for the Cole shaft” Phelps Dodge Corporation, Bisbee, Arizona (blueprint) Feb 8,1944

© 2013 by Doug Graeme