Not as well known as 1952’s High Noon, 3:10 to Yuma features a Southern Pacific Railroad Class M-4 Alco 2-6-0 steam engine and train. Filming of the railroad scenes during the movie’s exciting climax occurred in and around little Elgin, Arizona on Espee’s former Patagonia branch — long since abandoned.
From what I’ve researched about this film, no one seems to know for sure exactly WHICH SP 2-6-0 was used. In the picture, the engine is lettered as X62 for the “Yuma and Benson Southern Railroad”, as is the rest of the train (stock car, coach, baggage car, caboose).
Despite having less than 5 minutes of screen time, the Espee consist highlights the climax and resolution of the movie’s conflict.
Y&BS X62 trundles into town wreathed in steam. The entire train can be seen in this shot as it pulls into fictitious “Contention City”, Arizona.
Merriam-Webster.com defines contentious as, “exhibiting an often perverse and wearisome tendency to quarrels and disputes”. A questionable thing to name your town after, but certainly appropriate to the film’s plot.