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Texas-New Mexico Moose Trip 11/23/2010 Part 1

Sponsored by the Southern Appalachia Railway Museum

by Chris Guenzler

I got up at 4:00 AM at the Best Western in Hobbs, NM and after showering I got the corrections into the Dimmet Line Story. Randy then got up and we packed up and meet Steve Clearwater at 4:45 AM. We drove out to MP 100.6 after stopping at MacDonalds for breakfast to go. At MP 100.6 Bart had us park the cars on the railroad's property and we waited for the other riders to arrive. The Moose travels from place to place on a highway trailer.

The Moose was having problems starting in the 35 degree temperatures this morning. It finally kicked over and then we all boarded. For one passenger the Moose was backed to the grade crossing to board him. I was on my usual chair in the back of the Moose with Steve Clearwater with me sitting on the cooler.

Texas-New Mexico Railroad History

The primary purpose of the initial construction of the Texas-Mexican Railway {often known as the "Toot and Never Move" was to serve the oil fields in west Texas and southeastern New Mexico. Today, the Texas-New Mexico Railroad operates 104 miles of railroad extending from a Union Pacific connection at Monahans, Texas to Lovington {New Mexico}. The railroad serves the oil fields of west Texas and southeast New Mexico. The primary commodities hauled are oilfield chemicals and minerals, construction aggregates, industrial waste and scrap.

The Texas-New Mexico Railroad Company was originally chartered on November 19, 1927, to build from a point on the Texas and Pacific Railway near Monahans in Ward Company to Kermit, near the Texas-New Mexico state line, a distance of about 35 miles. On October 31, 1928, the Interstate Commerce Commission approved an application by the Texas and Pacific Railway Company to acquire control of the Texas-New Mexico Railroad by purchasing all of its capital stock. 34 miles of track from Monahans through Kermit to the state line, along with a 3 mile branch to Winks, were completed in June 1929. In December of that year the Texas-New Mexico Railroad was authorized to build from the state line to Lovington, New Mexico, which was reached on July 20, 1930, totaling 112 miles of track.

In June 1954, the railroad described their passenger service from Monahans to Lovington as "Mixed Train daily, except on Sunday, on irregular schedule subject to freight connections". Southbound was except Mondays. Earlier years at least had a published schedule, mixed train 51 northbound and mixed train 50 southbound.

On November 1, 1978, the Texas-New Mexico Railroad was merged into the Missouri Pacific Railroad as successor to the Texas and Pacific,and eventually into the Union Pacific Railroad with the 1982 UP-MP merger. The line was subsequently sold to the RailTex, Incorporated,of San Antonio, which began operating between Monahans and Lovington as the Texas and New Mexico Railroad on September 18, 1989. In 1999 RailTex merged with another shortline holding company, Rail America sold the TMNR to Permian Basin Railways on May 25, 2002.

The Moose Trip

Once everyone was aboard the Moose we were off to Monahans, Texas on this predawn morning.

Views this predawn morning as we headed south towards Hobbs.

The Moose entered Hobbs, New Mexico passing the large sign.

An industrial spur in Hobbs. We made a stop as Bart meet the Moose to get Dave's car keys to give to Kathie who would be coming to get Randy, Dave and I in Monahans later this morning.

Sunrise over Hobbs.

The Moose took the first curve of the line crossing Grimes Street in Hobbs.

An oil well in Hobbs.

Tank car in Hobbs.

More tank cars.

Dust storm in Hobbs?

No, it's our crossing protection truck racing to protect the next grade crossing ahead of the Moose.

The dust is settling.

Two friendly Moose Chasers were up early this morning. They are really the riders on the northbound trip whose rental car will be driven back to MP 100.6 by Steve Clearwater.

This spur leads to an active scrap dealer along our route.

Passing a tank farm as the Moose left Hobbs behind.

You can still see the Hobbs Water Tower in this view.

We will pass many stacks of old railroad ties that have been replaced along our route today.

We will pass by many oil tank farms along our route today.

The Warren Rack.

The Moose took this curve on our route.

Oil wells dot the landscape.

The Moose went under these high power transmission lines.

The Moose took this curve.

If there was no vegetation here we would be seeing sand dunes.

Oil wells along our route.

The Moose took this curve.

On this curve a truck is taking the worker to his job this morning.

The Moose took this curve.

This bridge is a 119 foot long open deck, timber frame trestle over an unnamed waterway.

The unnamed waterway.

This curve has an oil well in view as the Moose took it.

More railroad ties.

Cattle guard.

The track here is straight as an arrow.

Views of more oil wells.

A forest? The train made its way into Eunice where we would take a break. Eunice is the railroad's shop area. We got off to have a look.

WT&L 852 is up on blocks here.

AZER 2502.

Another set of power is here.

Arizona Eastern 2503.

Independent Leasing 1387.

One more view of that power set. We all reboarded the Moose and continued south.

The Moose leaving Eunice.

Bart Jennings was here taking photos of us and the motive power here.

The siding in Eunice.

The tank cars at the siding for the oil refinery.

Oil Wells with the oil refinery behind.

Siding with cars in it.

Another oil refinery.

More oil wells and oil tanks.

The curve at Milepost 63.

Some of the vegetation borders on being trees.

Milepost 60.

Looking back to that curve.

A lonely oil tank.

More oil wells.

The Moose took another of the curves on this railroad.

For Part 2 Click Here!