Facebook Page
Texas Panhandle - BNSF Dalhart Subdivision

Texas Panhandle - BNSF Dalhart Subdivision

BNSF's Dalhart Subdivision is the former Burlington Northern (originally Fort Worth & Denver) line which heads northwest out of Amarillo and passes through Dalhart on its way to the Texas-New Mexico state line at Texline, where it connects with the former Colorado & Southern main line to Trinidad, Colorado.

From Amarillo north to Channing, the tracks twist and bend through the washes and arroyos of the Canadian River drainage. But from Channing north, the track is mostly straight with few curves, and the territory flattens out, although heavy trains still struggle against a moderate, ascending grade from southeast to northwest. At Dalhart, BNSF tracks cross the Union Pacific Pratt and Tucumcari Subdivision main line. This was originally Rock Island trackage, which later became known as the "Cotton Rock", following Cotton Belt's acquisition of this portion of the Rock Island) Dalhart was originally known as Denrock, a combination of the names of the two railroads which served the town. Its name was later changed to a combination of Dallam and Hartley, the counties in which the town is located.

Dalhart Subdivision traffic consists primarily of empty coal trains destined from Texas to the Powder River Basin in Wyoming. The Dalhart Sub makes up a portion of the northbound route of BNSF's directional lines between Amarillo and Pueblo, Colorado. Southbounds take the former Santa Fe route through La Junta and Boise City OK, while northbounds operate via Dalhart and Trinidad. Occasional southbounds operate between Dalhart and Amarillo, but north of Dalhart, practically all of the traffic is northbound only. Union Pacific trains operate via trackage rights over the Dalhart Sub, as well.

The line is difficult to access south of Channing (consult a Roads of Texas atlas or a DeLorme atlas for best results), but from Channing to Texline, the tracks are right next to the highway (US 385 south of Dalhart, and US 87 north of Dalhart).

Please click any of the following pictures to see a larger image:

  Coal load at Dalhart Snow from a recent winter storm melts in the sun as BNSF SD70MAC 9803 leads eastbound C ATMAMH through Dalhart, Texas on the BNSF Dalhart Subdivision on January 18, 2001. The train is about to cross the UP interlocking at Dalhart.
  M DENAMA departs Dalhart BNSF train M DENAMA1-16 was photographed just south of Dalhart, Texas early in the morning of January 18, 2001. Snow from the previous day's storm covers the ground, but much of it will melt during this sunny day.
  coal load at Channing TX EMD SD60 9005 leads BNSF eastbound C BKMOKO-074 on the BNSF Dalhart Subdivision at Channing, Texas on May 24, 1998.

Return to Texas Panhandle - 2nd Section

BNSF Panhandle Sub   BNSF Hereford Sub
BNSF Red River Valley Sub   BNSF Boise City Sub
UP Pratt Sub   Critters & Shorts

All images on the Southwest Railfan © 2000 - 2006 by Wes Carr.
All rights reserved.