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Texas Panhandle - BNSF Hereford Subdivision

Texas Panhandle - BNSF Hereford Subdivision

The BNSF Hereford Subdivision, BNSF's busiest line in the state of Texas, extends southwest from Amarillo to Clovis, NM. Except for a short stretch between Amarillo and Canyon, the track is mostly straight and level. This is classic Llano Estacado country, where the treeless, high Texas plains are flat as a board and you can see clear to the horizon in almost any direction.

On busy days, several dozen trains operate over the Hereford Subdivision. These include all of the "Transcon" intermodal and mixed freights, as well as intermodal trains originating from or destined to the Dallas-Ft Worth area, coal trains destined to the Tolk power plant near Muleshoe (and others destined for eastern Arizona), and grain trains destined to any of the area's grain "shuttle" elevators. Today's traffic volume makes it easy to forget that until as recently as 1996 or '97, the Hereford Subdivision was still primarily a single-track railroad. Can you imagine today's traffic volume on a single-track line?

Except for a brief stretch through the town of Friona, US Hwy 60 closely follows the Hereford Subdivision southwest from Canyon all the way to the state line at Farwell. Public grade crossings are plentiful along the entire length of this line, providing ample opportunties for safe, "legal" viewing and photography.

So, come on out and enjoy the show. Bring lots of film (or memory cards). Oh, and if you're from out of town, it's pronounced "HER Ferd" -- NOT "HERE Ford".

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

  stop, shop and play in Hereford This sign located off US Highway 60 east of Hereford, Texas, urges visitors to "Stop, shop, and play" in their town. Photographed August 14, 2000.
  sunrise at Hereford At sunrise on May 31, 2003, westbound H KCKBAR approaches the Hereford Subdivision's namesake town.
  eastbound local at Hereford, TX BNSF eastbound L KAN0161 31, a Clovis-to-Amarillo local, passes through Hereford behind two warbonnet B40-8Ws on May 31, 2003.
  westbound at Hereford, TX A westbound train blasts through Hereford late in the evening of July 3, 2003.
  eastbound at Dawn, TX BNSF eastbound QRICALT128 crosses the Llano Estacado at Dawn, Texas on the BNSF Hereford Subdivision on May 31, 2003.
  eastbound at Umbarger, TX BNSF eastbound Q SBDCHI1 29 rolls along the Llano Estacado at Umbarger, Texas on the BNSF Hereford Subdivision on May 31, 2003.
  westbound caboose - near Farwell, TX A BN caboose brings up the rear of a westbound loaded coal train crossing typical Llano Estacado country on the Santa Fe Hereford Subdivision east of Farwell, Texas on March 14, 1995.

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