Alpine-Marfa, TX, the Union Pacific and the Texas Pacifico

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Alpine-Marfa, TX, the Union Pacific and the Texas Pacifico

Postby seacoast » Sun Nov 26, 2017 6:33 pm

I was hoping that someone could explain to me the traffic, ownership, and issues around the Marathon-Alpine-Marfa area of Texas.

My understanding is that most of this track is owned by the state of Texas as part of the defunct South Orient, that this line is enjoying
a resurgence based around fracking and trade with Mexico. And from the map below, it appears that much of the area around Alpine is
owned by ?Union Pacific. Alpine is also a place where crews switch, making it a fairly busy place.

I also see that unlike Marathon, neither Marfa, nor Alpine, have quiet zones... is this going to be an issue in the coming years? I see projections
of significantly increasing traffic along the route, which presumably would be causing quite a racket... and many towns across Texas have recently
implemented quiet zones (presumably with some mixture of local, state, and federal funds).

Your thought about this area of track would be much appreciated.

http://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot-in ... nt/map.pdf
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Re: Alpine-Marfa, TX, the Union Pacific and the Texas Pacifi

Postby Backshophoss » Sun Nov 26, 2017 10:07 pm

At some point in the past ATSF owned and operated the former South Orient,now operated by Texas Pacifico(TPI),the only shared use trackage
is between Alpine Jct and Paisano Jct on the UP's Valentine Sub,apart of UP's Southern Transconn to LA.
That 11 mile stretch is CTC and controlled by UP,TPI has trackage rights. Marfa is a UP Control point/passing siding 11 miles west of
Paisano Jct,unknown if there are any "industry" sidings there,at best a "cripple" siding for bad ordered freight cars.
Both Towns are in southwest Texas,Alpine is the largest town near Big Bend National Park,Marfa is a tiny village,almost a "ghost" town
off US 90.
This is Desert country and Ranch land,and not connected to the Permian Basin oilfields. people are few and far between here.
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Re: Alpine-Marfa, TX, the Union Pacific and the Texas Pacifi

Postby seacoast » Mon Nov 27, 2017 10:52 am

Thank you! Much appreciated.
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Re: Alpine-Marfa, TX, the Union Pacific and the Texas Pacifi

Postby electricron » Sat Aug 18, 2018 5:23 pm

Backshophoss wrote:At some point in the past ATSF owned and operated the former South Orient,now operated by Texas Pacifico(TPI),the only shared use trackage
is between Alpine Jct and Paisano Jct on the UP's Valentine Sub,apart of UP's Southern Transconn to LA.
That 11 mile stretch is CTC and controlled by UP,TPI has trackage rights. Marfa is a UP Control point/passing siding 11 miles west of
Paisano Jct,unknown if there are any "industry" sidings there,at best a "cripple" siding for bad ordered freight cars.
Both Towns are in southwest Texas,Alpine is the largest town near Big Bend National Park,Marfa is a tiny village,almost a "ghost" town
off US 90.
This is Desert country and Ranch land,and not connected to the Permian Basin oilfields. people are few and far between here.

Just to put that into perspective, Maria is in Presidio County which have a population of 1981 and 7818 respectively.
Presidio County area is 3856 square miles, so the population density 2.027 per square mile. But the Sunset Limited doesn’t stop in Marfa nor Presidio County.
It does stop in Alpine located in Brewster County which have populations of 5905 and 9105 respectively. Brewster County area is 6192 square miles, so the population density is 1.5 per square mile.
It also stops in Sanderson located in Terrell County which have populations of 837 and 984 respectively. Terrell County area is 2358 square miles, so the population density is 0.04 per square mile.

It’s 436 rail miles between Del Rio and El Paso, and those two are the only stops for the Sunset Limited over that distance.
To put that into perspective, 436 miles is approximately the same distance between New York City and Rocky Mount NC (460 miles), or Chicago to Kansas City (437 miles), or Los Angeles to San Jose (423 miles)
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