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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Texas-New Mexico Railroad operates first crude oil unit train


Iowa Pacific Holdings L.L.C. subsidiary the Texas-New Mexico Railroad (TNMR) recently began moving unit trains of crude oil along its route, which serves as a key rail line in the Permian Basin oilfield. TNMR operates about 100 miles of track between a connection with Union Pacific Railroad in Monahans, Texas, and Lovington, N.M.

The first unit train departed on Jan. 22 from Genesis Energy L.P.'s recently constructed crude oil loading facility near Wink, Texas, and headed for the Texas Gulf Coast. TNMR has experienced massive growth in carloads because of the vast expansion of drilling and oil production in the Permian Basin, Iowa Pacific Holdings officials said in a prepared statement.

"The initiation of crude oil unit trains represents the latest milestone in a major revitalization of this critical rail link," they said.

Over the past three years, Iowa Pacific Holdings has spent about $25 million to upgrade TNMR's track, such as by replacing rail and ties, installing ballast and sidings, and constructing a new locomotive shop. In August 2012, UP and TNMR opened a new jointly funded interchange yard in Monahans to facilitate traffic growth and accommodate unit trains.

"With our strong record of reinvesting in the rail properties operated by our companies, we are well positioned to support continued growth in moving crude oil by rail," said Iowa Pacific Holdings President Ed Ellis.

Iowa Pacific Holdings operates nine U.S. railroads, and manages two United Kingdom rail lines and other rail-related businesses.

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More News from 1/28/2013