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Rail News: Short Lines & Regionals

Iowa Pacific marks completion of locomotive shop, track upgrades at Texas-New Mexico Railroad

Iowa Pacific Holdings L.L.C. recently held a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Eunice, N.M., to open a new locomotive repair shop at its Texas-New Mexico Railroad (TNMR) subsidiary in the Permian Basin oilfield.

The event also marked the completion of the $10 million second phase of TNMR’s track upgrade program, which included the addition of new rail and ties to increase operating speeds. The short line plans to advance two additional phases of the program later in 2012 and in 2013 that call for completing another $10 million worth of track improvements.

TNMR operates about 100 miles of track between a Union Pacific Railroad connection in Monahans, Texas, and Lovington, N.M. The line was built in the 1920s when the Permian Basin oilfield was first developed.

“The Permian Basin oilfield is part of America’s drive to energy independence, and the TNMR has become key to timely delivery of a variety of oilfield products,” said Iowa Pacific Holdings President Ed Ellis in a prepared statement. “By continuing to invest in the rail line, we are helping to ensure the continued viability of the companies that operate in the oilfield.”

TNMR’s average monthly carloads are projected to reach 2,000 by year’s end. Because new customers continue to locate along the railroad’s line, Iowa Pacific Holding officials expect annual carloads to total about 50,000 when all planned facilities are fully operational.

TNMR also is investing with UP in the construction of a new yard in Monahans that’s designed to support interchanges between the two carriers. The short line is contributing $1.65 million toward the more than $10 million facility, which is expected to be operational later this summer.

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More News from 6/14/2012