More on the last run to Presidio…


December 10, 1991 — Last run to Presidio ©B. Smith photo

A reader of this site and Southwest rail historian shared this yesterday.  It provides additional background on the line to ATSF line to Presaidio—

 “The Kansas City, Mexico & Orient (KCM&O) didn’t reach Alpine until about 1917.  The Santa Fe purchased the KCM&O line in 1928 and extended the line from Alpine to Presidio and built the railroad bridge over the Rio Grande in 1930.

 Until 1978, the telegraph line between Alpine and Presidio was still operational and since the ATSF station agents in Alpine and Presidio were telegraphers they would sometimes use it for fun.  The manned station at Alpine was closed in 1978.

 In the 1980’s Santa Fe decided to use El Paso as its gateway to Mexico and to sell off or abandon its line to Presidio.

 President Jimmy Carter embargoing grain shipments to the Soviet Union in 1980, resulted in grain going to the Soviet Union through third parties, often through Mexico.  As a result, the ATSF line to Presidio saw one to three 100-car grain trains per day for a few months.”


The last run disappears to the north. The ATSF warbonnet would no longer be part of the local fabric. ©B. Smith photo

The reader added that future oil and gas development may result in the line to Presidio being re-activated in the future.  The Jeff Davis County Dispatch recently reported test wells indicated fracable shale deposits in the Ojinaga area in Mexico estimated at 18 billion cubic feet of natural gas, with more likely.  

 For more check this link out:



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