On the outskirts of Marfa, Texas, there is a lonely little spur that services a very small operation that transloads molasses for cattle. I had earlier done a series on molasses dealers along the rails in Texas and New Mexico. I wanted to come back to this one because, I guess, it is really special. One, Marfa is a really interesting town. It is a place where traditional ranching and Hispanic communities merge with arts and entertainment. It has countless art-related entities including the famous Judd Foundation. The foundation is closely associated with the minimalism school.
Two, it has a lot of interesting restaurants and businesses that one might not expect in a small, remote West Texas town.
All in all, it is kind of a quirky place. (A site that inspired me to write a novel scheduled to be published in 2015.)
Enough on that, now back to my favorite spur…Third, it has this desolate little spur that captures my imagination. Somehow, single car deliveries persist despite the fact that it is the only Union Pacific shipper for miles around. It has to be serviced by through freights. There are no locals this far out. I have been here on beautiful sunny summer days and cold winter, wind swept days. It is always special–just me, a tank car or two, the smell of creosote and molasses, mountains in the backdrop and the solitude (and sometimes a tumbleweed or two bouncing around).
Fowlkes Cattle Company. It is a small operation on the east side of town. It is located adjacent to Union Pacific’s mainline to El Paso, Texas. It normally receives a few shipments each year and normally just one car. Occasionally, two cars will be spotted there.
There you have it, my favorite spur (or at least in the top 10!)
Note: Marfa, France is a novel by the author of this blog scheduled to be published in 2015.