The Pecos section of the layout is along a 12 ft long wall. The height of the layout is 46” above the floor, determined by the height of the window sill. Rail is code 70. Time period is 1990. (Click here to see Part I with a map of the entire layout.)
It is the home of multiple businesses.
First coming from Sanderson into Pecos is M-G Fuels on the left. It is a modest feature on the layout. The LPG dealer is really only suggested by an unloading rack. Below we see it in the middle of the photo. Fat Cow’s tank car unloading facility is the small shack and blue tanks. blue tanks.
It serves to illustrate how one can create a traffic producing industry with minimal space.
Fat Cow Animal Supplements
Next on the line is Fat Cow. Fat Cow produces livestock supplements to “bulk up” your herd. This business receives tank cars of molasses, covered hoppers of various ingredients, and occasional boxcar loads of bagged material. In addition, outbound shipments of its finished product are shipped in covered hoppers and boxcars.
Above we see a boxcar spotted at the loading dock and a covered hopper being unloaded above the under-track pit. The blue overhead structure is for loading covered hoppers with Fat Cow’s product.
The above photo gives a better overall view of the Fat Cow operation, from the tank car unloading area on the left, the building that receives inbound boxcar shipments, a loading dock for outbound boxcar shipments, the overhead covered hopper loading structure, an under-rail conveyor leading into the blue building for unloading covered hoppers, and a pressure differential covered hopper unloading building and four tall tanks on the very right for fine powdered ingredients. Covered hoppers to be unloaded and ones to be loaded compete for the same track space so the train crew has to coordinate with the plant manager the order in which the cars are placed. Fat Cow has an electric car puller to move the cars being loaded or unloaded without a locomotive. The LCN can’t let cars sit around and keeps a locomotive here for the Pecos train. The crew deadheads to work in the white suburban. Outbound cars are gathered up and the train leaves Pecos for the interchange. If the return trip to Pecos has more than five cars, which is often the case, the crew has their hands full because the short run-around track will only fit five cars, maybe six short ones. The engine often has cars ahead and behind it as things are sorted out and the cars spotted.
Drill-Tex and Gerstle Chemical
At the end of track in Pecos, we find Drill-Tex, the red structure below, and the unloading structures for Gerstle Chemical against the wall. Gerstle Chemical receives tank cars of acid that are used in the oil fields around Pecos. When chemical tank cars are spotted here it reduces the length of the tail track, further complicating the work of the train crew. Drill-Tex is a busy operation which receives bagged material (drilling mud) in boxcars and bulk material (frac sand) in 2-bay covered hoppers. Hydraulic fracturing is just starting in 1990 so unit trains of frac sand are still in the future.
Boxcars are unloaded at the concrete docks, covered hoppers into the yellow structure that loads the trucks. Occasionally, sand cars are unloaded on the tail track with the white wheeled conveyor.
These businesses result in Pecos being a very active end of the line for the LCN. In the last photo below, you can pretty much see all of Pecos along the LCN.
In our next post, we’ll venture back in time and visit Sanderson.