The Presidio and Northern Railway

¡Bienvenidos Amigos!

I’ve gotten a few questions on what’s going on with my RailsWest layout. Well, the short answer is “not much” on the actual layout.  However, a lot of thinking has been going on.  Over the last year or so, I have been fleshing out the identify of the primary short line on the layout.  It was as some of you recall, The Carson County Railway.  Over time, that started to seem not very evocative.  A new identity began to emerge as I more closely studied West Texas.  I settled on Presidio, Texas as the primary location (roughly), somewhat proto-free lanced, using Presidio as an inspiration and something to evoke, rather than a precise model of that location.

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The history of the line will be something to the effect that the ATSF wanted out of all or a portion of its South Orient line beginning in the 1960s.  The envisioned international traffic levels never fully materialized. In the mid-1960s, local business people worked with ATSF and SP to acquire an interest in the line and operate it as the Presidio and Northern Railway (P&N) from Alpine, Texas to the border at Presidio.  ATSF would retain overhead rights and SP gained overhead rights in case there was interest in more international traffic as the Mexican railroad line south of the border was more fully completed and improved.

Shortly thereafter, the P&N also acquired the Pecos Valley Southern which had punched through the mountains to the northwest of Alpine to complete the line from Pecos to Alpine.  As a result, the P&N has robust interchange with the MP (and some with ATSF) in Pecos and with the SP and ATSF in Alpine. P&N over the years has built more online traffic and the international traffic has had a bit of a bump up.

I will seek to primarily model 1974 but may backdate to the late 1960s on occasion.  Most locomotives will be the Alcos of the P&N–it is an all Alco line).  However, ATSF and SP power will make appearances from time to time, either in run throughs, leases or pooled power.  ATSF and SP retain an ownership interest in the railroad.


Primary road power are C420s.



Here is #34 right out of the paint shop.  There are a couple of HH660s located in Presidio and Pecos to handle switching and local runs. The P&N loves to borrow SP RS-11s whenever they can, so they make occasional appearances. Jaime Garcia, Head Mechanic of the P&N, likes it as long as its an Alco.  P&N management once considered acquiring a GP-7 from the SP and Jaime shut that down immediately.

Presidio is an interesting locale to model.


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The scenery possibilities are intriguing.


More to come from Presidio in the future.  My modelling has slowed a bit as I take on more writing and art, but I just want you all to know that the RailsWest layout is still coming down the line (just slowly).

¡Espero verte pronto!

           To learn about my writing click the C E Hunt logo…>>     

7 thoughts on “The Presidio and Northern Railway

  1. Pingback: Moving forward RailsWest will have a “Family of Brands” | Rails West

  2. I’ve really been enjoying this site, as I live in Texas, and have lived and explored much of these areas discussed. Regarding the P&N, nice idea—I’ve thought similarly about the Rio Grande, Micolithic and Northern, a real line abandoned in the 30’s, just south of the Van Horn area.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’d love to share my back story and modeling in West Texas (RGM&N), if someone can contact me and explain how the posting works here! Chris


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