Neat little structure in Roswell, New Mexico to model and more…

I love buildings like this.  Not easy to model, but what character!Roswell

Roswell near Roswell Wool

Roswell near Roswell Wool 4Here you can see where the tracks used to service the structure.

Roswell near Roswell Wool 2

Unfortunately, Rancher’s Supply appears quite closed.

However, for you more modern modelers, next door is a modern gem.  Note the orange and white building next door to the right?

Roswell Wool 2

It is Roswell Wool.  It is still a going concern.

Roswell Wool

Sadly the BNSF no longer a has an active spur to it, but you can see where it once ran and the doors that were possibly used to load boxcars at one point.

Hard to know how long Roswell Wool has been at this location.

warehouse 2

Right down the track to the north are a lot of warehouses that were at one time used for shipping agricultural traffic as well.

warehouse 3

On this map the blue circle depicts those warehouses.  The black circle shows were the old ATSF passenger and freight station once stood (a portion still remains).  The red circle shows where the Rainbo Bakery sat that served as the model of the bakery on the Rails West layout.  You can still see the concrete pad where the flour silos once sat. (The rectangle with the 8 holes, click here for a post on the bakery that once operated in Roswell.)

Like many western towns of any size, Roswell is full of building crying out to be modeled.

Take Artesia just to the south of Roswell for instance…

Oh well, that may be a subject for a future post.


A cool business to model from the early 1990s


Roswell 1992 sharp

Maloof distributor in Roswell NM in 1992 –©photo by C. E. Hunt

This is largely a freshened up post from February of 2014.  My pictures are much better now that I have purchased a competent scanner.


As I wrote in 2014–

South of town sat this lonely white structure. The green Burlington Northern box cars spotted there were almost as large as the structure. This venue connected Roswell with Golden, Colorado about two or three times a month or so. It was always nice to see a new car spotted there as I drove south out of Roswell on Hwy 287. 

This another cool thing about modelling the early 1980s, single (or two) car shippers were still very common which is ideal for modellers and a great deal of beer was hauled by boxcars.  Though a lot of beer is still shipped by rail, including intermodal, most beer was hauled by boxcar up until probably the middle to late 1990s.


Roswell 1992 Coors

Front of Maloof Distributor, 1992–©photo by C. E. Hunt (Anybody know what kind of car the yellow one is?  AMC?)

Beer cars are great to model.



Scene from the Rails West layout.  A lot of beer was brought into the Roswell, NM Miller Distributor in SL-SF boxcars like this one in the early 1990s.  See this post. The trailing ATSF boxcar was a frequent visitor to the Roswell Budweiser distributor.




In another scene from the Rails West layout, this filthy WP beer car has just been collected from the distributor.



A load of beer being spotted on B. Smith’s LCR RR which is set in 1990.


photo 4 (10)

A string of beer cars on the Rails West layout before backdating the layout to 1982.  No more “plain jane” ATSF beer cars sadly.  They were very common at the Bud distributor in Roswell throughout the early 1990s.


If you’re not thirsty yet, check out one of my all time favorite Rails West posts here on the Golden Age of beer advertisements.  Here’s a sample of what you’ll see..






Willie Stargell’s Roswell Incident and other Roswell and New Mexico Baseball Goodies


1966 baseball card for Willy Stargell.

If you haven’t noticed, along with my love of New Mexico, trains and conservation, I like baseball, especially Chicago White Sox baseball.  (See post of April 19, 2014) Expect a post or two in the future on the White Sox, but I have been sparing you thus far.  I like golf too but we’ll see if any traffic comes from that.  (There is both an American Indian and a Roswell local who did well on the links from the State).

Here’s a few baseball tidbits from Roswell.  There’s not much to work with.

Roswell has hosted a number of minor league teams over the years with a number of colorful names–Giants (1923), Sunshiners, Rockets, Pirates and Invaders.

A “Roswell Incident” of a different sort

According to a brief biography, one of my favorite major leaguers growing up had a Roswell incident of his own.

In a 1959 Minor League game in Roswell, Stargell, playing for the Roswell Pirates, was approached by a man with a shotgun. Pointing it at his head, the man threatened to kill Stargell if he played in that night’s game. Nothing more resulted from the incident, and the determined Stargell still played in the game. Even as a nineteen year old, he showed a lot of promise, collecting 87 RBIs and hitting .274 that year for the Roswell team.  In 1961, the Pittsburgh Pirates would call him up to the big leagues.  He would spend his next 21 years there.


On Oct. 17, 1979, Willie Stargell would hit a home run giving Pirates a win in Game 7 of World Series.

Fortunately, Stargell shook off the guy with the shotgun,   He would go on to hit 475 major league home runs and drive in 1,540 runs over his career.

A real Roswellite–The short career of Lefty Scott

Unbelievably, only one native of Roswell has ever made it to “the Show.”  Lefty Scott was born on Thursday, July 15, 1915. Scott was 29 years old when he broke into the big leagues on June 15, 1945, with the Philadelphia Phillies. He pitched in eight games.  Sadly, that was it.  There is a picture that is alleged to be his photo on the internet, but it is so poor that it doesn’t merit being in the post.

There have been about 25 major leaguers from New Mexico, but Roswell has been largely infertile for the cultivation of major leaguers thus far.

Here are a few from at least southern New Mexico.

Steve Ontiveros

Steve Ontiveros was born on Sunday, March 5, 1961, in Tularosa, New Mexico. Ontiveros was 24 years old when he broke into the big leagues on June 14, 1985, with the Oakland Athletics.  He enjoyed one of the more successful careers of the handful of native New Mexicans to play in the big leagues.  He played from 1985 to 2000.  He moved around some, but spent the bulk of his seasons with the Athletics.

Scott Terry

Scott Terry was born on Saturday, November 21, 1959, in Hobbs, New Mexico. Terry was 26 years old when he broke into the big leagues on April 9, 1986, with the Cincinnati Reds.  He had a respectable career.  He pitched in 236 games over a six year career.

Jimmy Freeman

Jimmy Freeman was born on Friday, June 29, 1951, in Carlsbad, New Mexico. Freeman was 21 years old when he broke into the big leagues on September 1, 1972, with the Atlanta Braves.  Sadly, Jimmie’s career was rather short.  He only appeared in 19 major league games, all for the Braves.

Quicksand kids?

Probably the best known major leaguer native to New Mexico is Ralph Kiner.  Kiner was born in Santa Rita, NM in 1922.  Due to back problems he only played from 1946 to 1955, but he had many great seasons, including leading the league in homeruns six consecutive seasons.  Kiner was not especially fast and contrast to the 1950 Phillies “Whiz Kids,” he and his fellow outfielders during his tenure in Chicago were referred to as the “Quicksand Kids,”   He died from natural causes on February 6, 2014 at the age of 91.


Hall of Fame left fielder Ralph Kiner

A famous quote was attributed to Branch Rickey when Kiner was traded to Chicago from Pittsburgh.  Rickey reportedly told Kiner, “We finished last with you, we can finish last without you.”  During his nine years of play, Kiner hit 369 home runs and batted in 1,015 runs.

Kiner’s voice became very well known to New Yorkers.  He broadcast Mets games from 1962 until 2006.  Kiner spent some of his childhood in California, but not a bad career for a kid born in what is now a ghost town in New Mexico!


Business district east of Santa Rita, 1919,  Now a ghost town. –Photo courtesy Silver City Museum

“Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” — Benjamin Franklin, Part I

Per some, what Franklin actually wrote was–

“Behold the rain which descends from heaven upon our vineyards, there it enters the roots of the vines, to be changed into wine, a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy.”  

I like that one too.  Kind of the same message either way.

Per the Beer Institute, there are a lot of folks out there trying to give us more “proof.”  There are almost 3,000 brewers in the United States.  About 200 million barrels of the stuff was produced last year or about 19 gallons per American.  That’s a lot of beer.  When consumed correctly, that’s a good thing–it makes a lot of jobs (including rail-related jobs) and brings us pleasure.  Also per the beer Institute, all 50 states produce it.


Beer production in the US

This two part series will discuss—

1.    rail involvement in the production of beer, and

2.    how beer is (and was) shipped, particularly in the 1990s, the era of my layout—ATSF in Roswell in 90s.

As legends go, Colorado miners would throw parties in the 1800s called “banquets” stocked with Coors. Accordingly, banquet beer became part of Coors’ name.

A great deal of beer used to be shipped by rail.  Coors, one of my favorite quaffing beers, still ships some beer by rail.  (See my post of February 9, 2014 concerning the Coors distributor in Roswell.)  I like the thought of drinking “rail-hauled” beer.  I also enjoy non-rail hauled beer, but there’s something special about knowing my beer traversed America rolling through wheatfields and sunsets (not too many sunsets though).  I know…that’s weird–sorry.

(Think that’s weird?  I also like manual push reel mowers. Great States makes some good ones–click here to check mine out.  I love the cut of a reel–versus rotary–and the fact no gas is needed!  Where did that come from?  Don’t know…OK, back to beer and a slightly less weird discussion.)

From a rail standpoint, brewers pretty much fall into three categories—

1)    receive raw materials by rail, ship out by rail (box car, tank car or container)

2)    receive raw materials by rail

3)    make limited use of rail or uses transload facilities (offsite)

I cited Coors as a representative of the first category.  Corona also ships by rail in box cars and containers (often hauled on trains).  Many brewers fall into the second category—two of my personal favorites are Shiner in Texas and Yeungling in Pennsylvania.  The last category is probably the majority since many breweries are too small to take advantages of the lower costs involved in rail shipments.  They may still use rail indirectly in that their raw materials may have been transloaded from rail cars before delivery to the brewery.

Category I–

Up until the late 1990s or so, a great deal of finished beer was shipped by rail.  A craze for “fresh” beer led to a drop off in beer shipments.  Shaving a few days off delivery time was deemed worth the trouble of consuming more fuel (trucks) and hiring drivers.  (It seemed like a gimmick to me although freshness is important for some beer varieties.)

In the early 1990s, Roswell had three distributors, all of which received beer by rail. (See post of February 15, 2014.)


Roswell Budweiser distributor, 1993. Note Northern Pacific box car. I did a post on it February 20, 2014.


Load of Miller beer at the Roswell distributor in the early 1990s.

Beer still moves by rail, but less in box cars and more in containers.  Corona ships beer into the US by both box car and container. Many other foreign brewers ship by rail via containers.    Instead of the traditional box car delivered to siding at the beer distributor, nowadays, beer (and many other products) is often handled through a transload facility.


Siding at a Grand Logistics Corporation facility.


Corona Beer off the rails and ready to be loaded on trucks for final distribution.


Category II

Many brewers take advantage of rail to bring in materials.


Ingredients (barley) from the Northwest coming into the Shiner Brewery in 2011 in Shiner Texas. ©C Hunt photo


Yuengling brewery in Pottsville, PA. Note green dots which show covered hoppers bringing in ingredients, 2014.


Category III–

Many brewers receive ingredients by truck that have been transloaded by rail.

Lagunitas Brewing Company in Petaluma, CA on the Northwestern Pacific Railroad provides a great example.




Barley being transloaded by auger from covered hopper to truck for delivery to the Lagunitas Brewing Company in February 2014.

A great video is posted here.  It shows the barley being unloaded, gates on the hopper being opened, car being moved manually and auger being positioned.

Hope you enjoyed this post on the involvement of railroads in the production of beer.  Part II will focus on the “beer caddies” used to get the beer from the brewery to the distributor, especially in the 1990s.

Doodlebug to the Cavern?

The ATSF ran regular service through Roswell up until 1967.  The service ran from Carlsbad to Clovis by way of Roswell.  The service was sometimes nick-named “The Cavern City” though I do not believe the service had an official name.  The consist was normally a passenger car and the engine.  The engine was typically a “doodlebug” which was built by the Brill Motorcar Company as a gas-electric 535 HP.  The usual unit was M.160 (or M.190) which had major rebuilds in 1948 and 1952, when it was fitted with a diesel engine and components from Santa Fe’s first E-1 passenger locomotive.  The passenger car was often the “Cavern” (coach #3197) towards the end.

When one of the motorcars was unavailable (not unusual in their final years), an E8 or a PA was the substitute motive power, and a baggage car was carried along with the coach-observation.

By the way, the M.160 and 3197 now live at the Museum of the American Railroad in Frisco, Texas and have been restored and are operational.


ATSF M160 (without the “Cavern”) in Clovis, NM on November 18, 1967

ATSF M160 Dallas TX Apr 1 2006

Restored M-160 in Dallas, TX 2006.