Destination — Pecos, Texas, 1970 and 80s…(or to the set of “The Last Picture Show?”) (Part III)

Let’s venture south to finish our visit to Pecos.

PVS #7 south of Pecos, TX ©B. Smith photo

PVS #7 south of Pecos, TX ©B. Smith photo

There was during the 1970 and 80s a lot of commerce on the south end of the line.  These photos were taken between 1977 and 1980 south of the quarry towards Saragosa and a few at the end of the line in Balmorhea.

Bagged manure was loaded here.

Bagged manure was loaded here.  ©B. Smith photo

Fertilizer dealer south of Pecos.

Fertilizer dealer south of Pecos. ©B. Smith photo

Tank cars from the cotton oil plant. ©B. Smith photo

Tank cars from the cotton oil plant just a bit north of the quarry. ©B. Smith photo

Tank cars at cotton oil mill in Pecos.

Tank cars at cotton oil mill in Pecos. ©B. Smith photo

Loaded Missouri Pacific gondola by PVS station at Saragosa, TX ©B. Smith photo

Loaded Missouri Pacific gondola by PVS station at Saragosa, TX ©B. Smith photo

View from loaded MP gon by PVS station at Saragosa, TX

View from loaded MP gondola departing PVS station at Saragosa, TX.  Davis Mountains are in the distance. ©B. Smith photo

Feed distributor served by PVS, also end of the line ©B. Smith photo

Feed distributor served by PVS, also end of the line ©B. Smith photo

Now to the end of the line at Balmorhea, a small town created when an irrigation project allowed area dry lands to be irrigated.  The irrigation got too expensive when natural gas prices increased.  Now it is home to a nice State Park which features a huge, historic swimming pool.

PVS station in Balmorhea.  Photos taken in 1977.  No rail service then, but much of the track was still in place.

PVS station in Balmorhea. Photos taken in 1977. No rail service then, but much of the track was still in place. ©B. Smith photo

Wye switch behind State Park swimming pool, looking towards feed mill at end of track.  Davis Mts in distance. ©B. Smith photo

Wye switch behind State Park swimming pool, looking towards feed mill at end of track. Davis Mts in distance. ©B. Smith photo

The Pecos Valley Southern is still a going concern in 2014.  Much of the line to the south has been abandoned or sits dormant, but these photos remind us of what was once there. Oil, aggregates and cattle feed keep the PVS hopping today.  Check it out if you find yourself near Pecos, Texas.  Don’t forget Balmorhea as well.  It has an “ice” cold swimming pool and some pretty good Mexican food at the Cueva de Oso.

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Destination — Pecos, Texas, 1970 and 80s…(or to the set of “The Last Picture Show?”) (Part II)

Now we are going to focus on the hometown railroad of Pecos, the Pecos Valley Southern.

Our ace photographer was there to capture it in the 1970 and 80s.

Below are images he captured in 1980 around the City of Pecos.  Pecos had been the site of an airbase in WWII.  Some of it was re-purposed to support industry after the war.

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Spurs at the old air base. ©B. Smith photo

 

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Drilling mud, anhydrous ammonia, and something augured unloaded on these tracks. ©B. Smith photo

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Team track in Pecos. The gondola is lettered for Conrail. Old airbase buildings that were leased out to various companies are in the back ground. ©B. Smith photo

Above represents West Texas railroading to a “t” in the 1970s–one boxcar here, a covered hopper or two there, a gondola here, etc.  It featured a lot of one or two car shipments.  We will see more of that as we venture further south in the next post.

South of Pecos sits a quarry which has been at various times a very important source of traffic for the railroad.  Below are images our photographer captured around the quarry in the late 1970s.  It remains today today but has changed sides of the highway since these photos.

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Lots of MP, TP, C&EI reporting marks on the hoppers in the 70’s in Pecos. ©B. Smith photo

Note the C&EI reporting marks.

C&IE #587783 and 522363 coming to the quarry. ©B. Smith photo

 

Shoving cars across the highway to the old gravel plant.

Shoving cars across the highway to the old gravel plant. ©B. Smith photo

 

Shoving empties into the old gravel plant.  Note the TP hopper two cars ahead.

Shoving empties into the old gravel plant. Note the Texas and Pacific hopper two cars ahead. ©B. Smith photo

Next post we will venture further south to a part of the PVS that for the most part no longer exists towards Saragosa and Balmorhea.