Did UP Consider Selling the Ex-Texas & Pacific?

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Did UP Consider Selling the Ex-Texas & Pacific?
Posted by DDavidsonFarms on Sunday, September 08, 2019 4:49 PM

I could’ve sworn I read or heard somewhere that Union Pacific thought about selling the old Texas & Pacific line between Fort Worth and El Paso when they took over Southern Pacific in the 90s. Is this true or did I just dream this up?

Might’ve been a Montana Rail Link situation down here if they had’ve.

Dakota

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Posted by CatFoodFlambe on Sunday, September 08, 2019 6:00 PM

DDavidsonFarms

I could’ve sworn I read or heard somewhere that Union Pacific thought about selling the old Texas & Pacific line between Fort Worth and El Paso when they took over Southern Pacific in the 90s.

My unlearned thoughts are that it was just the opposite - that UP would have wanted to unload the old T&P until the Southern Pacific acquision began to dawn in the UP corporate mind.   Durning the period in which the SP/ATSF merger was under consideration and then the period in which the Rio Grande controlled the SP, the line saw perhaps one through train each way a day. 

If anything were to be mothballed today, I would guess that it would be the old SP between Sierra Blanca and the San Antonio area might be de-emphasized,  with that has to go to/from Houston making the turn at Fort Worth.  I have no idea, though what current car counts might be, or what UP would have to do to upgrade ELP-DFW.   As to a MRL-type arrangment, the savings even a non-union operation could realize are much less today (the ex NP in Montana was of the most dysfunctional labor-managment situations in the US rail network ), and there's not much local business or potential thereof.   It would reduce the assest base for stock price purposes, though.

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Monday, September 09, 2019 6:55 AM

And just who would buy this line?  An independent T&P would give UP an unprecedented opportunity to short-haul itself.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by rdamon on Monday, September 09, 2019 8:20 AM

There was a good article in Trains several years ago that highlighted the UP changing the T&P from the diverging route to the straight route. 

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Posted by mudchicken on Tuesday, September 10, 2019 7:57 AM

Is the OP maybe thinking of merger conditions tied to the UP/SP merger (like KCS/TM?)

Mudchicken Nothing is worth taking the risk of losing a life over. Come home tonight in the same condition that you left home this morning in. Safety begins with ME.... cinscocom-west
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Posted by CatFoodFlambe on Thursday, September 12, 2019 12:15 AM

CSSHEGEWISCH

And just who would buy this line?  An independent T&P would give UP an unprecedented opportunity to short-haul itself.

 



Not a sale - that could end up giving KCS/BNSF a chance at acquiring the line someday (one of them proably will if the final round of megamergers takes place).  Just lease out the track structure and local operations (with a restriction on interchange with any other carrier)  rather than sell the line and feed the operator a handful of overhead manifest freights each month to keep them from starving.   It's there for overflow if you need it (at least until the the track deteriorates over a few decades), and it gets  about 400 miles of line off the asset books.  

NS recently did this with the old NYC /VGN between Columbus and southern WV.  

I'm not even sure if that would be viable - I don't how much local business exists between Sierra Blanca and the west side of Greater SAT, but I doubt it would equal the 100 carload per mile rule of thumb. 

Not saying it should happen - just thinking it's probably been at least calculated out by UP management.


 

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Posted by kgbw49 on Thursday, September 12, 2019 12:48 AM

CatFF, if you are referring to a lease of the Sunset Route between El Paso and San Antonio, here is another piece of data. One important connection for UP is with Ferromex at Eagle Pass. UP owns something like 26% of Ferromex, so one would think UP would at least continue to own the Sunset Route between San Antonio and the junction with the line to Eagle Pass.

The other consideration is that the Sunset Route runs right through the Barnett-Woodford Shale Play in the area to the southeast of El Paso, so there is always some rail activity associated with oil and gas exploration.

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