Gallup, NM Yard

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Gallup, NM Yard
Posted by SFbrkmn on Sunday, August 8, 2010 2:14 PM

Looking for info on just when the former SF yard in Gallup was built. No one seems to have any knowledge on this. I have heard either during WW I era, as early as 1890's or anytime in between. This yard sits on the west side of downtown between I40 and old US 66. It was built with a crest and is easy to switch as cars do not have to be kicked, rather get the slack, pull the pin and they roll on their own.

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Posted by tomikawaTT on Sunday, August 8, 2010 5:03 PM

According to the City's website, Gallup was named for an Atlantic and Pacific Railroad paymaster who established a pay station there in 1880, probably at the end of track of the under-construction route that would become the AT&SF.  Since coal was mined locally, it was probably an engine terminal as well.

The present yard has probably been growing, changing and evolving ever since.  Such facilities get modified as necessary to adapt to changes in motive power and traffic patterns.

The little coal tram locomotive on display just off the Interstate in Gallup is the smallest non-scale-model steam locomotive I've ever seen - even smaller than the Kiso Forest Railway loco at the California Railroad Museum.


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Posted by diningcar on Sunday, August 8, 2010 5:49 PM

I think its safe to say that most rail yards evolve over time.As the railroads needs change so do the various operating facilites, equiptment and yards.

Gallup became the crew change point between Albuquerque - Belen and Winslow when the 100 mile = a days work agreements prevailed. Gallup was not the first location west from Albuquerque that was the 100 mile crew change location. That distinction belongs to a location about 20 miles east of Gallup named Coolidge and it was about 138 miles from Albuquerque (Belen did not exist on the Transcon at that time). After about ten years (1890 +/-) Santa Fe decided to make Gallup the crew change point even though it was 158 miles from Albuquerque.

Today trains run from Belen to Winslow, about 280 miles, before changing crews. The Gallup yard is used principally for trains to meet or for cars to be stored because there is little revenue business originating there, although AMTRAK stops there.


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Posted by SFbrkmn on Sunday, August 8, 2010 10:57 PM
Gallup yd actually remains a busy spot even though its role has diminished somewhat. Up until Dec 2008, two yd jobs worked. Now only the Y101 working  M-F and a xtra on Sa  work the yd trks. Mainline trains do some block swapping and some grain trains heading to CA will have mid train DPU engs inserted at Gallup.  For a few yrs during the past decade, Gallup actually switched more cars than Belen. No joke. There are several industries around the wstrn NM & AZ area which are serviced by Two locals and a rd swtchr from G town. The  terminal is still a home base for shuttle coal  train crews but this may be changing in the near future as BNSF is pushing for a run through on the coal runs which the jobs would be relocated to Belen and run to the coal plants on the spurs in eastern AZ. The P&M mine west of town on the Defiance sub has recently closed down, trk from mp 15 to end trk mp 21 has been placed out service and the remaining section has been dropped from 25 mph to 10 mph.
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Posted by ericsp on Monday, August 9, 2010 1:10 AM

Here is a Bird's Eye view

of part of the yard at Gallup.

At the east end of the yard is an industry where the load mineral(s) into covered hoppers. If you follow the adjacent spur north, you will find another, similar industry.

Further east is a lumber yard with a spur.

At Zuni, NM there is the ConocoPhillips NGL plant with a 42 car capacity loading rack.

By North Guam there is an oil refinery with a measly 20 car loading rack.

On the spur going to the coal mines just east of South Chaves is what appears to be a wallboard plant, and a coal fired power plant that appears to ship fly ash by rail.

If locals working out of Gallup work as far west as Holbrook, AZ, then there would be the Apache Railroad there and the LPG storage caverns at Adamana, AZ.

"No soup for you!" - Yev Kassem (from Seinfeld)

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Posted by SFbrkmn on Tuesday, August 10, 2010 10:10 AM
The small industry at the east end of the yd is Gallup Sand which has now been downgraded to a barebones operation and ships no longer by rail. On the spur about a mile north is the lime plant and does a large amount of rail shipping. This is the only rail shipper in town. Just to the east of town is the large LP gas relay station. A private contractor began switching the site about a yr ago. The Wstrn Refining plant is located off I40 20 miles east of Gallup. This is a 26000 barell day output. The coal plant is on the north side of 40 at mp 117 at station Pegs. A paper mill is also located on site. Both industries are swiched in house. A shortline called Wstrn Fuels Assn operates a 50 some car coal shuttle five times per wk to a nearby mine at Lee Ranch. Off  to the west in AZ, Holbrook, Adamana, Joe City are all serviced by a Winslow local. Gallup used to do this but no more.

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