Permian Basin Railways thinking ahead

They’ve been working on the railway.

Permian Basin Railway officials showed off some 30 miles of its track to Lubbock and Levelland officials April 25.

The train made three runs from Cagle Steaks in the Frenship Community to the ethanol plant in Levelland and back.

The $4 million upgrade allows the railway to ship materials to and from the ethanol plant and might also include scenic line rides in the future.

“Not a lot of people know about these short-line railroads. We’ve stepped up our business and have helped bring business to the West Texas area. We want to make people understand we are here and we are around. We are here to support the community.”

Permian Basin Railways was formed in May 2002 when Iowa Pacific Holding purchased and combined the Texas New Mexico Railroad and the West Texas & Lubbock Railway.

“This (train ride) was to create awareness of our railroad in general,” said Pierce Adams, an account representative for Permian Basin Railway.

Adams said the railway is in talks with John Cagle of Cagle Steaks, Visit Lubbock and others about bringing some general passenger rides to the area in the off-season. It would possibly include a train ride as soon as the Christmas season or be used to take Texas Tech boosters to and from games.

One of the challenges is finding the passenger cars. The company operates a line, the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad, in Colorado. It is used as a scenic railway during the spring and summer months. Using the passenger cars in the winter months may be the answer.

“I see (the scenic railroad coming) in the next six months to one year,” said Adams. “We are still putting together the logistics. Maybe we can bring it down to where it wouldn’t hurt our scenic railroad and have enough engineers to run on the freight and the scenic route.”

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