Barstow to Albuquerque/Belen Traffic(s)

The BNSF (and before that the Santa Fe) line between Barstow and Belen is one of the major arteries of commerce in the United States. Without it (and the similar but smaller flows on the Union Pacific, mainly on the Sunset Route), the international trade with the Far East (mostly Pacific Rim) through Los Angeles and Long Beach Harbors would grind to a halt due to inland transport congestion. This is especially clear from the intermodal traffic flows. The origin/destination of manifest traffic in Southern California is not so clear, since all manifest trains from/to the region are reblocked at Barstow; the traffic flows thus show Barstow as the origin/destination of trains both east and south of that location.

1.      Passenger

Amtrak trains 3 and 4, The Southwest Chief, cover this entire route.

2.      Intermodal

There are major intermodal traffic flows carrying imports from Pacific Ocean ports at Los Angeles, Long Beach, and the Bay Area to other parts of the country served by the former Santa Fe lines, especially Texas and the Chicago area, with forwarding to other railroads in Chicago and Kansas City.  There are also major flows westward from Willow Springs and Corwith yards in the Chicago area to west coast points carrying package traffic and long-distance hauls for over-the-road carriers.

This intermodal traffic runs over the same route as the passenger trains from Los Angeles to the Belen/Albuquerque area of New Mexico. Observation from passing trains suggests that these are the major traffic flows on these lines.

There are five grades of intermodal service on these lines: Z—Expedited (also trains once symbolled  with numerals); Q—Guaranteed; P—Priority; T—Standard; and S—Stack. In some lanes, priorities may be different, so that a P-CHIRIC or a P-CHISBD may be balanced by a Q-RICCHI or a Q-SBDCHI (say).

In 1991/2, the following Santa Fe trains were observed on this route:
169 (and the reverse?) between Chicago and Richmond
189 (and the reverse?) between Chicago and Richmond
198 (and the reverse?) between Chicago and Los Angeles
199 and 991 between Chicago and Richmond
578 (and the reverse?) between Dallas and Los Angeles
589 (and the reverse?) between Dallas, Fort Worth or Houston and Richmond
771 (and the reverse?) between Phoenix and Chicago
885 (and the reverse?) between Los Angeles and Houston
893 (and the reverse?) between Los Angeles and Kansas City (Argentine)
971 (and the reverse?) between Richmond and Chicago
QLABH (and the reverse?) between Los Angeles and Birmingham, AL via Waynoka, OK
QLACH (and the reverse?) between Los Angeles and Chicago
QLAFW (and the reverse?) between Los Angeles and Fort Worth
QLANY (and the reverse?) between Los Angeles and New York
SLACH (and the reverse?) between Los Angeles and Chicago
SRIDA (and the reverse?) between Richmond and Dallas

In 1994, the following Santa Fe trains were observed on this route:
1-698 (and the reverse?) between Amarillo and Los Angeles
9-189 (and the reverse?) between Chicago (Willow Springs) and Richmond (North Bay);
9-199 and 9-991 between Chicago (Willow Springs) and Richmond (North Bay);
9-198 and 9-891 between Chicago (Willow Springs) and Los Angeles (Hobart);
9-197 (and the reverse?) between Chicago (Willow Springs) and Phoenix;
9-398 and 9-893 Kansas City (Argentine) and Los Angeles (Hobart);
9-896 (and the reverse?) between Los Angeles (Hobart) and ??;
9-789 (and the reverse?) between ?? and Richmond (North Bay
P-CHLA (and the reverse?) between Chicago and Los Angeles
P-FRCH (and the reverse?) between Fresno and Chicago
P-KCSB (and the reverse?) between Kansas City (Argentine) and San Bernardino
P-LAME (and the reverse?) between Los Angeles and Memphis (via Avard, OK to BN)
P-RICH (and the reverse?) between Richmond and Chicago
Q-LAFW and QFWLA between Los Angeles and Fort Worth
Q-LANY and Q-NYLA between Los Angeles and New York City via ConRail connection at Streator, IL
S-CHLA and S-LACH between Chicago and Los Angeles
S-LBDA (and the reverse?) between Long Beach (Harbor) and Dallas
S-RICH (and the reverse?) between Richmond and Chicago
T-CVLA (and the reverse?) between Clovis and Los Angeles
T-CVRI (and the reverse?) between Clovis and Richmond
T-LADA (and the reverse?) between Los Angeles and Dallas
T-RIBE (and the reverse?) between Richmond and Belen
T-RICH (and the reverse?) between Richmond and Chicago
T-RIHO (and the reverse?) between Richmond and Houston

In 1995, the following Santa Fe trains were observed on this route:
199 and 991 between Chicago (Willow Springs) and Richmond (North Bay)
899 (and the reverse?) between Los Angeles and Richmond
PFRCH (and the reverse?) between Fresno and Chicago
PRICH (and the reverse?) between Richmond and Chicago
QRIAL (and the reverse?) between Richmond and Alliance, TX (north of Fort Worth)
SCHRI and SRICH between Chicago and Richmond
SFRCH (and the reverse?) between Fresno and Chicago
The stack trains (‘S’) listed here started running in late 1994, after track undercutting to increase clearances in tunnels and under overbridges on Tehachapi.

In 1999, the following BNSF trains traveled over this route:
BALTLAC5 bare table from Alliance, TX, to Los Angeles
BKCKLAC bare table from Kansas City to Los Angeles
BKCKLAC2 second section bare table from Kansas City to Los Angeles
BKCKLAC5 bare table from Kansas City to Los Angeles
BNEELAC bare table from Needles to Los Angeles
BNEELAC2 second section bare table from Needles to Los Angeles
BWINSBD bare table from Winslow, AZ, to Los Angeles
BWSPLAC bare table from Willow Springs to Los Angeles
PCHILAC and PLACCHI between Chicago (Corwith) and Los Angeles
PCHIRIC (and the reverse?) between Chicago and Richmond
PLACCHI2 and PCHILAC2 second section between Chicago and Los Angeles
PLACNWO and PNWOLAC between Los Angeles and New Orleans (new since UP/SP merger)
PRICSPM (and the reverse?) between Richmond and Springfield, MO
QBIRSBD (and the reverse?) between Birmingham, AL and San Bernardino
QFRSCHI (and the reverse?) between Fresno and Chicago (with Perishable in reefer trailers as well as other TOFC/COFC and double-stack traffic)
QLACALT (and the reverse?) between Los Angeles and Alliance, TX
QMODCHI (and the reverse?) between Modesto and Chicago
QRICALT and QALTRIC between Richmond and Alliance, TX
QSBDSPM (and the reverse?) between San Bernardino amd Springfield, MO
SHOULAC (and the reverse?) between Houston and Los Angeles
SHOULGB (and the reverse?) between Houston and Long Beach
SLGBCHC3 Sealand (and the reverse?) between Long Beach and Chicago
SLGBCLO6 Sealand (and the reverse?) between Long Beach and Clovis (connects to Chicago, St. Louis, and points in Texas)
SRICCHI (and the reverse?) between Richmond and Chicago
ZALTLAC3 and ZLACALT9 between Alliance, TX and Los Angeles
ZCHIPHX (and the reverse?)  between Chicago and Phoenix
ZCLOLAC3 (and the reverse?) between Clovis (see below) and Los Angeles
ZCLONBY (and the reverse?) between Clovis, NM and North Bay (Clovis traffic carries cars connecting with points in Texas, New Orleans, and Birmingham, AL)
ZKCKLAC9 and ZLACKCK9 (ex 398 and 893) between Argentine and Los Angeles
ZKCKRIC (and the reverse?) between Kansas City (Argentine) and Richmond
ZLACMEM9 and ZMEMLAC9 between Los Angeles and Memphis
ZLACMEM2 second section between Los Angeles and Memphis
ZLACNYC9 and ZNYCLAC9 (ex QLANY and QNYLA) to TV-10, from TVLA
ZLACNYC2 second section between Los Angeles and New York City
ZLACWSP9 and ZWSPLAC9 (ex 891 and 198) between Willow Springs and LA
ZLACWSP8 and ZWSPLAC8 second section between Willow Springs and LA
ZLACWSP7 and ZWSPLAC7 third section between Willow Springs and LA
ZMEMRIC (and the reverse?) between Memphis and Richmond
ZNBYWSP9 and ZWSPNBY9 (ex 991 and 199) between North Bay and Willow Springs
ZNBYWSP8 (a second section of the above)
ZPHXWSP (and the reverse?)  between Phoenix and Willow Springs
ZSBDWSP4 (and the reverse?)  between San Bernardino and Willow Springs
ZSBDWSP5 second section (and the reverse?) San Bernardino and Willow Springs
ZSTOWSP and ZWSPSTO between Stockton and Willow Springs
ZWSPRIC (and the reverse?) between Willow Springs and Richmond

In 2004-5, the following BNSF trains ran over this line (some in multiple sections):
Z-ALTRIC and Z-RICALT between Alliance, TX, and Richmond, CA
Z-CHIRIC and Z-RICCHI between Chicago (Corwith) and Richmond, CA
Z-CHIPHX (and the reverse?) between Chicago (Corwith) and
Phoenix
Z-CLORIC and Z-RICCLO between Clovis, NM, and Richmond, CA
Z-FRSCHI
(and the reverse?) between Fresno, CA, and Chicago (Corwith)
Z-KCKRIC
(and the reverse?) between Kansas City (Argentine) and Richmond, CA
Z-KCKSBD (and the reverse?) between Kansas City (Argentine) and San Bernardino
Z-LACALT (and the reverse?) between Los Angeles and Alliance, TX

Z-LACKCK
and Z-KCKLAC between Los Angeles and Kansas City (Argentine)
Z-MEMRIC and Z-RICMEM between Memphis, TN, and Richmond, CA
Z-MEMSBD and Z-SBDMEM between Memphis and San Bernardino
Z-NYCLAC and Z-LACNYC between New York City (CSX/NS) and Los Angeles
Z-PHXWSP (and the reverse?) between Phoenix and Willow Springs (Chicago)
Z-SBDALT and Z-ALTSBD between San Bernardino and Alliance, TX
Z-WINPHX (and the reverse?) between Winslow, AZ, and Phoenix
Z-WSPLAC  and Z-LACWSP between Willow Springs (Chicago) and Los Angeles
Z-WSPRIC and Z-RICWSP between Willow Springs (Chicago) and Richmond, CA
Z-WSPNBY and Z-NBYWSP between Willow Springs and North Bay UPS (Richmond, CA)
Z-WSPSBD and
Z-SBDWSP between Willow Springs (Chicago) and San Bernardino
Z-WSPSTO and Z-STOWSP between Willow Springs and Stockton, CA
P-CHILAC  and P-LACCHI between Chicago (Corwith) and Los Angeles
P-CHIRIC (and the reverse?) between Chicago (Corwith) and Richmond, CA
P-CHISBD (and the reverse?) between Chicago (Corwith) and San Bernardino
P-CLOWAT (and the reverse?) between Clovis, NM, and Watson, CA
    [also carries auto carriers]
P-LACCHF (and the reverse?) between Los Angeles and Chicago (59th Street CSX)
P-LACNWO and P-NWOLAC between Los Angeles and New Orleans

P-MEMLAC (and the reverse?) between Memphis and Los Angeles
P-PHXCHI (and the reverse?) between Phoenix and Chicago (Corwith)
P-RICBIR (and the reverse?) between Richmond, CA, and Birmingham, AL
Q-ALTLAC
(and the reverse?) between Alliance, TX, and Los Angeles
Q-ALTRIC and Q-RICALT between Alliance, TX, and Richmond, CA
Q-CHILAC
(and the reverse?) between Chicago (Corwith) and Los Angeles
Q-CLOLAC
(and the reverse?) between  Clovis, NM, and Los Angeles
Q-CLORIC and Q-RICCLO between Clovis, NM, and Richmond, CA
Q-KCKRIC (and the reverse?) between Argentine and Richmond
Q-LACATG and Q-ATGLAC between Los Angeles and Atlanta, GA
Q-LACAUG and Q-AUGLAC between Los Angeles and Austell, GA
Q-LACMEM
(and the reverse?) between Los Angeles and Memphis
Q-LACLPC
(and the reverse?) between Los Angeles and Logistics Park, IL
Q-LACWSP (and the reverse?) between Los Angeles and Willow Springs (Chicago)
Q-NYCLAC  and Q-LACNYC between New York City (CSX/NS) and Los Angeles
Q-NYCLAC  and Q-LACNYC between New York City (CSX) and Los Angeles
Q-RICCHI
  (and the reverse?) between Richmond, CA, and Chicago (Corwith)
Q-SBDCHI
  (and the reverse?) between San Bernardino and Chicago (Corwith)
Q-SBDKCK (and the reverse?) between San Bernardino and Argentine
Q-SBDMEM  and Q-MEMSBD between San Bernardino and Memphis
Q-SHARIC and Q-RICSHA between Shattuck, OK and Richmond, CA
Q-WSPSBD
(and the reverse?) between Willow Springs (Chicago) and San Bernardino
S-CLOOIG? and S-OIGCLO between Clovis, NM and Oakland International Gateway
S-CWSLBP
 (and the reverse?) between Chicago Western Avenue and Long Beach (COSCO)
S-FTMLAC (and the reverse?) between Fort Madison, IA, and Los Angeles
S-FTMLBT (and the reverse?) between Fort Madison, IA, and Long Beach (Pier T, Hanjin)
S-FTMRIC (and the reverse?) between Fort Madison, IA, and Richmond
S-HOULAC (and the reverse?) between Houston and Los Angeles
S-KCKLAC (and the reverse?) between Argentine and Los Angeles
S-LBACHI (and the reverse?) between Long Beach (APL) and Chicago (Corwith)
S-LBACLO (and the reverse?) between Long Beach (APL) and Clovis, NM
S-LBPCHI (and the reverse?) between Long Beach (COSCO) and Chicago (Corwith)
S-LBTCHI (and the reverse?) between Long Beach (Pier T, Hanjin) and Chicago (Corwith)
S-LBTLPC and S-LPCLBT between Long Beach (Pier T, Hanjin) and Logistics Park, IL
S-LHAAUG (and the reverse?) between Los Angeles Harbor (Pier 400) and Austell, GA
S-LHACHI (and the reverse?) between Los Angeles Harbor (Pier 400) and Chicago
S-LHALPC  (and the reverse?) between Los Angeles Harbor (Pier 400) and Logistics Park, IL
S-LHAPTR and S-PTRLHA between Los Angeles Harbor (Pier 400) and Houston (PTRA)
S-LHTCHI (and the reverse?) between Los Angeles Harbor (TICTF) and Chicago
S-LHTCLO (and the reverse?) between Los Angeles Harbor  (TICTF) and Clovis, NM
S-LHTKCK (and the reverse?) between Los Angeles Harbor  (TICTF) and Argentine
S-LHWCHI (and the reverse?) between Los Angeles Harbor (West Basin) and Chicago 
S-LHWNWO (and the reverse?) between Los Angeles Harbor  (West Basin) and New Orleans
S-LPCLHT (and the reverse?) between Logistics Park, IL and Los Angeles Harbor  (TICTF)
S-LPCLHW (and the reverse?) between Logistics Park, IL and LA Harbor  (West Basin)
S-MEMOIG (and the reverse?) between Memphis and Oakland International Gateway
S-MEMWAT (and the reverse?) between Memphis and Watson, CA

B-PEALAC between Pearland, TX (Houston), and Los Angeles
B-PHXWSP between Phoenix and Willow Springs (Chicago)
B-SBDWSP between San Bernardino and Willow Springs (Chicago)  

3.      Coal

In 1991/2. Coal trains ran between York Canyon and power plants on the Coronado Subdivision, e.g. the Tucson Electric Power Co. plant at Springerville, AZ.

In 1994, coal trains ran to and from the Plains Escalante Generating Station, on the Escalante Western RR from Escalante Junction, NM

4.      Steel

Steel coil travels in manifest trains between Kansas City and Richmond (H-KCRI)

In 1994, the following Santa Fe trains were observed on this route:
UKCPB and UPBKC unit steel coil (w.)/empties between Kansas City and Pittsburg, CA

In 2004, the following trains were observed on this route:
U-ESLPIT and U-PITESL unit steel coil (w.)/empties between East St. Louis and Pittsburg, CA
U-PUESBD, rail, between Pueblo and San Bernardino

5.      Automotive

Automotive traffic into Southern California from the midwest runs into a major automotive yard in San Bernardino, just west of the passenger stations. Much of this traffic enters the former Santa Fe line in central Illinois, via connections from the Detroit area, but major portions of it also originate in Kansas City.

The following trains were observed in 1994 on this segment:
V-BACK (and the reverse?) between Barstow and ??
V-CHLA (and the reverse?) between Chicago and Los Angeles
V-KCLA (and the reverse?) between Kansas City and Los Angeles
V-KCPX (and the reverse?) between Kansas City and Richmond
V-RIPV (and the reverse?) between Richmond and Pearland Yard (Houston), loads east

In 2004, the following BNSF trains ran over this line:
V-KCKPHX
and V-PHXKCK between Kansas City (Argentine) and Phoenix
V-MCISBD and V-SBDMCI between McCook, IL (for IHB), and San Bernardino

V-RICMDO (and the reverse?) between Richmond and ??
V-SDGCLO (and the reverse?) between San Diego and Clovis, NM
V-SDGMCI
(and the reverse?) between San Diego and McCook, IL

6.      Grain

In 1991/2, the following trains were observed on this segment:
G-AMBA (and the reverse?) between Amarillo and Barstow
G-DCKP (and the reverse?) between ?? and ??

In 2004, the following BNSF trains ran over this line:
G-BAYGUC between Bayard, IA, and Guernsey, CA
G-DNEKIN between ?? and Kings Park, CA
G-EDUELP between East Dubuque, IA, and El Paso, TX
G-HONKIN between Holdredg
e, NE, and Kings Park, CA
G-ISISWA between Island Park, IA, and Swanson, CA
G-LINSWA between Lincoln, NE and Swanson, CA
G-LIPSTO between ?? and Stockton, CA
X-FRSABE between Fresno and Aberdeen, SD
X-FRSJSD between Fresno, CA, and Jefferson, SD
X-SWAEDU between Swanson, CA, and East Dubuque, IA

7.      Chemicals

 

8.      Oil and other tanks

In 2004, the following trains were observed on this route:
X-ABEWAT and X-WATABE, ethanol (w.)/empty (e.) tank cars between Aberdeen, SD, and Watson, CA, every four days

9.      General Merchandise

There are two grades of general merchandise manifest service on these lines: M—Priority Manifest; H—Standard Manifest. In some lanes, the priorities may be different, so that an H-ALTBAR may be balanced by an M-BARALT (say).

In 1991/2, the following Santa Fe trains were observed on this route:
238 (and the reverse?) between ?? and Barstow (and Los Angeles?)
338 (and the reverse?) between Kansas City and Barstow (and Los Angeles?)
368 (and the reverse?) between Kansas City and Los Angeles (or Barstow?)
448 and 844 between La Junta and Barstow
528 (and the reverse?) between Dallas, FW or Houston and Barstow
668 and 866 between Waynoka, OK and Los Angeles (or Barstow?)
757 (and the reverse?) between Phoenix and Belen
951 (and the reverse?) between Richmond and Chicago
952 (and the reverse?) between Richmond and Streator, IL, for ConRail
Q-BAHO (and the reverse?) between Barstow and Houston

In 1994, the following Santa Fe trains were observed on this route:
H-BALJ and H-LJBA between Barstow and La Junta
H-BATE (and the reverse?) between Barstow and Temple, TX
H-KCBA (and the reverse?) between Kansas City and Barstow
H-KCRI (and the reverse?) between Kansas City (Argentine) and Richmond
H-RISR (and the reverse?) between Richmond and Streator, IL. , for ConRail
M-ELBA (and the reverse?) between ?? and Barstow
M-KCPX (and the reverse?) between Kansas City (Argentine) and Phoenix
M-PXBE (and the reverse?) between Phoenix and Belen

In 1999, the following BNSF trains were observed on this route:
HMODSRX9 the “wine train” between Modesto and Streator, IL, for ConRail

In 2004, the following BNSF trains ran over this line:
H-ALTBAR (and the reverse?) between Alliance, TX, and Barstow, CA
H-BARGAL (and the reverse?) between Barstow, CA and Galesburg, IL
H-BARKCK and H-KCKBAR between Barstow, CA and Kansas City (Argentine)
H-BARTPL (and the reverse?) between Barstow, CA and Temple, TX
H-BARTUL and H-TULBAR between Barstow, CA and Tulsa, OK
H-DENBAR (and the reverse?) between Denver and Barstow, CA

H-MODSEL the “wine train” between Modesto and Selkirk, NY, via CSX
H-PTRBAR (and the reverse?) between Houston (PTRA) and Barstow, CA
M-AMSBAR (and the reverse?) between Amarillo (South Yard) and Barstow
M-BARALT (and the reverse?) between Barstow and Alliance, TX
M-KCKPHX
(and the reverse?) between Kansas City (Argentine) and Phoenix
M-SLABAR (and the reverse?) between Slaton, TX, and Barstow

10.  Local Peddlers

In 1991/2, the following Santa Fe trains were observed on this route:
“Cadiz turn” from Barstow

In 1994, the following Santa Fe trains were observed on this route:
L-AZ011 and L-AZ021, one each way between Belen and (at least) Gallup

In 2004, the following BNSF trains ran over this line:
Flagstaff Switcher
Newlson Road Switcher (RSWE 009)
Seligman Local