www.txrrhistory.com - Tower 188 - Farwell

A Junction of the Panhandle & Santa Fe Railway Along the New Mexico Border


Farwell is located on the New Mexico state line approximately 90 miles northwest of Lubbock. The town was founded in 1899 when the Pecos & Northern Texas (P&NT) Railroad built a line from Amarillo to New Mexico. In 1901, the P&NT was acquired by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. Santa Fe was planning a revision to its transcontinental main line that would send most traffic via Amarillo instead of Raton Pass, and the line between Farwell and Amarillo would become part of this "Belen Cutoff" which opened for business in 1908.  In 1914, a line was built from Lubbock to Farwell by Santa Fe to connect with the Belen Cutoff. This new line provided a connection between Santa Fe operations in southeast Texas and routes into New Mexico and the West.

The date of the establishment of Interlocker 188 in Farwell is not known, but it appears to have been between 1937 and 1946. Although Farwell was not a junction of two different railroads, the Texas Railroad Commission had begun requiring approved numbered interlockers for all major junctions in the late 1920s.

Both lines remain very active, owned by Santa Fe successor BNSF.

Looking east at Farwell, the two rail lines diverge. The near track is curving to the southeast toward Lubbock. The far track (double track main) is the
the Santa Fe main line to Amarillo. It is not likely that a manned tower ever existed at this location. Instead, a cabin interlocker or a remotely
controlled interlocker was probably used.

Last Revised: 10/13/2005 JGK - Contact the Texas Interlocking Towers Page.