A Crossing of the Panhandle & Santa Fe Railway and the Fort Worth & Denver South Plains Railway
In an attempt to capture a larger share of Texas Panhandle cotton shipping which was dominated by the Santa Fe, the Fort Worth and Denver South Plains Railroad, a subsidiary of the Fort Worth & Denver (FW&D) Railroad, began constructing rail lines in 1928 to penetrate the Texas south plains. This included construction of a line from Lubbock to Silverton which crossed the P&SF at Lockney. This line provided the FW&D with a route between Lubbock and Fort Worth via connections to other FW&D rail lines at Sterley and Estelline.
The P&SF and FW&D lines through Lockney remained active for many decades, and in the 1960s, one of the last numbered interlocking assignments, Tower 212, was given to the crossing at Lockney. The necessity for automating the interlocking was driven by the significant volumes of traffic carried by these lines despite the fact that they were operated primarily as branches. At Floydada, the Santa Fe connected with the Frisco-owned Quanah, Acme & Pacific Railroad at what became an important transcontinental rail link for traffic exchanges between the Frisco and the Santa Fe.
In the early 1970s, the Frisco and the Santa Fe agreed to move their transcontinental connection to Avard, Oklahoma, greatly reducing the traffic through the Floydada connection and Lockney. In 1989, the FW&D abandoned its south plains lines east of Plainview, retaining only a branch line from Plainview to Dimmitt. A year later, Santa Fe sold the Plainview - Floydada line to short-line operator American Railway Corporation, but it has since been abandoned. Today, trains no longer pass through Lockney.
Aerial Photo - Tower 212 Site
The rights-of-way of the P&SF and FW&D rail lines through Lockney are easily visible in
this aerial photo imagery provided by the US Geologic Survey. The imagery shows a single
connection existed between the two lines on the north side of the interlocker. The P&SF
line went to Plainview (northwest) and Floydada (southeast) while the FW&D line went to
Sterley and Silverton (northeast) and Lubbock (southwest). Both lines are now abandoned.