Belen to Texico (Lone Star Junction)

The Transcon approaching from the north-northwest joins with the original main line south from Albuquerque to El Paso at Belen Junction (MP 697.6), where the speed limit is 10 mph. The 18-track Belen yard and on-line fuel racks (a set of three at each end of the yard), a thousand-mile inspection point, are on the east side of this southerly-heading line between Belen Junction and El Paso Junction, south of the SR 309 (Reinken Avenue) overbridge, while the erstwhile passenger depot is on the west side, on 1st Street, on this 30 mph, Eight Main Tracks (including the on-line fuel-racks) line, which has crossovers at Belen (MP 896.9), at an altitude of 4,785 feet. At El Paso Junction (MP 895.6), the single track line to El Paso continues straight ahead while the 8MT turns east-southeast to Jarales (MP 894.8), where a loop track joins from the southwest, there are crossovers as the 8MT reduce to 2MT, CTC, and the speed limit is 70 mph.

The line crosses over the Rio Grande at River Bridge (MP 893.9), where the speed limit is 50 mph before resuming 70 mph, and begins climbing eastward immediately east of the river, towards the Sandia Mountains, twenty miles away, turning south past a dirt road grade crossing, detectors at MP 892.2, and then southeast at crossovers at Madrone (MP 889.0), past detectors at MP 886.8 and crossovers at Bodega (MP 884.2), turning east-southeast at the 12,100 ft. siding on the south side east from Becker (MP 882.1) to the crossovers at Beevers (MP 879.3),  past detectors at MP 877.8, to the 8,465 ft. siding from West Sais to East Sais (MP 875.0), where the line reduces to single track, CTC, and the speed limit drops to 50 mph, for the passage through Abo Canyon, a rocky defile with seven crossings of the Abo arroyo on the steady 2.5% climb up the west slope of the mountains leading to the western edge of the high plains. The canyon sides are covered in grass, with scattered trees and layers of rock visible in places, like a layer-cake, along with rocky outcroppings.

At the east end of Sais the line makes a sharp turn to the south, past the first of those bridges—a deck girder bridge with four concrete piers (MP 874.2), a cutting and Sais Quarry, where it turns curvily east-southeast, past the second bridge—a curved deck girder bridge with three concrete piers (MP 873.8), with the mountainside to the northeast and the ground falling away to the southwest, a detector at MP 873.5, Intermediate Signals at MP 873.3, another cutting, the third bridge—also a deck girder bridge, lower than the first two, with three concrete piers (MP 872.9), a turn south with a small hill to the southwest and the main mountainside to the northeast, a curve back to the northeast passing through the fourth bridge—a curved deck girder bridge with three concrete piers at MP 872.2—on the curve, another cut, and Intermediate Signals just east of the cut, and turns east-southeast past the remainder of the bridges—the fifth, a deck girder bridge with two concrete piers (MP 871.7), 200 yards, the sixth, a curved deck girder bridge with two concrete piers (MP 871.5), a 100 yard long deep cut with slide fences, and the seventh, a deck girder bridge with three concrete piers (MP 871.4), followed by another deep cut with slide fences and a concrete road bridge (US 60) overhead at MP 871, just west of Scholle.

Two Main Tracks, CTC resume at Scholle (MP 870.3), where the speed limit rises to 70 mph, as the line turns north-northeast and then northeast, past Intermediate Signals at MP 868.4, still in a wider portion of the canyon, past detectors and crossovers at Kayser (MP 867.4), where the speed limit is 45 mph, US 60 to the south, a bridge over Abo Arroyo (MP 866), detectors at MP 862.8, crossovers at Abo (MP 862.4), where the speed limit is 55 mph, detectors at MP 856.1, SR 55 bridging overhead, and crossovers at Mountainair (MP 854.8, el. 6,470 feet), top of the canyon, where there is a two-storey depot on the north side of the line in the standard southwestern architecture of the line from here to Clovis—stucco construction, red tile roof, and arched, paved, open but roofed, areas at each end—and the speed limit rises to 70 mph for the trip across the high plains of eastern New Mexico. Abo Pueblo dates from 1150, and was abandoned in the 16th-century. The modern town is nearly abandoned, also. The grade from Belen to Mountainair is a steady 1.2%. At Mountainair, the line enters the high plains, with horse and cattle ranching being the typical lineside industry as far as Melrose. The line is on a plateau as far as the Pecos River, just west of Fort Sumner.

The line continues northeast, past East Mountainair (MP 853.5), detectors at MP 850.3, and crossovers and a 12,416 ft, siding on the south side from Broncho (MP 850.0) to CP 8473 (MP 847.3), where the line is heading north-northeast, turning east-southeast near detectors at MP 844.9 past crossovers at Willard (MP 839.9) and detectors at MP 837.9, and then northeast again, on a scenic curve, past crossovers at Silio (MP 834.2), detectors at MP 832.4, CP 8302 (MP 830.2), where a 10,593 ft. center siding starts (with the switch heaters that characterize all switches here on the high plains), that ends at the crossovers at Lucy (MP 828.0), and detectors at CP 8251 (MP 825.1), start of a 9,786 ft. siding on the north side to Culebra (MP 823.0), where the line turns southeast to detectors at MP 820.1, south and southeast again past crossovers at Dunmoor (MP 817.7) and east-northeast past detectors at MP 815.7 and a 14,959 ft. siding and extra tracks on the north side from Pedernal (MP 815.5) to crossovers at CP 8125 (MP 812.5) to crossovers at Negra (MP 807.8), where an old water tank remained for years on the south side, and the line turns east-southeast.

There are detectors at MP 804.6, Encino (MP 803.8), a jog southeast and then east-southeast again, as the line climbs eastbound, Carnero (MP 797.8), where a stretch of single track, CTC, begins, a jog southeast and then east-southeast again, a 10,665 ft. siding on the south side at Tejon (MP 793.9-MP 791.7), where the speed limit is 60 mph and the line turns east-northeast, a detector at MP 791.0, an embankment containing within it a bridge over the UP (former SP, former El Paso & Northeastern) Golden State Route line from El Paso to Tucumcari, West Vaughn (MP 789.2), where the line turns east, Vaughn (MP 788.5), where there is a two-storey southwestern architecture depot on the south side of the line and the line turns southeast, there is a connection on the north side with the UP line that passes below, and a small yard on the north side, and 2MT, CTC, begin again, with speed limit back to 70 mph, through the sea of golden grassland stretching to the horizon, detectors at MP 786.4, detectors and crossovers at CP 7817 (MP 781.7), after which the tracks separate for a short distance, coming back together at the detectors at West Joffre (MP 776.2), crossovers at Joffre (MP 772.8), where the line turns south and then southeast again, detectors at MP 771.0, where the line curves east and then northeast, and then the 11,960 ft. siding on the south side east from Duoro (MP 769.0) to East Duoro (MP 766.9).

The line continues northeast past detectors at MP 766.1, and crossovers at CP 7650 (MP 765.0), turns southeast past detectors at MP 762.6 and the 11,126 ft. siding on the south side in the undulating countryside at Cardenas (MP 762.5-760.2), south past crossovers at CP 7581 (MP 758.1), east-southeast past detectors at MP 756.6 and the 11,171 ft. siding on the south side at Buchanan (MP 756.1), where the speed limit is 65 mph for the subsequent curves, and then northeast, east-northeast and just south of east, gradually edging east-southeast, past Intermediate Signals at MP 752.2, detectors and crossovers at Largo (MP 750.5), where the speed limit is 70 mph again, detectors at MP 746.0, crossovers at Yeso (MP 743.2), detectors at MP 740.5, Evanola (MP 737.0), detectors at MP 734.8, crossovers at Curry (MP 732.1), detectors at CP 7305 (MP 730.5), and a 10,944 ft. siding on the north side ending at the crossovers at Ricardo (MP 728.1), turning north-northeast past detectors at MP 725.5, CP 7247 (MP 724.7), where the line starts a seven-mile descent to the Pecos River bridge, the 11,845 ft. siding on the south side ending at the crossovers at Agudo (MP 722.2), and CP 7197 (MP 719.7), where a short stretch of single track, CTC, starts, with speed limit 65 mph.

There is a turn north-northwest, then northeast past a detector at MP 719.6 and a long deck girder bridge, with many masonry piers, over the Pecos River, and southeast to Fort Sumner (MP 716.8), where there is a southwestern architecture depot on the north side, 2MT, CTC, resume and the speed limit returns to 70 mph, as the line turns just south of east, gradually curving east past detectors, crossovers, and a 7,100 ft. siding at Bailey (MP 715.5), detectors at MP 711.0, crossovers at La Lande (MP 706.4), and detectors at MP 705.8, turning east-northeast past the US 60 road bridge at MP 704.5, Taiban (MP 702.8) and detectors at MP 699.7, through countryside with mesas among the grassland, east past crossovers at Tolar (MP 697.0), and southeast and then east again past detectors at MP 694.5, Krider (MP 693.4), detectors at MP 690.5, crossovers at Cantara (MP 685.9), where the line abuts the USAF Melrose bombing range, detectors at MP 684.3, detectors at MP 680.1, crossovers at Melrose (MP 678.0),the western limit of cultivation where lineside grain elevators start appearing among the grain fields, detectors at MP 675.3, St. Vrain, detectors at MP 669.8, crossovers at Grier (MP 669.7), Peavey (MP 668.0), where there is a southwestern architecture depot on the north side and grain elevators on the north side east of the depot, detectors at MP 665.0, flat grasslands, detectors at MP 663.0, extra track on the south side at Gallaher Air Base (MP 662.8), and Gallaher (MP 660.0) on Track 2, where three yard tracks on the south side start.

The line continues east past crossovers at West Clovis (MP 658.6), west end of the 13-track Clovis Yard on the south side, where the speed limit drops to 50 mph and the Carlsbad line heads away south from a wye on the south side, CP 6579 (MP 657.9), where  a 9,300 ft. siding to the north side begins, the Hull Street road bridge overhead, a four-track on-line fuel rack on the main lines, grain elevators on the north side west of the southwestern architecture depot on the north side at Clovis (MP 657.6), where the former Harvey House still stands, adjacent to the depot on the north side,  an 8,300 ft. siding on the south side begins, and there are shuttle-enabled grain elevators on the north side east of the depot, crossovers at East Clovis (MP 655.7), where the yard and both sidings end and a 70 mph speed limit resumes, crossovers at Cooks (MP 653.2), extra track at Holly Sugar Corporation (MP 652.6), detectors at MP 651.2, crossovers and a 6,903 ft. siding at West Texico (MP 649.1), and CP 6476 (Lone Star Junction, MP 647.6), right on the New Mexico-Texas line, where the Slaton sub. heads southeast to Lubbock and beyond, and the Hereford sub. turns northeast to Amarillo, Kansas City and Chicago, there are grade crossings on both lines east of the junction, and grain elevators on the east side of the main line east of the junction.