Unit trains from Texas Pacifico are now hauling frac sand for Fort Worth based Maalt LP at their Big Lake terminal in West Texas. Despite the slump in the oil market, demand for frac sand continues to flow to the Midland Basin and the Wolfcamp Shale area. Deliveries of the frac sand mean the longer haul continues to be by rail, relieving truck traffic except for the final destination. The first phase of the Big Lake project involved constructing 10,000 feet of track for receiving rail shipments.
Last week the company received its first shipment in the way of a 75-car unit train that originated from Vista Sand.
A loop track is scheduled to be built as part of the Maalt Big Lake project. Maalt president Marty Robertson said in a news release that "this location is ideally positioned to serve the Wolfcamp Shale within the Midland Basin and should result in reduced logistics costs for sand delivered to the well for our customers. We see Big Lake being a terminal that will remain busy for many years to come."
Maalt LP specializes in transloading, trucking, storing and is a producer of frac sand. The Big Lake location, on a 205 acre site, is one of 12 transload locations located throughout Texas and Oklahoma.
Texas Pacifico operates the 391 mile long South Orient Railroad, which is a state of Texas owned entity. After the South Orient Railroad Company (SORR) expressed interest in abandoning the railroad, the state legislature (in 1999) appropriated $6 million to TxDOT for the purchase of the railroad infrastructure. In an earlier agreement (1991), the state already had acquired the railroad right of way and a security interest in the tracks. The South Orient sprung back into life several years ago with a dramatic uptick in freight traffic. Texas Pacifico obtained a 40-year operating lease with renewal options. TXPF has invested approximately $8 million in rehabilitation of the infrastructure. The SORR has one of five rail border crossings between Texas and Mexico, and one of eight between the U.S. and Mexico. The Texas side of international rail bridge at Presidio, Texas was destroyed by fire in 2008 and is being restored by Texas Pacifico. If connected, future plans could include a rail freight route between the deep water port of Topolobampo, Mexico on the west coast of Mexico through Presidio and Alpine in West Texas to major distribution center at Dallas-Fort Worth.