The Rockland Branch is one of those lines that I read about with great interest in the SP timetables I was able to get my hands on in the late 70's and early 80's. It was such a long line in comparison to the local branches that I wondered how trains on that line made any time at all! It also appeared that 6 axle power was allowed on this line. This was in sharp contrast to the Louisiana branches where a single 4 axle geep or switcher was the RULE. I'll let our new Texas Correspondant, Kevin Thompson tell you about this line that he was able to explore and photograph.
"Most of the power towards the end of the Rockland branch was four-axle GP9s, 35s, and 40s. However, when I was living in Lufkin during the early eighties it was fairly common to see 6-axle power of all styles. The industries served in the 1980s where mostly pulpwood landings in Koontz, Jasper, and Huntington and the Lufkin Trailer plant in Huntington or Homer, depending on who you talk to. Of course the post 1950's Rockland branch was really interesting because of it's isolated relationship with the rest of the friendly. On the north end it used the A&NR to reach the Rabbit line and on the south it traversed Santa Fe rails from Loeb Jct. to downtown Beaumont." - Kevin Thompson
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