The Texas Compound is located at the 9000 block of Highway 290 West, Austin, Texas. The project commenced in 1984 with the acquisition of a Santa Fe Railroad Depot at San Saba, Texas which was set for retirement and demolition. This building was purchased from the Atchinson, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway Company for $1 per square foot and moved to 9120 Highway 290 West, Austin Texas in the summer of 1986. At that time this address was out in the country, far beyond the Austin city limits. Later acquisitions included smaller Santa Fe outbuildings from Coleman, Cleburne, Sanger and Barnhart along with boxcars obtained from Cameron and Miami, Texas. These railroad structures have been leased continuously since 1986 to a Purina Feed dealer.
In later years, additional acreage was purchased in the same block, to the west, and the project has continued. Later acquisitions include the Santa Fe Railroad Depot from Dumas, the United Oilfield Supply warehouse from Snyder, and Texaco bulk fuel warehouses from McCamey and Spur. In addition to these West Texas structures, all of which were rescued from demolition, the developer has snatched five old stainless steel railroad passenger cars from the jaws of hungry scrap yards. These cars represented the pinnacle of luxury travel in the prime of the railroad streamliner era. Five of these cars have been relocated to the property, being three "Texas Zephyr" Railroad passenger cars, and two Southern Pacific "Sunset Limited" passenger cars. The 'Texas Zephyr" passenger train was operated daily between Dallas and Denver, via Wichita Falls and Amarillo, by the Colorado & Southern (Burlington) Railroad from 1940 to 1967. The cars have were first built for Chicago, Burlington & Quincy's "Denver Zephyr" in 1936, and later assigned to Texas service. The "Sunset Limited" passenger train was operated daily between New Orleans and Los Angeles, via San Antonio and El Paso, by the Texas & New Orleans Railroad (Southern Pacific) starting in the 1880s. The cars here are from the first streamlined cousist, placed in service in 1950.
Most recently we have relocated to the site the old National Oilfield Supply warehouse from a ghost town in the Permian Basin named Midkiff. This structure was built in 1944, when wartime steel availability for civilian purposes was quite limited. The original corrugated iron for this structure was so deteriorated that it is being given a new skin upon restoration.
An application has been submitted for a site development permit to enable the location and restoration on vacant acreage to the immediate west of four more West Texas structures. Potential rescue candidates have been located.
Thematically, this project represents the dawn of the machine age in West Texas between 1900 and 1950. The oldest structure is the San Saba Depot, built in 1911. The newest items are the Southern Pacific railroad cars, placed in service across Texas in 1950. The project is focused on infrastructure of the railroad and petroleum industries in Texas.
All of the structures and railroad cars are restored for lease to commercial tenants.
In addition to the Texas Compound, the developer has also restored a Santa Fe Railroad bar-lounge car that is currently leased for excursion train service to the Austin Steam Train Association. Information about that project is shown under the "Nambe" tab on this website.