The name of El Paso’s professional soccer team – the Locomotive – represents more than strength, power and forward momentum.

It pays tribute to the key role the railroad played in the growth and development of the Paso del Norte region and the borderland’s recent revival.

“The Locomotive name represents the type of team we want to have on the field in terms of being leaders, being strong, pulling its own weight and moving the community forward,” said Alan Ledford, president of MountainStar Sports, which owns the soccer team as well as the El Paso Chihuahuas Triple-A baseball team.

Imagine, back in the 1880s, before modern cars were invented, trains were used to carry food, building materials, mail – and people – to towns across America. They helped remote frontier towns like El Paso grow.

The first railroads in El Paso came about in May 1881, but the first wood bridge here was washed away in 1884. El Paso & Southwestern Railroad arrived in 1902, connecting to the rest of the world.

El Paso’s Union Depot, near Downtown, was the first passenger train station to be built in the United States specifically for international railway traffic as trains traveled into Mexico. It was completed in 1906.

Today, El Paso is in the middle of another growth spurt – especially Downtown –with old historic buildings being renovated, new businesses bringing jobs, and entertainment venues such as the ballpark, Topgolf and iFly coming to town.

The Locomotive FC is the latest sign of that forward momentum.

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