Corsicana to Waco
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Corsicana to Waco abandoned in 1980's or 1990's. From Corsicana went west to the wye (about S 37th Street), then through Purdon, Hubbard, Mount Calm, Axtell, and Waco. I don't know the details of the line west from Atco (just west of Waco), but I remember when it went all the way to McGregor. It eventually ended at Gatesville, but may have gone even further to Hamilton.
Yes, the line did indeed go all the way to Hamilton, and it didn't stop there, either. Just west of Hamilton it branched into two lines, with one leg going to Stephenville, and the other going to Comanche. Not sure on the dates of abandonment west of Waco, other than it was cut back to Lime City in 1972. The Corsicana-Lime City section was abandoned in 1988.
This isn't exactly a Corsicana-to-Waco thing, but a McGregor thing, and I didn't see a page for SLSW abandonments west of Waco...
There's an old decrepit depot just a stone's throw from the SpaceX rocket testing facility. Coordinates: 31.401863, -97.458972
It doesn't appear to be on the main Cotton Belt route, but was probably part of some sort of service to the old industrial/weapons facility there.
Looking at the aerials, it looks like the service line may have connected to both the SLSW and (what's now the) BNSF.
We moved into our current home in 1974. The SSW line was still running, mostly on the dirt. It was always a hoot as I sometimes you could hear them fo, seems like hours. They seldom , guesstimate, went over 10 mph if they could nit on the track. Lots of derails. I heard a rumor that to abandon a line required government approval, and if they spent more time on the ground than on the rail they would complain the line was in irreparable shape and ask for abandonment. Not sure about that one.
Then in 88 no mo whistles, however I have one in my shop that brings back memories
I have a few photos of bridges that remain in place just east of Richland Creek will post once accepted. Also a couple of sticks of 95lb rail remain next to roadbed behind Big Lots Store in Corsicana.
We run on this line still west of waco and service lehigh cement at its farthest point. The track is 10mph and horrible. The old railroaders always said it went to gatesville and serviced an old bomb facility underground and terminated. The line into corsicana now connects to the union pacific line and turns south toward houston. There used to be an interlocker at the union pacific depot in corsicana were it crossed heading to waco. There's an old texas electric passenger car near it now. The line wyed on the west side of corsicana near the old walmart and went to hillsboro also. We abandoned the old cotton belt yard at waco just east of the present day union pacific(katy) yard around 2008. It was right behind the old general tire plant. The line crossed the katy headed toward gatesville. The old cotton belt bridge is still across the brazos rive parallel the the katy bridge.
The cottonbelt from corsicana abandoned in the 80s ran (slowly) near our house. I have a question. The line in McGregor is a pickup spot for Amtrac and the line runs east to some factories. Who ownes that line today ane is it the ols cotton belt line? Forgive typos. Big fingers small screen
Jim, the line in mcgregor is the santa fe. The old cotton belt line used to cross the santa fe at mcgregor. The santa fe line going east runs into temple. The old cotton belt line is gone from lehigh cement southwest of waco(richie) to gateville. I believe the grain elevator just north of the santa fe line adjacent to hwy 84 in mcgregor is part of the old cotton belt but everything else is gone. Theres an old cotton belt depot in gateville. I dont know if thats the original location or if it was moved. I never could tell where the line actually entered gateville.
Service on the line was discontinued October 14, 1985 when SP started operations between Hearne and East Waco. The 53.8 mile Cotton Belt line between Corsicana and East Waco was abandoned June 29, 1988. Authority was per ICC Docket No. ICC AB-39 Sub 10X. Cotton Belt abandonment data compiled by David Bernstein for the 2007 Cotton Belt Symposium.
The Lehigh Cement plant is on the Gatesville/Waco line. From the 1980s to the 1990s, the line splitting off toward Corsicana had been abandoned, but in Waco, the line split again just at Interstate 35, south of the Forrest Street bridge. This is where it went through downtown Waco, paralleling the old Katy line. Even at that point, the Gatesville/Waco line had been abandoned, save for a short point in McGregor which serviced a grain elevator.
Sometime between 1995 and 2003, a second connection was made just east of Valley Mills and Franklin, rendering the downtown section irrelevant, and by mid-2003, the rails through downtown had largely been dismantled (some rails and even a signal or two still remain). From the spur near Valley Mills Road, the line still goes to Lehigh Cement.
This seems to have been a slow process as despite the disconnection in 2003, more rails and signals have disappeared over the years. On the north end of town, where the original spur was, it still serviced what is now Tejas Logistics and M. Lipsitz Recycling. The spur went even farther up to a facility on Hood Street (which I don't know what it was). I don't think it was operational by the late 1990s at all, but I remember the tracks were still there crossing Waco and Dallas Streets pretty much through the middle of the intersection. To this day you can still see where it was paved over. In 2009, the Lipsitz spur was disconnected from the Tejas Logistics spur, and a few years later the Tejas Logistics spur was disconnected from the main line. By 2012, it had returned, but the Lipsitz spur was gone, probably because they had built a new spur-connected facility to the southeast of town in the mid-2000s.
To Chris in Austin- Thank you for your input. I have never understood why Amtrak has a depo of sorts on the old Cotton Belt line. Have never googled that area but I assume it goes back to BNSF via a switch?.
I guess that line is just a short spur today?
Why not put the pick up point on the BNSF line?
I well remember the Gatesville Depot. My family was from Whitehall about 6 miles out from Gatesville on 215. If I remember correctly the Depot is now where it was at that time. After abandoning the Hamilton line I am curious if there was a wye in Gatesville or near to that area.