— ICC Abandonment Filings —
|Southern Pacific Railroad|
|Docket: AB-12 Sub 20||9/15/1975||Section: 1(18)|
|Application for authority to abandon three segments of railroad: (1) from MP 93.7 at Victoria, Victoria County westerly through Goliad County, to MP 143.0 at Beeville, Bee County, 31.3 mi.; (2) from MP 1.0 at Skidmore, Bee County, s'westerly through San Patricio County, to MP 40.9 at Alice, Jim Wells County, 39.9 mi, and (3) from MP 80.2 at Falfurrias, Brooks County southerly to MP 138.9 at Edinburg, Hidalgo County, 38.7 mi. in Brooks and Hidalgo Counties, all in the State of Texas.|
|Length: 129.9 miles|
— User Comments —
How sad that this railroad that once went through the heart of Falfurrias is no more. I remember when they were pulling up the tracks. They offered he rail road ties to the public for a limited time. My dad got about six of them and used it to the entrance of our ranch. This also happened shortly after the Laster's packed up and left the town they helped built. Leaving behind so many heart broken people who for so many years worked to keep the label and reputation of the Falfurrias Creamery as simply the best. Gone is the great milk it once produced for ALL SOUTH TEXAS and the trains that once picked up passengers and provisions.
I see they are building an overpass and northbound traffic lanes for Hwy 281 on the old roadbed.
I grew up on a farm about 2 miles NE of Falfurrias and about a mile east of the railroad track. The dirt road crossing was raised and so was hard to see if a train was coming. I use to see the steam engines at the station just north of the Riviera highway railroad crossing in Falfurrias. Regularly, lying in my bed at night in the late 40's and 50's I could hear that lonesome whistle blow at all the crossings far away and then the muted rattle of the cars behind. After all these years, I can hear that whistle blow: two longs, one short, one long, at each crossing. I moved away in '63, but came back to visit my mother often and I would see the increasingly rusty tracks. Then one year they were gone.
Amazing how one can miss these simple things of one's youth.
It is sad, what if a group of us south texans rebuilt that railroad. The current Eagle Ford Shale oil and gas play might benefit from a few more miles. As well as the sand and gravel and cargo movers.
I didn't think the SA&AP made it to Edinburg. I thought SP built that extension around 1928. Anyway...
There are three beautiful SP depots still standing in Edinburg, McAllen, and Brownsville.
Does anyone recall on which side of the 281 highway the tracks ran? Also does anyone remember If the tracks ran over the highway (bridge like)? Thanks
There are virtually no public trails or parks with any extensive trails beyond approximately 1 mile in length in south Texas for use by hikers, bicyclists, or equestrians. If you're just a little guy (in other words, not a large landowner with access to their own extensive real estate), you basically have little to no access to land, parkland, or trails for outdoor activities (other than the crowded public beaches). So I would love to see these abandoned rails turned into a Rails-to-Trails system trailway.
The SA&AP never built beyond Falfurrias. When the SP decided to extend into the Valley, they utilized the old SA&AP charter to do so. Regarding which side of US 281 the tracks ran, here is what the 1958 Texas Almanac maps indicate: From Alice to about 13 miles south of Falfurrias, tracks are east of US 281; At the 13 mile point the tracks cross over US 281 via an overpass & remain on the west side of US 281 into Edinburg.
There was a 4th Southern Pacific Depot in Harlingen. Unfortunately UP if they still owned it decided to raze it. I recall viewing just the Freight side as the Passenger side was already gone. How sad the city leadership bulldozed it. It was not in the books to be preserved. I do know someone took the lettering "Southern Pacific" and kept it. I am glad the MP Depot is still there but used a golf cart store. I heard they raped the inside of its values and sold them for money. I wonder what is upstairs of that Depot.
I grew up in Edimburg. I was born in 1947 at the Grandview Hospital. My dad and grandfather owned a dry cleaners on N. 10th st. and Lovett. Bofore the war dad had worked for the Railway Express Agency and knew alot of the conductors, engineers. I remember he would take me to the SP depot to watch a evening passenger train. I enlisted in the navy in 1966 and never spent a lot of time in Edinburg after that. I attended my high school 50th reunion in 2016, the changs that have occurred are remarkable.
I used to live in McAllen but don't anymore. To those who are asking where the tracks ran along US 281, I am very familiar with where they used to be and can still trace them out on satellite views. I also posted some photos to a Facebook group, and some additional info also went to the Texas Interlocking Towers website.
Basically, the tracks from Alice were on a still-existing embankment along the east side of US 281 from Alice to south of Falfurrias. In Falfurrias, a bypass of the highway now occupies the old ROW.
South of Falfurrias, where the Border Patrol checkpoint is now, the highway used to make an S-curve as it ducked under a plate girder bridge that carried the tracks over it. It used to be a sharp S curve, part of which is still present on private property. It was later made much less sharp (in the 70's?) and that ROW is faintly visible.
South of there, you simply have to trace out the route on Google Earth. It disappears in a couple of places but you can still pick it out. It gets tricky near San Manuel due to intersecting pipeline ROW's that can throw you off, but you can eventually find it as it heads south, passes west of Faysville (where it used to cross an old I&GN line) until the line picks up again in north Edinburg.