The International-Great Northern once had a line bewteen Fort Worth and Waco. Coming under the control of Missouri Pacific, portions of the line were subsequently abandoned, and much of the right-of-way has been reclaimed by nature. However, some of the track south of Fort Worth still exists and is in service by the Fort Worth & Western as the Everman Industrial Lead. These pictures show the stretch of track through the town of Everman; these tracks are south of the Everman Industrial Lead, which was recently abandoned.
Fort Worth to Waco
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I've seen some of the abandoned ROW in Everman. (I live in Mansfield.) There's a crossing and stretch of track that still exists in Everman that runs into a thicket of sunflowers.
The ROW was abandoned by Missouri Pacific From Everman southward in 1967. It can still easily be followed south through Lillian, The "Homesteads" (A mobile home community between Lillian and Venus), Venus, Maypearl (Where you can still see rails buried in the street), Italy (Where a huge concrete bridge support still stands. This is where it crossed the MKT's Waxahachie-Hillsboro line), Irene, and Malone.
I grew up living, and still currently live, not too far from the right-of-way of this line. This is another one that I'm VERY surprised isn't modeled more often. While probably not as popular as The Katy, The MoPac was also a very popular railroad in Texas. This line also had numerous interchanges....ITSELF(Which would later become UP)-Fort Worth, Waco. SSW-Waco, Mertens. MKT-Waco, Italy (Possibly....The lines crossed via trestle, but satellite imagery reveals a curving spur running off the MKT line, part of which is now covered by a road, that appears to intersect the MP line). TBV-Malone. BNSF(ATSF)-Venus (Here again, possibly. The two lines crossed via trestle, and no evidence exists that they interchanged. No evidence exists TODAY, that is....They certainly could have....). SP-Waco. TEXAS ELECTRIC INTERURBAN-Italy.
Just dug a pool in my back yard and graded for grass-found multiple spikes and other odd items. Just found this map and the railroad went thru my property.
There was no interchange at Italy, Tx. I will get pics soon, from satalight images look for cemetary as the IGN ran through it and beside the lumberyard through town and on to the south. I can remember where the IGN depot was but it was torn down. I also found after a City cleaning the Dallas to Waco interurban depot in Red Oak Texas. Pics coming.
Sorry I forgot at the N end of cemetary there is covered in trees one abutment, the other side was removed when they widened HWY 77.
OK....Thanks Robert for that information. I had always wondered if, hoped, and kind of assumed that the line interchanged with the MKT at Italy, but I guess it didn't. Thanks for clearing that up. It probably didn't interchange with ATSF at Venus, neither. I haven't been able to find any evidence that it did.
Even up into the mid-1990s, there were concrete bridge pillars still standing just north of Lillian, where the line crossed a creek via trestle. They were clearly visible from FM 2738. Growing up so close to this line, I have often heard the legend that a man fell into the wet cement during construction of the bridge, and was left there until the cement dried. The bridge pillar became his final earthly resting place. Can anyone verify this??
This line still exists as stated from old ginny(I&GN) yard on the south side of the texas and pacific(up) main line downtown Fort Worth through Everman. Used by the Fort Worth and Western RR to service miller brewery etc. It's hard to follow south of Venus through Maypearl. From Italy it continued south to Bellmead and southeast Waco on to Mart. The abandoned road bed is still visible along hwy 6 for a ways. The UP connected the line at two places in Waco. Once under hwy 6 overpass where knife river construction is to the old southern pacific line from Bremond and once at Bellmead near the ssw(cotton belt) interlocker to the katy main line to Fort Worth. The remainder of the abandoned stretch from Waco to Mart to Marlin crossed at North Marlin. The MOP(UP) connected the original line at south Marlin to the SP line from Bremond and took out the stretch down ward st. in Marlin. The rest of the line is still in use from south Marlin on to Hearne(valley junction) parallel to the Brazos River. Then on to Houston. There's an old cattle pen still in use at south Marlin where it looks like they used to load cattle on trains bound for Fort Worth before the MOP s-curved the track to connect to the sp line up from Bremond. The old right-of-way is visible at the moment between the katy yard at Bellmead and loop 340 where it was connected to the katy main line. However some sort of construction is under way in that area and it may be short lived.
Has anybody looked into transforming these tracks into hike and bike trails? It would be a very scenic route, direct shots between cities, and safe being away from major roads as bikers have to depend on streets to get about.
The Fort Worth and Western Everman Industrial Lead mostly runs through a bad neighborhood. (heavy emphasis on the "Hood" part) I wouldn't recommend attempting to get any pictures. You might get mugged. It also consists of predominately poor trackage-They have at least four derailments a year. It would be too costly to convert the rest of the line into a hike/bike trail, as most of it now is private property, and, just as mentioned above, portions of it run through "not so nice" neighborhoods. Safety would be a BIG issue. This is one of those lines that's best left alone and forgotten about, with the hope that it will forever fade away into history.
I was able to follow the grade on Google maps using the satellite feature. There are places where it is no longer visible but not to the point you can't follow it. Maypearl has restored their depot.
This ranks as one of my all-time favorite branch lines. I've always enjoyed railfanning this line, even back when UP had it, and exploring the abandoned part. Interesting how they had to stop the train, and manually flag the crossing at Berry Street....
Maypearl citizens have fortunately fixed up the I&GN depot in their town. Good news!
The I&GN apparently had an overpass in Venus to take the line over the Santa Fe. I'd love to see an old photo of it.
The I&GN route between Ft. Worth and Houston hosted at least one name train called the STAR. Possibly the TEXAS TRIANGLE operated on the line as well. I believe passenger service on the line ceased around 1950. There was a depot in East Waco for passenger service.
Google "Hometown by Handlebar." It's an around-town blog by a former Ft. Worth newspaper reporter who travels by bicycle. He has a report or two on the former I&GN roundhouse site in Ft. Worth.
The IGN did interchange with the Texas Electric (which paralled the MKT) in Italy. The "first carload of electrically-hauled freight" was transferred between the two in Italy during the late 1920's.
My name is Mr.Robert J.Hayes of Dallas,Texas.I am a movie Director,Writer and Actor.I am looking for old abandon rail road stations around in the Collion County area that is for sell with rail road tracks out in the front of it.If you have any info.on any of these stations that are for sell would your forward that info, to me alone with histroy and photos as well.The name of my movie that I will be directing is call HELL EXPRESS which I plan on going into production by 2018 or 2020.I already have over 15 people in my cast and still growing.I look forward to hearing from you very soon.Have a bless day.
@ Dennis Hogan
I don't believe there was an overpass at Venus. During abandonment, the RR would never have gone to the trouble to remove the long fill that would be needed to create such a flyover in this flat farm country and there is no evidence of the fill on either the north side of 67 or the south side. A FM road crosses over the line about 1/4 mile south of 67, the old roadbed was visible looking north up the line toward 67 from the farm to market road crossover until a housing development went in a few years ago. Also if you look just east of where the line crossed 67 there's a scrap yard. They use a portion of the old wye where IGN and ATSF connected to park gondolas on when they have big scrapping jobs to do. On google satellite maps, the tracks that made up the wye can be followed through the grass and weeds almost all the way to its connection on the IGN line. So it did connect with the Santa Fe at Venus.
There was an overpass where the IGN crossed over the MKT, right next to the cemetary. If you look at the Historic Aerial site, they have a 1964 photo and it clearly shows this overpass.
The I&GN did have an overpass in Venus according to USGS maps. You can view them at Historicaerials.com. No aerial photos, but the map portion shows approaches and two bridges: One over the Santa Fe, and one over US 67.
a 1995 satellite clearly shows a under pass being filled in at route 67 at Venus,TX
So which is it, overpass or underpass? The historicaerials.com topographical map from the early 60's shows a railroad overpass going over both HWY 67 and the Santa Fe tracks. There may have been an overpass embankment that was removed from the north side of 67 which would look like something being filled in on a satellite photo. I travelled through Venus for a time in 1992 while working in Waxahachie Tx and i know for certain there was no underpass there. I assumed there was a grade crossing at 67 and the Santa Fe because i never saw anything that told me different. The tracks over 67 had been gone nearly 30 years in 1995. However, there is a current google sat photo that clearly shows one leg of a wye curving south from the Santa Fe to the east of where the overpass was that could have connected the two roads at the south end of the overpass, but it is not shown in the topo map.
Lee Bowers, the Union terminal towerman who witnessed activity around the grassy knoll, died in a traffic accident after traveling northbound and crashing into a concrete bridge abutment "two miles southwest of Midlothian on highway 67".
What other concrete bridge abutments existed near that location in 1966?
Does anyone know of any pictures or news articles of the accident? I'm just curious of the bridge itself - not the conspiracy theories.
I'd like to see pictures of the overpass myself. Someone did a lot of work hauling away the dirt used for the fills up to the bridge abutments. It would certainly eliminate the theory of an underpass needing to be filled in wouldn't it?
I used to live in the homesteads of alvarado on marianna way in 2011 and there were visible R.R. tracks directly behind the mobile home i was living in which now is no longer there because it caught fire but my daughter used to play back there and told me about the tracks and my landlord had told me that the old railroad used to run through there. I find this very interesting. It also looks to me that my neighbors house when i lived there sits directly on top of the tracks.