Georgetown to Pershing

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  • States: Texas   
  • Railroads: MKT   
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This line was constructed in 1904 and served as the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad's mainline branch to Austin, TX. It branched from the Katy main at Granger, TX, and then headed west then south to Austin.

The line was abandoned from Georgetown south to Pershing, just outside Austin proper. It is not known when this section was abandoned, or for what reason.

Today, the northern end of the line between Granger and Georgetown is operated by the Georgetown Railroad, a local shortline. The southern end is still in use by the Austin Western Railroad, a subsidiary of Watco Company. Part of the line has also been opened for commuter operations.

Stations along the abandoned route south from Georgetown are Burkland, Pflugerville, Dessau, Iglehart, to Pershing.

This was abandoned sometime after MKT discontinued passenger service in 1964. Passenger trains (including the MKT-Frisco "Texas Special") stopped in downtown Austin at the MKT station on the northeast corner of Congress Avenue & 3rd street. From there to San Marcos, MKT had trackage rights on the Missouri Pacific (formerly IGN) line.

Kent M.
Austin, TX
7/2/2012

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So where is the Katy main from Granger? Where did it go? Is it the line through the gravel pit on the west of i-35? I thought the Katy and IGN shared track from Austin to San Marcos and then it split into two different main lines, one Katy the other IGN.

Paul
Dallas, TX
8/18/2012

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The existing track west of I35 has never been associated with the Katy. Originally the IG&N owned it. Currently it is called the Georgetown RR. Its busy as hell serving Texas Crushed Rock. This track originally connected to the Katy in Georgetown. The original Katy line still exists on the westside of Southwestern University in Georgetown. It is now part of the GRR. The existing Katy line runs northeast and crosses the San Gabriel river on an existing tru-truss bridge that needs painting. The line proceeds under SH 130 famous for its high speed limit. This part of the existing Katy has numerous SATX hoppers stored on its single track. Trees form a tunnel-like venue over the tracks. Observed February 6,2013.

Clyde Sifford
Georgetown, TX
2/7/2013

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I traveled recently down this raceway and noticed the parked hoppers. Didnt know they were SATX and that was the old MKT. Must be reduced coal loadings into their electric plants in SA and the hoppers are not needed. Probably using more Eagle Ford natural gas! Where does that line go from 130? Appears to head east somewhere?

Paul
Dallas
2/11/2013

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There is an intact Plate Girder bridge behind a housing development just

south of the bridge piers noted on the map (just south of US 79) I have pictures of it. There also are bridge piers that can be seen about 3 or 4 miles north of where the MKT and the H&TC separate (where MKT turns north). They have a date on them. It would be fun to be able to add pictures to this site. I note also, the Bartlett and Western is missing.

Here's a good reference for that one.

Bartlett and Western History 1909-1935

http://www.williamson-county-historical-commission.org/bartlett_texas/Bartlett-Florence_Railroad_also_known_as_the_Bartlett & Western_Railroad.htm

I have searched but found no trace of the Bartlett & Western in Bartlett or anywhere along the route. I did find a Sanborn map that shows exactly where the station and rails were located in Bartlett.

Georgetown RR stores RR cars for UP. That's one reason you see all the

cars there.

Ed Bradford
Pflugerville, TX
2/22/2013

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My records show

Georgetown to Austin MKT Line 1904-1976 29.9 mi

Granger to Georgetown MKT Line 1903- 15.5 mi

As noted the tracks from Georgetown are still there all the way to Granger.

Ed Bradford
Pflugerville, TX
2/22/2013

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Now for the rest of the story! What happened to the MKT right-of-way, Georgetown to Austin? First the MKT connected to the IG&N in Georgetown just north of 15th St.(100-feet west of Maple). The existing fences and obvious right-of-way geometrics give it away. An existing signal base on the southside of 15th approximately 50 feet east of the GRR is evidence also. You can see the embankment proceed southeasterly up to nearby San Jose Park. Past the park the right-of-way(ROW)becomes Maple Street on an obvious embankment. After about a quarter mile Maple ends and the obvious ROW continues southeasterly. Get on Bing Maps Aerial and you can follow the ROW, sans rails, all the way to the HT&C in Austin.

You can see it's ROW crossing University, Old Settlers Dr., US 79, adjacent Union Pacific mainline at a 75 degree angle, Brushey Creek with its piers, SH45 and on into Plugerville. In Plugerville you can see it crossing at Plugerville Pkwy near Mammoth Cave Blvd., adjacent to N railroad Ave., It's under Dessau Dr for awhile. Then its into Travis county out in the countryside, at one time it went over US 290. Finally into Austin throught the boonies still, zipping by a large municipal sewer plant and shortly connecting to the existing remants of the HT&C at US 183.

Many subdivisions along the way butt up to the existing ROW but for all intent the ROW is still clearly obvious/intact (95%). Someone must still own all this right-of-way for it to appear undeveloped. Great alignment for future light rail service between Austin and Georgetown? Right!

Clyde Sifford
Georgetown, TX
2/24/2013

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I have Sanborn maps of Georgetown for 1925 and they show the I&GN and the MKT to not be connected. I&GN terminated between 4th and 6th on Timber Street which I think today is MLK. Do you know when the connection was made?

Ed Bradford

egbegb2@gmail.com

Have you looked for any trace of the Bartlett and Western?

How do we add information to this site?

Ed Bradford
Pflugerville, TX
2/25/2013

[Hey Ed, just send me an email to the address at the bottom of the page with any info you want posted. Thanks!  —Greg Harrison]

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I have no idea when the GRR connected to the old Katy. Some of the old Katy jointed rails adjacent to Southwestern University are date stamped Inland 1949. The Georgetown station is gone except for the foundation of an octagonal water tank and foundation remains of a fuel tank.

Apparently the Katy crossed over the MP and SH 79 about two blocks east of Grimes road. You can still see the piers over the MP if you park along SH 79 and walk about 150-feet south.

I was dumbfounded to see the remnants of a two barrel box culvert dated 1926 on the immediate northside of University Dr. in Round Rock just east of Grimes. You can clearly see the old right-of-way thru the trees north of this culvert.

Clyde Sifford
georgetown, TX
3/25/2013

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Thanks to all the folks who commented and provided information on this line. I'm ashamed to admit it, but I never knew this line existed, but it is clearly evident on aerials as one gentleman stated.

John Day
Taylor,TX, TX
5/26/2013

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I read one time that the MKT right of way from Georgetown to Austin is owned by TX dot. It was purchased from UPRR.

They wanted to use it for the SH 130 route.

Bill
austin, TX
12/22/2013

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The Lone Star Rail district is going to be reusing much of this ROW for a system running from just south of Georgetown, all the way to San Antonio. You can find out more at www.lonestarrail.com

Sarah
Georgetown, TX
6/22/2014

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I am able to volunteer my time to make rails to trails an alternative way of transportation,My family just returned from Georgia,and had the best rails to trails adventure on the Silver Comet Trail,abondoned rails to trailsAustin and Central Texas population is increasing,This rail line in Georgetown to Austin,can provide an awesome ride.

William Cones
Austin, TX
7/11/2014

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I think I could trace the remains of the Bartlett and Western through Jarrell. There appears to be a tree line that runs NW/SE through the town. God bless.

http://goo.gl/maps/42oZl

Cbalducc
Cleveland, MS
10/10/2014

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I had checked Google Earth for this abandoned railroad. Starting from Georgetown, the railroad was already removed but you can see the treeline that was used to have the railroad. Across the Brushy Creek, there is no bridge but remaining support piers, which are visible, maybe 5 of them. Seem that the bridge was dismantled way before 1995, due to that I am not able see the historical map farther back past 1995.

Crossing Toll 45, it goes through that weird "backward Z" - I thought that the intersection was designed by stupid engineer. I didn't realize that it was used used by MKT railroad. In fact, since 2003, I never see this railroad existing at all, way before Toll 45 was built.

Crossing Pecan Street in Pflugerville, I do remember that there was depot and platform, just across from the firehouse. Right now, it was gone. I didn't realize that it was removed until now.

I had followed the whole line. Seem that all of the railroads were already removed.

Tom R.
Hutto, TX
1/20/2015

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Are you old enough to remember the Katy Line between Austin and Georgetown? I've taken pictures of the piers you mention and also an intact plate girder bridge about 3 miles south of those piers. I've also taken pictures of the bridge abutments in Austin about 4 miles after the Houston and Texas Central separate. Also, google maps still shows the Katy line partially between Austin and Georgetown if you search for it.

Another interesting line is the Bartlett and Western that is also

almost invisible from Google Maps.

Ed Bradford
Pflugerville, TX
1/20/2015

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Can you take pictures on abandoned railroads?

Erica
Texas, TX
9/23/2015

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In January 1964 I was a sophomore at UT. After my last final, I wanted to go home to Dallas. My usual rides had completed their exams and left Austin. So I walked down to the depot on Congress and Third and purchased a ticket on the Texas Special to Dallas. The station had a neon sign that read, "Southern Pacific Lines," but SP ran no passenger trains into Austin anymore. The train arrived about 3PM and I figured since it was about three hours to drive to Dallas, the train would be about the same. Little did I know that the tracks were in such miserable shape, that the trip took six hours. The consist was four locomotives, two F7 units and two slave units. The train carried a diner, club car and sleepers in addition to coaches. The train headed east to Pershing and then turned north leaving the parallel SP line to Houston. It rolled through Pflugerville and crossed above the MoPac on a bridge. It went past the campus of Southwestern in Georgetown and then turned east to Granger where it hit the line from Houston to Dallas. Granger had a tower and the conductor went upstairs to get orders. Then it went through Bartlett and Little River into Temple. Then on to Waco and then Hillsboro, Waxahachie and finally Dallas. It no longer went to St. Louis but to Kansas City instead. The following summer, service from San Antonio to Dallas was discontinued. I can't remember the fare but it was cheap, maybe $4 or $5. Beer in the club car made the long journey bearable.

Allen
Portland, OR
1/20/2016

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