The history is a very interesting read. Despite the evolution of railroad use in the United States being fairly logical based on evolving technologies and economic factors, it still amazes me how so many railroad companies exploded during the late 1800s and early 1900s with massive growth, and then just turned around and abandoned so many lines.
Interesting that the Farm to Market Roads were built on the ROW. Much of SH 114 from Dallas to Rhome and somewhat farther west was also constructed on a former railroad ROW. This one never had tracks laid upon it, however.
You ought to add this one to this site.
I agree with the fact railroad industry was regulated with the U.S. Government. When the Government deregulated and the need and justification for railroads declined due to trucking companies to ship freight, volatile marketing, lawsuits, and investors losing money, shifting to the 18 wheel trucks made railroads 'toxic' that investors soon dumped the railroads.
I live where the old STN&S remains or the old Cotton Belt railroad. Stephenville, Carlton, Eidson, Lamkin, Gustine, Comanche, Hamilton, Ireland, Levita, Gatesville, Lime City, Oglesby, all the way to McGregor and Waco. That was from 1909 to 1941. Now all that remains is railroad depots converted to storage houses, chamber of commerce, or small businesses. What's left is the F.W.W.R. from Fort Worth to Gorman, and to Brownwood.
Also is the old Gulf, Colorado, and San Saba railroad, which is also abandoned, and becoming forgotten? Anyone want a Kenworth, Mack, or Volvo big rig? LOL. :) Can we start a rails to roads, or rails to trails program?
I now can say with regret that Texas has thousands of lines abandoned, and so dismantled, the visible sections long since bulldozed, eroded or overgrown. It's a scar on the land that will soon ebb away. No history to record the achievements or accomplishments these railroad pioneer's done to make this line work. It's an ugly scar being erased from existence. Even the people who know the history are probably gone and buried. :(
Where did the t&bv cross the katy at hillsboro and continue on to cleburne?
Retired Sp/Up Condr..... Engr Earl Whitacre ( dad to retired CEO AT&T Ed Whitacre) told me when we worked together that it was fastest then going through Hearne to get to Navasota than via Houston. Earl ( Big Bear) was one of the last Engineers that I worked with, that worked what they knew at the time, the shortest way.
chris, They crossed north of the existing road crossings, NW of the courthouse. There's some concrete foundations left. The Katy was 2-track, the TBV and another line from Corsicana were single track and all crossed at that point.
The "other line from Corsicana" that crossed the T&BV and Katy at Hillsboro was the St. Louis Southwestern, or Cotton Belt, at Tower 44 (see www.towers.txrrhistory.com/044/044.htm). Hillsboro was a thriving cotton center served by the MKT, StLSW, and T&BV. The Katy had shop facilities there until they were moved to outside of Waco at Bellmead, TX. Hillsboro was the junction of the Katy lines to Fort Worth (current UP mainline) and Dallas (abandoned between Hillsboro and Waxahachie). The MKT Dallas line north from Waxahachie is now the BNSF Dallas to Houston mainline which includes the remains of the T&BV between Teague and Houston.