Texas Railroad Interlocking Tower Website

Direct Links to Numbered Interlockers and Towers

History of Interlocking Towers in Texas

Texas Railroad History Website

 

Featured Tower

Tower 21 - East Waco



 
 

Welcome to the Texas Railroad Tower Website!

This website is an effort to document the interlocking plants constructed in the State of Texas authorized by the Railroad Commission of Texas (RCT). An interlocker is a mechanical system used to protect trains from collisions where two railroads cross at grade. Many of the interlocking plants were located in two-story towers manned by railroad employees. Others were in cabins or huts, with controls operated as needed by train crews.

In 1901, the Twenty-seventh Texas Legislature passed a law regulating the mode of crossing between railroads at grade. This law required that all trains either come to a complete stop before proceeding over an at-grade crossing, or an interlocking plant must be installed to control traffic. This law also required towers to be numbered. Each tower was issued a number in the order that it was approved by RCT.

The main source for this list is Dec. 30, 1993 issue of The Clearance Card published by the Southwest Railroad Historical Society. Published RCT data for towers stops at Tower 170 in their Annual Report for the year 1931. In subsequent years, the Commission ceased publishing the annual list of interlocking towers. Research to bring the list up to the total 215 numbered towers (plus one lettered tower) was done in 1986 and 1987 by William J. Neill, who was the editor of The Cross Tie, an employee magazine published for the San Antonio Division of the Southern Pacific Railroad.

The official records of RCT for all interlockers in the State of Texas are kept at DeGolyer Library on the campus of Southern Methodist University. There is a wealth of information contained in these records which will prove a great asset in documenting all of the interlockers in the state. Each interlocker has its own folder which generally contains the original application from the railroads, including blueprints of the interlocking plant. There is also correspondence between the RCT and railroads as changes were made over the years.
 

About This Site

Contact Us if you have any questions, additional information, photos, corrections, or suggestions.

Texas Towers Webmaster - Jim King

txrrhistory.com Webmaster Emeritus - Myron Malone


Original Numbered Towers Still Standing in Texas

No. Original Location Status
3 Flatonia Preserved as a museum
16 Sherman  Relocated to Grapevine Heritage Center in October 2001
17 Rosenberg Closed Feb 10, 2004 and relocated to the Rosenberg Railroad Museum.
19 Dallas Relocated from Fair Park to Museum of the American Railroad, Frisco
40 Luling Privately owned in Luling, near original location
55 Fort Worth No longer in service, but still standing
64 Greenville Lower, concrete half remains. Upper, wooden half long gone
97 Galveston Still controls causeway lift bridge
106 Dallas Out of service; owned by Dallas Area Rapid Transit.
107 Dallas Out of service; owned by Dallas Area Rapid Transit.
KCS Tower Beaumont Tower at Neches River bridge (unmanned)


Other Nearby Towers

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Last Revised: 3/11/2018 JGK  -   Contact the Texas Interlocking Towers Page