A Crossing of the Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe Railway and the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad
Historic Photos, Tower 24
Above: Tower 24 (photo courtesy of the Temple Railroad and Heritage Museum)
Below: The John W Barriger III National Railroad Library supplies this image from a photo taken by Barriger from the rear
platform of his business car. The view is to the north along the Katy railroad as Barriger's train was southbound toward
Austin. The photo likely dates from the late 30's or early 40's.
Temple, Texas was founded by the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe (GC&SF) Railway in 1880 as a construction camp that quickly evolved into a major railroad town. Temple became a junction of the Santa Fe's three major rail segments and this led the company to locate major yards, shops and medical facilities there. Within a couple of years of Temple's founding, the Missouri-Kansas-Texas (MKT) Railroad ("the Katy") built through Temple as they constructed a main line to Houston from Ft. Worth. The Katy tracks crossed the Santa Fe's line on the southeast side of Temple. In 1903, a manned interlocking tower was authorized to control this junction, designated Tower 24 by the Railroad Commission of Texas. It remained in service for many years; the date that it was de-commissioned and removed has not yet been determined. Both rail lines remain heavily used today. The former GC&SF line is now a Burlington Northern Santa Fe route. The MKT line is now a Union Pacific route between Sealy and Ft. Worth.
Above (North is up): The Tower 24 crossing is an X-pattern located southeast of downtown Temple. The Santa Fe
(now BNSF) crosses on a NW/SE alignment. The Katy (now UP) tracks are on a NE/SW alignment.