Texas Railroad History - Tower 28 - Texarkana

A Crossing of the Texas & Pacific Railway and the Texarkana & Fort Smith Railway

Historic Photo of Tower 28

Tower 28 resided at what was originally a crossing of the Texas & Pacific (T&P) Railway and the Texarkana & Ft. Smith (T&FS) Railway on the south side of Texarkana. It was commissioned for operation on October 20, 1903. The T&P was the first to arrive, opening 74 miles of track between Texarkana and Marshall in 1873 as it began efforts to fulfill its charter to build a trans-continental line from east Texas to San Diego, California. In 1896, the T&FS built 24 miles of track south from Texarkana to the state line as part of Arthur Stilwell's larger effort to build from Kansas City to Port Arthur. The T&FS had originally built north from Texarkana toward Fort Smith, Arkansas, but Stilwell acquired control in 1892 and amended the charter to allow the T&FS to build south to the Gulf of Mexico as a subsidiary of the Kansas City, Pittsburg and Gulf Railroad. Stilwell's line to the Gulf from Kansas City opened in 1897, but by 1900, he had lost control of the railroad and it was bought by the newly chartered Kansas City Southern (KCS) Railway, which continues to operate the route today. The T&P route passed through ownership of the Missouri Pacific Railroad to become a major line for Union Pacific Railroad.

Above: The crossing guarded by Tower 28 was on the property of the International Creosoting & Construction
Company. The crossing is at the intersection of the two rail lines visible on the right side of the photo. Click on
the photo for a much larger view of this panoramic image.
Below: The creosote works was eventually owned by the Kerr-McGee Corporation.
The view is looking south down
the KCS Main. The T&P crosses left to right.  There is also a lead into the tie plant that crosses left to right parallel
to the T&P.  Both diamond crossings would have been controlled by the operator of Tower 28.


Modern Photos - Tower 28 Site

Concrete bunker to the left is the automatic interlocker cabinet that replaced the tower interlocker.  KCS main line trails away in the distance.  Lead into the tie plant is in foreground and the now UP main line is behind the cabin.

Site of Tower 28 is about where the short sections of rail are next to the weeds. No evidence of the tower foundation is visible in this area. Diamond crossing of the two main lines is in the photo.

A green flag beckons southbound KCS trains after they
cross the UP diamond at the site of Tower 28.

The interlocking cabinet that now controls the crossing.

Last Revised: 10/30/2005 JGK - Contact the Texas Interlocking Towers Page.