Texas Railroad History - Tower 34 - Taylor

A Crossing of the Missouri-Kansas-Texas (MKT) Railroad and the International & Great Northern (I-GN) Railroad

One of the oldest major rail junctions in Texas is located in Taylor. The first rail line through the area was the International & Great Northern (I-GN) Railroad in 1876, followed soon thereafter by the Missouri-Kansas-Texas (MKT, "Katy") Railroad in 1882. Tower 34 was established in 1904 to control the crossing of the north-south Katy main line between Waco and Houston, and the east-west I-GN main line from Laredo to Longview. Both lines are still in service and the Taylor yards remain busy for Union Pacific, successor to both railroads.

Above: This view to the north along the Katy shows Tower 34 in the northeast quadrant of the diamond. The Katy depots are in the distance at left. The photo was taken by John W Barriger III from the rear platform of his business car, probably in the late 1930's or early 1940's. Below: This shot was taken by Barriger on a different trip looking west on the I-GN. The Katy passenger depot is visible at far right. (photos, John W Barriger III National Railroad Library)

Tower 34 Site

Above: Facing east, an equipment cabinet occupies the former site of Tower 34 northeast of the crossing diamond. (Jim King photo) Below: The Sanborn Fire Insurance map of Taylor shows the tower located in the northeast quadrant of the crossing. The "M. P. Lines" notation refers to the Missouri Pacific Railroad, the first successor to the I-GN. The magnification at lower right reveals the tower to be a two-story structure with the staircase on the southeast corner.

Above: This satellite image of the Tower 34 site shows a train on the northwest connector. Below: Microsoft Virtual Earth bird's eye view of the crossing, facing south. An equipment cabinet occupies the former location of Tower 34 in the northeast quadrant.

Last Revised: 3/27/2014 JGK - Contact the Texas Interlocking Towers Page.