A Crossing of the Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe Railway and the Trinity & Brazos Valley Railroad
Cleburne became an incorporated town shortly after the Civil War, and eventually became a major transportation crossroads. The Handbook of Texas explains...
"The importance of Cleburne as a transportation center was enhanced by the arrival of the railroad. In 1870 the population was 683; twenty years later the residents numbered 3,727. In 1881 the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railroad was completed from Fort Worth through Cleburne to Temple, and a secondary line connected Weatherford to Cleburne in 1887. The most important industrial contribution to the city was made by the Santa Fe Railroad, which in 1898 and 1899 constructed central machine shops in Cleburne, helping to double the city's population in the 1890s. In 1882 the Chicago, Texas and Mexican Central Railway connected Cleburne to Dallas. Two additional railroads maintained terminals in the city after 1900. The Dallas, Cleburne and Southwestern Railway completed a spur to Egan in 1902, and the Trinity and Brazos Valley, commonly called the 'Boll Weevil', operated out of Cleburne from 1904 to 1924. The former line was sold to the Missouri, Kansas and Texas in 1910. The track out of Cleburne was abandoned after 1920. The Burlington and Rock Island used the Boll Weevil track from 1924 until 1932, when it too was abandoned. The Interurban out of Fort Worth served Cleburne for eighteen years after 1912. A local streetcar service operated from 1911 to 1917."
The Trinity & Brazos Valley (T&BV) Railroad crossed the Gulf Colorado & Santa Fe (GC&SF) Railway approximately two miles south of downtown Cleburne, and Tower 43 was established there on July 7, 1904 by the Railroad Commission of Texas (RCT). That same day, Tower 44 was established in Hillsboro where the T&BV crossed the Katy Railroad. Tower 43 was abandoned on October 11, 1932 by the successor to the T&BV, the Burlington - Rock Island (B-RI) Railroad, as explained in more detail on the Tower 44 page.
Tower 43 Site Images
Above: More than 70 years after abandonment, this GoogleEarth satellite image shows a tree line marking the right-of-way
of the T&BV near Cleburne. The precise location of Tower 43 is unknown, but it was presumably near the diamond. The
GC&SF line is now a Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) main line.
Below: This birds eye view provided by Microsoft Live Earth shows a BNSF train crossing the former T&BV right-of-way
at the site of Tower 43. The tree line angling up from the lower right corner is the T&BV ROW. The other tree line
coming in from upper right appears to be a property line associated with County Road 314.
Location Map, Tower 43
Topo USA shows the abandoned T&BV right-of-way as a dashed line (highlighted in orange above), crossing the current
BNSF main line south of Cleburne. The precise path of the T&BV west of the BNSF tracks and north into Cleburne is
unknown. Sanborn Insurance maps of Cleburne do not show details this far south of town.