www.txrrhistory.com - Tower 69 - Celeste

A Crossing of the Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe Railway and the Missouri - Kansas - Texas Railway

Celeste was a major railroad crossing for more than a century, but today sees little traffic. The town was established by the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway as it built a line between Dallas and Paris in 1886. The Santa Fe chose this site to cross the existing Missouri-Kansas-Texas ("Katy") Railroad line (built in 1880 from Denison to Greenville) because officials of the nearby town of Kingston refused to offer any incentives for the crossing to be in their community. The Santa Fe line was sold in the 1980's to the Kiamichi Railroad based in Hugo, Oklahoma and survived into the 1990s before abandonment and removal for scrap. The ex-Katy line through Celeste remains in use and is operated by the Dallas, Garland and Northeastern (DG&NO) Railroad.  

Historic Photos of Tower 69 (from the Mackie Don Baber collection, courtesy of Jerry Hunter)
The photo at right is an interior shot of Tower 69. On the back of this photo is written "Chief White, Celeste RR Tower".

Site Photos, Tower 69 Crossing

Above: Facing northeast along the abandoned Santa Fe right-of-way, the
former Katy railroad crosses at the location of the Tower 69 diamond
in Celeste. The automatic interlocker cabinet, which replaced the tower,
remains standing at left.  The foundation of the former tower is located to
the right. (Jim King photo)

Above: The remainder of the foundation of Tower 69 is in the southeast
quadrant of the crossing. The right of way visible beyond the foundation is
the abandoned Santa Fe line. (Myron Malone photo)

Above: Looking north on the former Katy line at the site of the crossing, the
automatic interlocker cabinet still stands watch for a crossing which no
longer exists. The crossing diamond was discarded beside the tracks and is
now covered by weeds.  (Myron Malone photo)

Location Map Tower 69

Above: The former Katy line, now operated by DG&NO, is visible running from the upper edge to the lower edge of
this bird's eye view of the Tower 69 crossing. The abandoned Santa Fe line is visible as a paved trail crossing left to
right. The interlocker cabinet still sits among the trees on the north side of the former diamond. Abandoned telegraph
poles are also visible in the trees. A DG&NO equipment cabinet sits in the middle of the triangle formed by the Katy
and Santa Fe rights-of-way and US Highway 69.


Last Revised: 2/19/2010 JGK - Contact the Texas Interlocking Towers Page.