A Crossing of the Houston East & West Texas Railroad and the Houston Belt & Terminal Railroad
In the early years of Houston's industrial growth, several interlockers were established in north central Houston to control rail junctions north of Buffalo Bayou. Towers 25 and 26 were two early interlockers in this area, and two of the railroads that passed through Tower 26 were the Houston East & West Texas (HE&WT) Railroad and the Houston Belt & Terminal (HB&T) Railroad. Their main lines proceeded northbound past Tower 26 about 700 ft. apart with the HB&T east of the HE&WT. North of Tower 26, the HB&T curved northwest becoming directly adjacent to the HE&WT. North of Quitman St., the HE&WT angled sharply northeast toward its eventual destination, Shreveport, while the HB&T proceeded due north toward Tower 80. This required the two railroads to cross at grade, and Tower 71 was established as a manual interlocker to control this crossing on July 1, 1907. This is the first tower attributed to the HB&T, which did not begin formal operations until January, 1908. The HB&T had been given control of Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe (GC&SF) tracks in most of Houston when HB&T, which was 25% owned by the GC&SF, was founded. The rails at Tower 71 were built by HB&T as a northerly extension of GC&SF tracks that had been built to Tower 26 from the south. Tower 71's operation was consolidated into Tower 26 in 1930 and later moved to Tower 68.
Satellite Image, Tower 71 Vicinity