A Crossing of the Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe Railway and the Missouri - Kansas - Texas Railway
The Tower 78 crossing, originally hosting the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe (GC&SF) Railway and the Missouri-Kansas-Texas ("Katy") Railway, became located in Garland when the town was created in 1887 as a compromise brokered by the local Congressman. Two adjacent communities, each served by one of the railroads, had demanded a post office to make their town legitimate, but postal officials refused to build two offices so close together. Instead, the town of Garland was founded in between, and it prospered with service from two major railroads. Both rail lines had been built in 1886. The GC&SF line was a Dallas to Paris extension of the Santa Fe's line to Dallas from Cleburne. The Katy line was built under a new charter, the Dallas & Greenville Railway, but was immediately sold to the Katy on the day it was completed between those two towns. The Katy already served both Dallas and Greenville, so the new line provided a connection that would become part of a major north/south route for the Katy.
An electric interlocker was authorized as Tower 78 by the Railroad Commission of Texas on April 5, 1909. The lifespan of Tower 78 is not known, and no photos of the structure have been located. Sanborn Fire Insurance maps of Garland issued prior to 1947 do not show the crossing. The 1947 map does show the crossing, but there is no tower structure on the map.
In the 1990s, Santa Fe sold their line to Kansas City Southern (KCS) which continues to use it today. The Katy route is now owned by the Dallas, Garland & Northeastern Railroad. Beginning at the Tower 78 crossing, the Katy right-of-way west into Dallas is occupied by the Blue Line of the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) system, also constructed in the 1990s. Freight tracks parallel the light rail line for a couple of miles toward Dallas to serve various industries. To the east, the freight line remains in place all the way to Greenville. DART plans to expand the light rail system eastward along the Katy right-of-way. This will require a crossing of the KCS line at Tower 78 that will most likely be grade-separated.