www.txrrhistory.com - Tower 83 - Chillicothe
A Crossing of the Kansas City, Mexico & Orient Railroad and the Ft. Worth & Denver City Railway
Chillicothe was settled in the early 1880s, a few years before
the arrival of the Ft. Worth & Denver City (FW&DC) Railway in 1887.
A second railroad, the Kansas City, Mexico & Orient (KCM&O) Railroad,
built through the town in 1908 as part of Arthur Stilwell's dream
of constructing a line to Topolobampo, Mexico, the nearest Pacific
port to Kansas City. In 1910, a manual interlocking tower, Tower
83, was built at the crossing of the two railroads. The KCM&O was sold to the
Santa Fe railroad in the 1920s and the tracks remained in service into the 1980s
before finally being abandoned in the 1990s. Meanwhile, the FW&DC has become a
major Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) route between Ft. Worth and Amarillo. The fate of Tower 83
is not known and a photo of it has not been located.
Tower 83 Site Photo
Facing due south, the end of the line for the former KCM&O at Chillicothe
is just shy of the BNSF (ex-FW&DC) crossing where the diamond was
removed in the mid-1990s. Tower 83 would have undoubtedly been visible
in this view prior to its demise. This ex-KCM&O line is also abandoned
to the north, but a small segment was left in place to serve as an industrial
spur accessible from the FW&D (now BNSF) main. Note the old-style
interlocker cabinet at right of center. As recently as 1996, the diamond
was gone but the north/south approach signals were still in place and
lighted red, providing a very strange sight! Beyond the crossing and
invisible in the trees straight ahead, the derelict former Santa Fe depot
still stands. Photo by Jim King
Additional Photos by John Strenski (used with permission)
Above: Looking south along the right-of-way from the former diamond location, the KCM&O
depot is visible in the distance.
Below: The KCM&O depot needs a new coat of paint!
Tower 83 Satellite Map