Crossing of the San Antonio Belt & Terminal Railway and the San Antonio & Aransas Pass Railroad
Historic Photo, Tower 109
Above: This image, extracted from photo MKT 636 in the John W Barriger III National Railroad Library, shows Tower 109 in the 30s
or 40s. The view is northeast toward downtown. The tall buildings in the background on the left are still visible in San Antonio today
(see goo.gl/maps/9ozfQ for a current view from the next street north of the tower). The building at right with the water tower is also
still standing (see goo.gl/maps/FsBbl).
In 1917, the Missouri-Kansas-Texas (MKT, "Katy") railroad funded the construction of the San Antonio Belt & Terminal (SAB&T) Railway (and then leased it for 99 years) to provide switching services among railroads in the San Antonio area. One of the customers for the SAB&T's services was the San Antonio & Aransas Pass (SA&AP) Railroad which had a main line from Corpus Christi to Kerrville via central San Antonio. The SA&AP became controlled by the Southern Pacific (SP) system and was eventually merged into the Texas & New Orleans (T&NO) railroad, SP's principal operating company in Texas. Tower 109 was established in 1918 at a crossing of the SAB&T and SA&AP railroads in south central San Antonio. It was abandoned in 1959.
Location Map, Tower 109
Below: The 1952 republication of the 1912 Sanborn Fire Insurance map of San
the tower located immediately west of the crossing. Most likely, this map was updated sometime
after the construction of Tower 109 in 1918. Other than a "2" indicating a two story structure,
the writing on the map at the tower is illegible under high magnification.
Tower 109 Vicinity
Above: The blue line is the abandoned right-of-way of the SAB&T; the red line is the former SA&AP track past Tower
109 that remains intact.
Above: This Microsoft Visual Earth image of the Tower 109 crossing shows that the SAB&T tracks have been removed,
but the ex-SA&AP tracks remain in use. The tower was located where debris now sits between the end of the parking lot
and the SA&AP tracks.
Above: This view is looking south down the SAB&T ROW toward the site of Tower 109. The ex-SA&AP trestle is at right.
(Jim King photo, Sept. 2009)
Below: South of Tower 109, the scars of the former SAB&T wye junction are visible in this satellite image. This junction
connected SAB&T lines among Towers 109, 105 and 112. A small segment of the "Sunset Route" east/west main line
is visible in the lower left corner.