Crossing of the San Antonio Belt & Terminal Railway and the San Antonio & Aransas Pass Railroad
Historic Photo, Tower 109
Above: This image, from the John W Barriger III National Railroad Library, shows Tower 109 in the late 30s. The view is northeast toward downtown along the San Antonio Belt & Terminal (SAB&T) tracks, with the San Antonio & Aransas Pass (SA&AP) tracks crossing behind the tower. Below: A view similar to Barriger's photo but taken 50 years later, this image was posted to trains.com in 2010 by "leighant", credit unknown.
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 (and it expired in 2016 ! ?) 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.
The site of the Judson Candy factory along the SAB&T was converted to loft apartments and condos in 2007.
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. Below: Looking south toward the site of Tower 109, the SAB&T tracks remain intact at the Alamo St. grade crossing. Note the SA&AP trestle...still in use. (Google Street View, Dec. 2017)
Below: South of Tower 109, the scars of the former SAB&T wye junction are visible in this
satellite image. This junction
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.