A Crossing of the Texarkana & Ft. Smith Railroad and the Orange & Northwestern Railroad
Tower 125 was established as a cabin interlocker in 1929 in Mauriceville at a crossing of the Texarkana & Ft. Smith Railroad (T&FS) and the Orange & Northwestern Railroad (O&NW). The crossing had existed since 1902 when the O&NW built through the area four years after the T&FS had arrived. The O&NW line was chartered to connect southeast Texas forests with lumber mills in the Orange area. The line extended northwest out of Orange, eventually reaching Newton in 1906. The T&FS was under the control of the Kansas City, Pittsburg and Gulf Railroad which was led by Arthur Stilwell. In 1896, Stilwell decided to use the T&FS charter to construct a line to the Gulf of Mexico to connect with his north/south line through Arkansas and Louisiana. He founded the city of Port Arthur to be the southern terminus of his railroad empire. When Tower 125 was established, the O&NW was controlled by the Missouri Pacific (MP) system (into which it was merged in 1956) and the T&FS was controlled by the Kansas City Southern (KCS) system (into which it was merged in 1943). A combination tower and depot was eventually constructed at Mauriceville and the cabin interlocker controls were moved inside.
In 1963, MP abandoned the former O&NW line north of
Mauriceville. Four years later, the newly chartered Sabine
River & Northern (SR&N) railroad began operations on a new line
constructed on the
abandoned O&NW right-of-way from Mauriceville to Bessmay; this line remains in SR&N service today. The former T&FS
line continues to be used as a main north/south line of the KCS
Below: Google Street View shows this image of the crossing looking
depot/tower structure was located between the road
and the tracks.