www.txrrhistory.com - Tower 133 - Lancaster
A Crossing of the Missouri - Kansas - Texas Railroad and the Houston & Texas Central Railway
The Lancaster Tap railroad was built in 1890 to connect the town of Lancaster with the Houston & Texas Central main line at Hutchins in southern Dallas County. Lancaster already was served by the Missouri-Kansas-Texas ("Katy") Railroad, which had arrived two years earlier under the charter of the Dallas & Waco Railway. In 1905, the Lancaster Tap railroad was purchased by the H&TC which continued to operate it as a branch line serving Lancaster businesses to compete with the Katy.
In Lancaster, the H&TC rail line paralleled the Katy line
for a short distance before crossing it to reach the H&TC
depot. A cabin interlocker was established
in 1928 which permitted trains on the Katy to avoid stopping
at the crossing. By this time, the H&TC branch was lightly
used and the Katy gained significant efficiency by not having
to stop its trains at Lancaster to cross the junction. The H&TC
line was abandoned in 1934 and the right-of-way was used for the
construction of Lancaster-Hutchins Road. Now heavily modified,
the H&TC depot still stands in Lancaster at its original site.
Site Photos - Tower 133 (Jim King photos)
Railroad Commission records place the Tower 133 interlocking midway between Katy mileposts 781 and 782.
These numbers are still used today, making the location of Tower 133 somewhere near this block signal. The
interlocker cabin in the background now controls the siding switch and reads "West Lancaster".
The H&TC depot still stands at its original site, not far from where Tower 133 was located.
Location Map - Tower 133