www.txrrhistory.com - Tower 158 - Placedo

A crossing of the Galveston, Harrisburg & San Antonio Railway and the St. Louis, Brownsville & Mexico Railway

Placedo is one of the oldest railroad communities in Texas. Service to this area was first established by the San Antonio & Mexican Gulf (SA&MG) Railroad in 1860-61 as the railroad built between Port Lavaca and Victoria; this line was destroyed during the Civil War and rebuilt during Reconstruction. After foreclosure and subsequent sales, the rail line became part of the Galveston, Harrisburg & San Antonio (GH&SA) Railway in 1905. A year later, the St. Louis, Brownsville & Mexico (SLB&M) Railway, completing construction of a main line between Bay City and Brownsville, crossed the GH&SA at Placedo. This spurred growth in the community, and the town was formally platted in 1910.

On April 22, 1928, the Railroad Commission of Texas (RCT) assigned Tower 158 to a 10-function cabin interlocker to be located inside the SLB&M depot at the northwest corner of the crossing. The interlocker had four levers for signals, four levers for derails, two levers for facing point locks, and two spare levers. Seventeen months later, operational service began on October 1, 1929; the reason for the delay is not known. RCT records at DeGolyer Library indicate that changes were made to the interlocker on September 26, 1941 and January 11, 1952. Today, both lines are operated by Union Pacific. The crossing diamond is long gone, replaced by connecting tracks.

Site Photos, Placedo Junction

Above: Port Lavaca Jct. is where the connecting track from the Port Lavaca branch connects to the main line.
Below: Looking southeast, the line from Victoria no longer crosses over the main line. Instead, it curves to the right (southwest) to connect
to the main line toward Bloomington. This is the trackage rights route for Kansas City Southern trains operating between their Texas Mexican
line at Robstown and Houston (via Flatonia and Victoria).

 


In this vintage photo, an SP train from Victoria curves southwest to join the main line toward Bloomington. Note the crossing diamond
was still intact. (photo by Leonard Ruback)

Satellite Image, Tower 158 Vicinity

 
Last Revised: 4/15/2007 JGK - Contact the Texas Interlocking Towers Page.