www.txrrhistory.com - Tower 179 - Shamrock

A Crossing of the Fort Worth & Denver Railroad and the Chicago, Rock Island & Gulf Railway

Shamrock, located on the famous Route 66, was named by an Irish immigrant rancher who moved into this area of the Texas Panhandle in 1890. Settlement of the area accelerated when the Chicago, Rock Island & Gulf Railway built through Shamrock in 1902 as they constructed a rail line from Oklahoma City to Tucumcari. Oil was discovered in the eastern Panhandle in 1926, and in 1932, the Ft. Worth & Denver (FW&D) Railroad built a rail line from their main line at Childress to the town of Pampa, located on the Santa Fe transcontinental main line. At a distance of 110 miles, this was the last rail segment of more than 55 miles in length ever built in Texas. The FW&D crossed the Rock Island line in Shamrock. Tower 179 was established as a cabin interlocker in the early 1930s to control the interlocking.

The FW&D line through Shamrock was abandoned in 1970, and the Rock Island line was abandoned in the 1980s after Rock Island's bankruptcy. Today, the abandoned cabin interlocker is the only remnant of the crossing, sitting amidst a dense thicket of trees and brush that has grown up on the abandoned rights-of-way.

Modern Photo - Tower 179
  The cabin for the Tower 179 interlocking is the only remnant of railroading at the former crossing of the Rock Island Railroad and the Ft. Worth & Denver Railroad at Shamrock.  Photo by Jim King

Tower 179 Location Map


Last Revised: 2/2/2010 JGK - Contact the Texas Interlocking Towers Page.