Texas Railroad History - Tower 186 - Sherman

This crossing of the Frisco (SLSF) and a Southern Pacific (SP) spur track was located in south Sherman. In a post to Railspot on 4/11/2018, Steve Goen explained..."The sole purpose for that connection leading west from the SP wye was interchange between the MKT and the SP and they crossed the SLSW to do it."


A switch stand and line of trees along a right-of-way are all the mark the location of the former Tower 186. Location of the above photo is just west of the original SLSF "Frisco" main line through Sherman.  Photo is looking toward the east.  Far tree line parallels the second Frisco main line built east of the original alignment.  Very little evidence remains of this interlocker.  However, there is one abandoned railroad bridge just west of this location that helps document the existence of the interlocker. (Myron Malone photo)

Text by: Harry Bilger 1/10/2002:

This track from the SP crossing the Frisco at Tower 186 appears to be the connection between the SP and MKT. The rail line on indicated as the MKT line running down Branch St south to Park and then west to the Cotton Mill (Sherman Manufacturing Co). I never knew that connection was there, but didn't get down into that part of town very often. It's pretty rugged in that creek bottom there with all those woods.

The Cotton Belt connection with the MKT crossed the Frisco up in town at King Street, where you can still see the gate protecting the now non-existent crossing. I suspect that the SP used that connection to the MKT later when the SP and SSW consolidated their services in Sherman. A Frisco employee timetable from around 1920 (the date of the Sanborn map) should show the crossing and indicate if it was a gate or tower. My guess would be a manual gate similar to that at the SSW crossing, only across the Frisco when the connection was actually being used for a movement.

Text by Tom Greco 1/10/2002

There's pretty scant information about this site in any of my timetables, but here's what I found:

*The SL-SF&T timetable of May 1, 1947 actually lists this as "T&NO Crossing" at MP 647.0 (from St.Louis), and shows the crossing as "interlocked" on the schedule page. However the special instructions have two paragraphs on signal indications at the crossing, including this:
"Trains finding dwarf home signal displaying a red light must stop short of the signal, flagman will go to the crossing and if no T&NO trains or engines using the crossing, proceed on hand signal from the flagman at the crossing."

This seems to confirm that by 1947, the crossing was an automatic interlocking. Incidentally, the crossing was 0.1 mile north of a station called "Stock Track", which had a 59-car siding. It's quite conceivable that the interlocker would've also controlled the siding switches (although I'm operating under the assumption that this was an SP tower, in which case
they might have wanted nothing to do with Frisco switches!).

*SP timetables list "St.L-SW Ry. Crossing" 1.03 miles south of Sherman, which was in turn shown as 0.02 miles (let's be precise here!!) south of the T&P Crossing in Sherman. On the TopoZone map, this distance puts that "crossing" real close to where we're talking about. No other information is given about this crossing, and I'm thinking that this would be where the SSW comes in on the map below and joins the SP at the north leg of the wye.

*SSW lists an "H&TC Crossing" and later "H&TC-SLSF&T Crossing", but this last appears to be two separate places. In 1929, under the heading "Railroad Crossings at Grade", the timetable lists the SLSF&T Crossing as being at MP 588.5, which puts it 0.7 miles south of Sherman station. Among the five crossings listed, only one is specifically shows as "interlocked",
so I'll assume none of the others (including the SLSF&T) were interlocked in1929.

But let me list my sources for you, in case you get any other clues:

TT 35-A of 5/1/47

TT 39-B of 7/18/55

St.Louis, Arkansas & Texas Ry. (later SSW)
TT 16 of April 27, 1890

SSW Ry of Texas
Texas Division TT 5 of 1/27/29
8 of 1/5/30
9 of 8/22/43
1 of 12/21/47

TT 10 of March 25, 1897
First Division TT 156 of 1/2/10
177 of 5/21/16

Dallas Division TT 183 of 7/31/21
209 of 10/4/31
Dallas & Austin TT 1 of 12/13/31
34 of 10/12/41

Location Map for Tower 186

Historic Location Map for Tower 186

Last Revised: 4/12/2018 - Contact the Texas Interlocking Towers Page.