Texas Railroad History - Tower 203 - Dublin

A Crossing of the Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe Railway and the Missouri - Kansas - Texas Railroad

By the time Tower 203 was established in Dublin in the mid-1950s, neither of the railroads that originally built the junction were around to see it interlocked. The Texas Central Railroad was the first to build through the area, in 1881, heading for northwest Texas out of Waco. In 1910, the Missouri - Kansas - Texas ("Katy") Railroad acquired the Texas Central and continued to operate it until November, 1967 when it once again became the Texas Central (commonly known as "the Peanut Line"). The second railroad through Dublin was the Fort Worth and Rio Grande (FW&RG) Railroad in 1890 building a main line from Ft. Worth to Brownwood and beyond. The St. Louis - San Francisco Railway (the "Frisco") acquired the FW&RG in 1901 but continued to operate it under the FW&RG name. In 1937, Frisco sold the FW&RG to Santa Fe which assigned the route to its Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe (GC&SF) subsidiary. Thus, by the time Tower 203 was established, this former Texas Central/FW&RG crossing had become a Katy/Santa Fe crossing.

One other railroad, the Wichita Falls, Ranger and Ft. Worth Railroad (WFR&FW), served Dublin. This new railroad got started in 1920 when it built from Dublin northwest to Breckenridge. In Dublin, the line began west of the Santa Fe tracks, was never involved in the junction that eventually became Tower 203, and was abandoned in the 1950s after it became part of the Wichita Falls & Southern. Today, the former Santa Fe (ex-FW&RG) route remains in place between Ft. Worth and Brownwood, now owned and operated by the Ft. Worth & Western (FW&W) Railroad. The former Katy (ex-Texas Central) rails are intact from Dublin west and north to Gorman to serve the peanut industry. East of Dublin, the Katy line is abandoned, and the Tower 203 diamond is no longer in place.

According to Steve Goen, the Katy had small block signals on the ground at the diamond as well as a concrete cabin that housed the interlocker controls.

Map of Tower 203 Site

Site Photos, Tower 203

Above: Although Tower 203 was certainly never a manned tower structure, it probably did encompass electronic huts and cabinets that would have been visible in this south-facing photo. The rails in the foreground are the connecting track that allows southbound FW&W trains from Ft. Worth to access the westward line to Gorman. The FW&W main continues south to Brownwood at left. Below: Facing east along the former Katy line toward the site of the Tower 203 diamond, the rails previously continued due east into the trees where the Santa Fe line was crossed. Now, the line curves to the north, becoming the connector track (above) to join the FW&W main to Ft. Worth.

Above: This bird's eye view from Microsoft Virtual Earth shows the connector line and the site of the former crossing. North is up, with the FW&W main line heading toward Ft. Worth. Below: The former Katy Depot in Dublin appears to still be in use, probably by FW&W.

Last Revised: 11/17/2008 JGK - Contact the Texas Interlocking Towers Page.