Texas Railroad History - Tower 204 - Richardson

A Crossing of the Southern Pacific Railroad and the Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe Railway

Rollin Bredenberg provides some interesting history of Tower 204...
In the mid 1950's, the Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe (GC&SF) decided to build a new line from Dalton Jct. (near Denton) to Zacha Jct. (near Garland). Ben Biaggini, the Chief Engineer of the Texas & New Orleans (T&NO) Railway (the Southern Pacific [SP] operating company in Texas), sought to keep the new Santa Fe line from denying SP future access to an area he thought would be rich with industrial development likely to produce rail traffic. So, just before the Santa Fe acquired the right of way for their new Dallas Subdivision, SP extended its existing "Arapaho Spur" across the planned Santa Fe alignment, making SP the senior company at what would eventually become Tower 204.

Santa Fe's new line opened in 1955 and was the last rail segment of greater than 50 miles built in Texas. The "Arapaho Spur" was an industrial lead off of SP's main north/south line into Dallas, but rail traffic never really developed east of the Santa Fe crossing, so Tower 204 became just a footnote in Texas railroad history. When SP sold the T&NO route through Richardson to the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) system, Santa Fe agreed to put in a connection to the suddenly isolated Arapaho Spur (at DART expense) in order to maintain service to the former SP industries.

Modern Photo - Tower 204

Above: Image is looking west down the Araphao Spur. ATSF Main line from Denton to Dallas is in photo foreground. Diamond would have been to the right of the interlocker cabin.  New spur connection to the now KCS main is running center to left in the photo.  Jim King photo

Location Map - Tower 204


Last Revised: 09/15/2005 - Contact the Texas Interlocking Towers Page.