Direct Links to Numbered Interlockers and Towers
Tower 21 - East Waco
Welcome to the Texas Railroad Tower Website!
This website is an effort to document the interlocking plants constructed in the State of Texas authorized by the Railroad Commission of Texas (RCT). An interlocker is a mechanical system used to protect trains from collisions where two railroads cross at grade. Many of the interlocking plants were located in two-story towers manned by railroad employees. Others were in cabins or huts, with controls operated as needed by train crews.
In 1901, the Twenty-seventh Texas Legislature passed a law regulating the mode of crossing between railroads at grade. This law required that all trains either come to a complete stop before proceeding over an at-grade crossing, or an interlocking plant must be installed to control traffic. This law also required towers to be numbered. Each tower was issued a number in the order that it was approved by RCT.
The main source for this list is Dec. 30, 1993 issue of The Clearance Card published by the Southwest Railroad Historical Society. Published RCT data for towers stops at Tower 170 in their Annual Report for the year 1931. In subsequent years, the Commission ceased publishing the annual list of interlocking towers. Research to bring the list up to the total 215 numbered towers (plus one lettered tower) was done in 1986 and 1987 by William J. Neill, who was the editor of The Cross Tie, an employee magazine published for the San Antonio Division of the Southern Pacific Railroad.
The official records of RCT for all interlockers in the State of Texas are kept at
DeGolyer Library on the campus of
Southern Methodist University. There is
a wealth of information contained in these records which will
prove a great asset in documenting all of the interlockers in
the state. Each interlocker has its own folder which generally
contains the original application from the railroads, including
blueprints of the interlocking plant. There is also correspondence
between the RCT and railroads as changes were made over the years.
Contact Us if you have any questions, additional information, photos, corrections, or suggestions.
Texas Towers Webmaster - Jim King
txrrhistory.com Webmaster Emeritus - Myron Malone
|3||Flatonia||Preserved as a museum|
|16||Sherman||Relocated to Grapevine Heritage Center in October 2001|
|17||Rosenberg||Closed Feb 10, 2004 and relocated to the Rosenberg Railroad Museum.|
|19||Dallas||Relocated from Fair Park to Museum of the American Railroad, Frisco|
|40||Luling||Privately owned in Luling, near original location|
|55||Fort Worth||No longer in service, but still standing|
|64||Greenville||Lower, concrete half remains. Upper, wooden half long gone|
|97||Galveston||Still controls causeway lift bridge|
|106||Dallas||Out of service; owned by Dallas Area Rapid Transit.|
|107||Dallas||Out of service; owned by Dallas Area Rapid Transit.|
|KCS Tower||Beaumont||Tower at Neches River bridge (unmanned)|