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Enthusiasts Tom McComb (left) and Tony Kanavage watch model trains run in the all-volunteer museum's building, which will be dedicated Sunday. Bob Benzinger explains how the Southern Pacific railroad controlled trains in the 1960s through this command center, which is on display at the museum. Citizen Online Archive, 2006-2009This archive contains all the stories that appeared on the Tucson Citizen's website from mid-2006 to June 1, 2009. In 2010, a power surge fried a server that contained all of videos linked to dozens of stories in this archive. When the American railroads were expanding during the latter part of the nineteenth century, Texas was in an ideal position. One of the historic railroads that came down from the north into Texas was the MKT, commonly referred to as the Katy. The Katy Flyer offered buffet sleeper cars for those passengers who chose to have meals aboard the train. The last of the Rock Island passenger trains to travel through Waxahachie and utilize the depot was the Sam Houston Zephyr. Anyone who has spent time researching the history of specific railroads will understand that mergers and acquisitions were commonplace. Geographically, Texas, by reason of it’s size, was a crossroads for railroads for two main reasons.
The second reason was that efforts were made from Texas to build a southern transcontinental route to either Los Angeles or San Diego. While the Denver and Fort Worth Railroad put Amarillo on the map,other railroads were building into Amarillo Texas. Many of the old train depots today that have survived have been taken over by historical societies and cities and towns themselves.
Below is just a small sample of historic train stations that have survived the decades since the days when passenger railroading was in it’s golden years.
The Waxahachie Texas old passenger train station built in 1886 served the Katy Railroad, also known as the M-K-T.
Tucson Arizona was on the old route of the Southern Pacific Railroad which offered service from the west coast east to Louisiana. What it Was Like to Travel on the Butterfield Overland Stage Route: It's not easy to find the site of an old Butterfield Stage station these days.
The Firearms of Sharpshooter Annie Oakley: Annie Oakley no doubt gained her shooting ability while hunting as a child. How the Sharps Rifle Helped Get the Mail Through from San Antonio to El Paso: The end of the Mexican American War in 1848 meant a lot of things to a lot of people. It is not quite two months since the Tucson streetcar Sun Link started operation and inspired more city travel in Tucson.
They notice new people who would not be venturing down to this area of town if it were not for the streetcar — about double from this time last year. Arizona Public Media continues it coverage of the Tucson project with one of the riders, Paula Wilk, a retired Tucson resident who lives in Armory Park. Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.


Cynthia Shahan is an Organic Farmer, Licensed Acupuncturist, Anthropology Studies, and mother of four unconditionally loving spirits, teachers, and environmentally conscious beings who have lit the way for me for decades. A thanks to Cynthia for reblogging the Arizona Public Media web article regarding Tucson’s Modern Streetcar.
The new Tucson Modern Streetcar might not have the antique charm of the old 4th Avenue Trolleys, but you can’t beat the air conditioning when it’s about a hundred degrees outside! Even though the photo is from the 50s (yeah, I now note the tailfinned car,) the streetcar is very much an artifact of the 30’s or early 40s. Has any historical society or museum in the Chicago area persevered or restored one of these?
A beautiful reproduction of the Electroliner can be obtained, if you’ve got the scratch (this collector HO scale model train stuff is never cheap) . CleanTechnica is the #1 cleantech-focused news & analysis website in the US & the world, focusing primarily on electric cars, solar energy, wind energy, & energy storage. Also, a server that contained all of the databases for dozens of stories was accidentally erased, so all of those links are broken as well.
Just as with the case of railroad towns all across the country, railroads came and went and many merged together.
The other option was to take meals at the MKT eateries located in some select stops such as Dallas.
This was the BRI route connecting Fort Worth Texas and Houston which started service in 1936.
There were a great number of situations where very small lines were chartered to build rail lines over perhaps a few hundred miles. The state was growing steadily and passenger service was in demand to cities such as Fort Worth, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio. Such an effort was begun by the old Texas Pacific Railroad which ultimately ended with the Southern Pacific route from Los Angeles to New Orleans via El Paso, San Antonio and Houston.
Mergers and acquisitions took place and eventually the Chicago, Rock Island and Gulf Railroad was completed.
The Rock Island would eventually run to Tucumcari New Mexico where it would join up with a Southern Pacific line and offer through service from Chicago to the west coast. Some serve as excellent museums with artifacts and photos of the old passenger trains that visited.
They make good additions to trip planners and most are filled with large historic collections. It is the third stop heading south from Fort Worth on Amtrak’s Texas Eagle which operates between Chicago and San Antonio Texas.
The old Harvey House is now a fascinating museum featuring many artifacts and photos of both the AT & SF Railroad and the workings of a Harvey House eatery.
The streetcars, filled with passengers, initially met projected expectations of around 3,600 passengers a day. That’s where the Tucson cars were built and are, apparently, virtually identical to those. There’s hope that, in a few years, the present day route (albeit, now serving a rather small part of town) will be expanded greatly. I might not have caught the joke, but I really do like the looks of that streetcar picture you posted. It kind of reminds me of the Burllington Zephyr Streamliner train of the mid 1930s, which looks modern even by today’s standards . It is part of Important Media -- a network of 20 progressive blogs working to make the world a better, greener place. The last half of our article lists several historic train depots in Texas and the west that make excellent trip stops.


Fortunately, a good number of these historic train stations still exist in Texas as they do around the entire country. Over the years and in some cases in only a few years these lines merged with other larger railroads and these as well were acquired by even larger railroads.
This line would be in direct competition with the Atchison Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad at that time. Some others are a combination of both, serving as museums and trains stations served by Amtrak. Although there is no passenger service today and hasn’t been since 1970 the Amarillo rail yard is very busy with BNSF freight traffic.
Waxahachie itself is known to many as the Gigerbread City because of the historic homes still standing built prior to 1900.
Temple Texas is located along Interstate 35 about 35 miles south of Waco and about 65 miles north of Austin. It is just to the south side of Flagstaff’s historic district and serves as a Visitor Center as well as a passenger station. The depot today has a restaurant, grocery and a fascinating museum with one of a kind railroad exhibits. However, the ridership expanded rapidly and almost doubled as classes at the University of Arizona started. Waxahachie Texas was on the main line of the Katy Flyer, a very popular named rail route which ran from St. Travel time on the new streamlined Sam Houston Zephyr was originally five hours with only four stops along the way, Waxahachie being one of them.
The southern branch of the Katy Railroad was primarily made up of several of these smaller lines being acquired. The old Santa Fe Amarillo train depot, built in 1910, and the surrounding six acres are now owned by the City of Amarillo. Today the depot is an active Amtrak stop for the Southwest Chief which runs daily between Chicago and Los Angeles. Also an old Southern Pacific steam locomotive is on display outside as well as interesting sculptures.
Because of declining profits and competition from automobiles and airlines the Sam Houston Zephyr discontinued service in 1966. The depot is located to the east of the downtown area and quite close to a few historic hotels.
The hotel also adjoined a structure that was used as an area headquarters for the railroad.
The idea of resurrecting the trolley along the 4th Avenue part of that line came together in the 1980s and, from 1993 to 2011, a number of vintage trolleys ran along those tracks . One of them is on display at a trolley museum there, with the other similarly displayed in a Chicago-area railway museum. The old Katy depot is also across the street from the old Santa Fe Railroad depot which gives you a good comparison of the different architecture.
Renovations took place in 1996 and the Gallup Cultural Center opened inside the building at the same time.



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