Tyler Texas Railroading Today


Union Pacific Railroad ... serving Tyler Texas

The age of merger and consolidation, whether it be in railroads, airlines or college athletic conferences, has become a way of life. We miss the Cotton Belt, but then we also miss Trans Texas Airways and the Big-8! We'll adjust somehow.

"Cotton Belt Marks 110 Years of Railroading": Article from the SP Bulletin, Winter 1987-88 Edition"Cotton Belt Marks 110 Years of Railroading": Article from the Southern Pacific Bulletin, Winter 1987-88 Edition

The Tyler Tap merged into the St. Louis Southwestern which merged into the Southern Pacific which was consumed by Union Pacific.

The International Railroad and the Houston & Great Northern Railroad (H&GN) merged to form the International & Great Northern Railroad (I&GN). The I&GN then was merged into the Missouri Pacific (MP) system in 1956, and the Missouri Pacific was also consumed by the Union Pacific.

Today, Tyler is left with one railroad: the Union Pacific. The east-west trackage is active daily. The old MoPac route running from Troup to Lindale is only partially in use. It is inactive southbound at Whitehouse; it may still serve a concrete plant and the Trane plant just south of Tyler. To the north, it serves a couple of plants, but no longer connects to Lindale. The old Cotton Belt route through Gresham and Bullard is abandoned.

Be sure to view Todd Sestero's excellent Railfan Guide to Tyler Texas (below). Also, we highly recommend linking to Todd's Railroad Signals of the US website for a wealth of railroading information.

Rail traffic continues, but memories of the past are still with us today around Tyler. These vestiges of the past help to remind us of those who lived and worked before us, and to imagine what those years were like on the railroad.

The Cotton Belt Depot Museum, 210 East Oakwood Street, Tyler, TexasThe Cotton Belt Depot Museum
210 East Oakwood Street, Tyler, Texas (photograph by the author)
The Cotton Belt Depot Museum, 210 East Oakwood Street, Tyler, TexasLooking east from the Cotton Belt Depot Museum toward the rail yards
(photograph by the author)
The Cotton Belt Depot Museum, 210 East Oakwood Street, Tyler, TexasLooking west from the Cotton Belt Depot Museum
210 East Oakwood Street, Tyler, Texas (photograph by the author)
The Cotton Belt Depot Museum, 210 East Oakwood Street, Tyler, TexasLooking north towards the Cotton Belt Depot Museum on the old MoPac tracks
(photograph by the author)
The crossing of the Cotton Belt and I&GN tracks in downtown Tyler, Texas The crossing of the Cotton Belt and I&GN tracks in downtown Tyler, Texas
(Photograph by the author, September, 2011)
Cotton Belt Route overpass on Front Street, Tyler, Texas
Cotton Belt Route overpass on Front Street, Tyler, Texas
(Photograph by the author)
The Cotton Belt Building which housed the general offices of the St. Louis Southwestern Railway, 1517 West Front Street, Tyler, Texas The Cotton Belt Building (south facade) which housed the general offices of the St. Louis Southwestern Railway, 1517 West Front Street, Tyler, Texas
Placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2005
The Cotton Belt Building which housed the general offices of the St. Louis Southwestern Railway, 1517 West Front Street, Tyler, Texas The Cotton Belt Building (east facade), 1517 West Front Street, Tyler, Texas (Photograph by the author)

The Cotton Belt yards remain in Tyler, but have changed since 1995

The Cotton Belt yards, Tyler, Texas, aerial view, 1995 (Google Maps) The Cotton Belt yards, Tyler, Texas, aerial view, 1995 (Google Maps)
The Cotton Belt yards, Tyler, Texas, aerial view, 2010 (Google Maps) The Cotton Belt yards, Tyler, Texas, aerial view, 2010 (Google Maps)
Todd Sestero's Railfan Guide to Tyler, Texas provided with permission of the owner ... click image to enlarge Todd Sestero's Railfan Guide to Tyler, Texas
Created and owned by Railroad Signals of the US, www.RailroadSignals.us
For personal use only. Provided here with permission of the owner
(click image to enlarge)

 

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