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Cotton Belt in East Texas in the 1950’s

October 6, 2012

Let’s look at some Cotton Belt trains in East Texas in the 1950’s. First up is a shot of  RS3 308 leading a local passenger train at Dallas Junction, in southwest Mount Pleasant, Texas in July of 1954. The 308 is just over 2 years old here, having been built in April, 1952. Dallas Jct. is where the Cotton Belt’s Dallas/Fort Worth branch line diverged from the East St. Louis – Corsicana mainline.

SSW Cotton Belt RS3 leads passenger train at dallas Jct. in 1954

The next shot shows SSW FT 917 at Naples, Texas with an F7B/F7A on a freight train in January of 1956. Naples is about 18 miles east of Mount Pleasant. Note the crewman checking out the photographer

SSW Cotton Belt FT 917 on freight train at Naples TX

Last up is this 6/27/1958 view of  T&NO F7A 376 at the Cotton Belt yard at Texarkana, Texas. T&NO 376 was built in mid-1953, and was from the final group of EMD F-units purchased by the Southern Pacific.

T&NO F7A 376 at Texarkana TX

I believe the above view was taken from the Texas Viaduct, a long bridge over the ex SSW and MP yards in Texarkana. Here’s an aerial view of what the area looks like now.

Of course the yard has changed dramatically over the last 54 years, but the basic layout looks right. Do you agree? I’d especially like to hear from any Texarkanian readers.

PS – The viaduct has also changed dramatically. Currently a modern concrete structure, it was originally a wooden structure per this old postcard image I found.

It was built in the early 1930s by the city. It was torn down and rebuilt in the early 1970s.



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