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Abandoned railroads in Houston


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What abandoned railroads are there in Houston? The only ones I know of were the following:

- The MKT went from Katy (its namesake) into downtown, abandoned 1997, currently I-10 expansion and bike path (Heights Bike Trail)

- Columbia Tap Rail Trail was abandoned as early as 1985 as the Houston Belt & Terminal

- Westpark Tollway and part of 59 take another railroad, don't know what it was called. It was "broken" in two parts by the railroad that goes parallels the western segment of 610, abandoned circa 2001, at least parts of it

- There were some railroads downtown completely gone now (no trace)

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The old SP line that basically paralleled Southwest Fwy was called the "Kenedy Line". Here is a couple of pics of the old Kenedy courtesy of abandonedrails.com. http://www.abandoned...es/ngxf0o1o.jpg

http://www.abandonedrails.com/resources/pictures/nqs4djq2.jpg

http://www.abandonedrails.com/resources/pictures/7wubkdlg.jpg

I remember when it used to cross west of the diamond behind what now is Fox 26. I'm not sure what was back there near Greenbriar/Shepherd that the line still serviced but the tracks were still in use up to Shepherd until the late 80's and Ringling Bros. used the small section between Weslayan and Kirby to park the Circus train until The Summit/Compaq Center closed its doors.

There are more abandoned railroads in Houston than I can ever recall. There once was a southbound spur from the SP main that crossed Washington Avenue, had a long bridge over Memorial and Allen Pkwy, and crossed W. Dallas. That line was abandoned when the Ed Sacks Paper Co. closed. The Katy line mentioned above turned south at Dowling and crossed I-45 service road once it was east of downtown. This portion of the Katy was abandoned and tracks removed after MKT was purchased by UP in '88. The Heights had its own SP spur as well. It split off of the SP main where Wal Mart is going to be located and ran parallel with Yale until you reached 7th street. It turned west and ran next to the Katy until it reached Nicholson and then diamonded across the Katy and headed north paralleling Nicholson street until 25th street where it ended at the big warehouse.

...and I guess you could call it an abandoned railroad, as there are trolley rails underneath the pavement on North Main. The only place that I have ever been able to tell where the trolley tracks were is at the intersection of Main, 20th, Calvacade, and Studewood. Look in the middle of the intersection and you will see it clearly....only you probably didn't know what caused that near perfect pair of cracks in the asphalt while you sat at the light.

Edited by H8S 4 LIFE
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Here's a map of where all the Electric Railroads in Houston ever where. It's been interesting for me to see the various former rail routes and see the landscape today. The map shows, for example, the Camp Logan electric railway entrance going west on Ariel Street, where Camp Logan maps indicate the entrance was. I had never figured the Camp Logan entrance to be that far south of Washington.

railroads.jpg

Kevin

The old SP line that basically paralleled Southwest Fwy was called the "Kenedy Line". Here is a couple of pics of the old Kenedy courtesy of abandonedrails.com. http://www.abandoned...es/ngxf0o1o.jpg

http://www.abandonedrails.com/resources/pictures/nqs4djq2.jpg

http://www.abandonedrails.com/resources/pictures/7wubkdlg.jpg

I remember when it used to cross west of the diamond behind what now is Fox 26. I'm not sure what was back there near Greenbriar/Shepherd that the line still serviced but the tracks were still in use up to Shepherd until the late 80's and Ringling Bros. used the small section between Weslayan and Kirby to park the Circus train until The Summit/Compaq Center closed its doors.

There are more abandoned railroads in Houston than I can ever recall. There once was a southbound spur from the SP main that crossed Washington Avenue, had a long bridge over Memorial and Allen Pkwy, and crossed W. Dallas. That line was abandoned when the Ed Sacks Paper Co. closed. The Katy line mentioned above turned south at Dowling and crossed I-45 service road once it was east of downtown. This portion of the Katy was abandoned and tracks removed after MKT was purchased by UP in '88. The Heights had its own SP spur as well. It split off of the SP main where Wal Mart is going to be located and ran parallel with Yale until you reached 7th street. It turned west and ran next to the Katy until it reached Nicholson and then diamonded across the Katy and headed north paralleling Nicholson street until 25th street where it ended at the big warehouse.

...and I guess you could call it an abandoned railroad, as there are trolley rails underneath the pavement on North Main. The only place that I have ever been able to tell where the trolley tracks were is at the intersection of Main, 20th, Calvacade, and Studewood. Look in the middle of the intersection and you will see it clearly....only you probably didn't know what caused that near perfect pair of cracks in the asphalt while you sat at the light.

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...and I guess you could call it an abandoned railroad, as there are trolley rails underneath the pavement on North Main. The only place that I have ever been able to tell where the trolley tracks were is at the intersection of Main, 20th, Calvacade, and Studewood. Look in the middle of the intersection and you will see it clearly....only you probably didn't know what caused that near perfect pair of cracks in the asphalt while you sat at the light.

I go by that intersection of Main, 20th, Calvalcade, and Studewood every day and I don't personally see the marks in the intersection you refer to. According to the Electric Railroad map, the rail went up Studewood and then turned to the left and continued up North Main at that point.

I would like to know if there are ANY points on the entire route where actual rails from the streetcar era are still visible. I don't doubt that there are a few points where the rail is still under the concrete, but I'm talking about still visible... anyone??

Kevin

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I go by that intersection of Main, 20th, Calvalcade, and Studewood every day and I don't personally see the marks in the intersection you refer to. According to the Electric Railroad map, the rail went up Studewood and then turned to the left and continued up North Main at that point.

I would like to know if there are ANY points on the entire route where actual rails from the streetcar era are still visible. I don't doubt that there are a few points where the rail is still under the concrete, but I'm talking about still visible... anyone??

Kevin

I think he was referring to the patch in the concrete. No actual tracks are visible, I don't think.

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I think he was referring to the patch in the concrete. No actual tracks are visible, I don't think.

Irontiger is correct. There are no visible rails on North Main. The rails are under the pavement, at least from what my father told me many years ago. There are two long "cracks" in the asphalt at that intersection. They are in the center of the road as you are coming north on Studewood and head towards North Main. This is the same direction as the railcar ran, which led me to believe my father was correct in his statement that the rails were simply paved over as opposed to removal.

A few years ago, I was disappointed when Studewood was reconstructed as I was hoping that there would be an extraction of the original rails that went down the street. No rails were there, which made me wonder if my father was wrong in his recollection. I simply don't know at this point.

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A few years ago, I was disappointed when Studewood was reconstructed as I was hoping that there would be an extraction of the original rails that went down the street. No rails were there, which made me wonder if my father was wrong in his recollection. I simply don't know at this point.

There are numerous references to the streetcar rail running down Studewood to downtown (including the map posted earlier in this thread). It was probably torn out when replaced by the bus system.

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