Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific empty grain trains at Bowie, TX

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The town of Bowie was established in 1882 when the Fort Worth and Denver City Railway was building the railroad. The town was named for James Bowie, one of the defenders of the Alamo and name sake for the Bowie Knife. The Rock Island crossed the Fort Worth and Denver City in 1893. The Texas Railroad Commission established a number system for all the interlocking towers in Texas. The CRI&G mechanical interlocker was built on the north side of the junction with the FW&DC in 1902. This became Tower 1. It burned to the ground in August 1950 and was replaced with an automatic interlocker that controlled 5 signals. All the circuitry is in that little silver box on the right.

CRI&P empty grain train crossing BN mainline at Bowie, TX

Extra 4328 North stopped briefly at the north switch to line itself out of the siding as it was meeting a southbound train here at Bowie.

Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific empty grain train at Bowie, TX

About twenty minutes later, engine 341 leads another empty grain train over the BN diamond. I am standing on the telephone box at the junction just about where the old tower was. The Rock had recently implemented caboose less operations and I was wondering how they were going to line the north switch back to the mainline. Since it was so close to sunset, I decided to wait until the grain train had left. I noticed that the train on the mainline was still waiting. A few minutes later I saw the power from that train coming back down the siding. After stopping near the switch, the brakeman lined the switch back for the mainline. After getting back onto the rear unit, the brakeman gave the engineer a high sign and the power proceeded back toward the headend of its train. I then knew that the train that holds the mainline has the joy of lining all switches back to normal after a meet.

Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific empty grain train at Bowie, TX April 14, 1979

On April 14, 1979 train 26 had stopped on the mainline waiting for a meet with a southbound train. The train had engines 4306 and 4466. After calling the dispatcher on the phone at the crossing, the crew got permission to go to Ryan for the meet. The conductor and brakeman are getting back on the train as it begins to cross the BN mainline. Disk 86

Tower 1 at Bowie, TX

John Barriger picture. John was riding a northbound train looking southeast. This is Tower number 1 in Texas at Bowie protecting the crossing of the Fort Worth and Denver City with the Rock Island. It was built in 1902 and burned down in August 1950. It was replaced by an automatic interlocker.