Skip to comments.Local historian to speak on railroad’s relationship to planned TTC
Posted on 11/12/2008 7:09:56 PM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
History tends to repeat itself in more ways than one.
Wichita Falls historian and author Steve Goen has again been asked to give a presentation at George Bush Presidential Library and Museum at the Texas A&M campus at College Station Nov. 22.
This will be his second appearance at the library.
Goens presentation, The Katy Railroad Our States Original Trans-Texas Corridor, will showcase the evolution of transportation along the Blackland Prairie in Central Texas.
Gov. Rick Perry and politicians in Austin are pushing for a superhighway with a railroad running through it, Goen said. Theres a lot of resistance to that from farmers who dont want to lose anymore valuable farmland.
The proposed superhighway, the Trans-Texas Corridor project, follows the original Katy Railroad route through Texas and would be built to accompany Interstate 35 in offering passage to and from several major Texas cities like Dallas, Austin and San Antonio.
Passenger service on the Katy was discontinued south of Dallas in July 1964 and north of Dallas in June 1965 because Interstate Highway 35 was monopolizing Texas travel.
Unfortunately, I-35 was wrong from the start, Goen said.
The joke is, the day that it was opened, it was already outdated, he said. You dont build a two-lane freeway to connect so many major cities. It was not built up to standard since day one.
Once the passenger service failed, the railroads depended almost solely on U.S. Postal Service contracts. When those were pulled, so was the railroad.
Goen will show how Texas transportation has come full circle, reverting back to a thriving railroad system used to sustain interstate travel.
The presentation is open to the public and will include a slide show with a selection of Goens 25,000 historical photos. Charts, graphs, maps and diagrams will be used to show how close the proposed freeway system is to what was already in place so many years ago the Katy Railroad.
Im trying to show what we already have, Goen said. Its a crying shame the state turned its back on what we had. Now billions of dollars are going to be spent to replace it.
Goen has published eight books relating primarily to railroads of the southwest and how theyve prospered and changed.
Trans-Texas Corridor PING!