Texarkana, Texas

A busy crossroads
RELATED TOPICS: AMTRAK | UNION PACIFIC | WEST
Texarkana is one of four sites in Texas profiled in Kalmbach's Guide to North American Hot Spots by TRAINS Senior Editor J. David Ingles. Read below for Texarkana information.

Site: Texarkana, Texas

Nearest Cities: Dallas (186 miles southwest); Shreveport, La. (71 miles southeast)

Popular Name: Tower 42

Location: Texas/Eastern EC-12 (Rand McNally Atlas)

Directions: About a mile southwest of downtown Texarkana, which straddles the Arkansas-Texas state line.

Description: Grade-level crossings of single-track Kansas City Southern and double-track Union Pacific ex-Missouri Pacific and ex-St. Louis Southwestern (Cotton Belt) main lines.

Type of Operation: Mainline freight action on both lines, including unit and intermodal trains, plus daily Amtrak Texas Eagle.

Texarkana is where the lines involved in Union Pacific's directional running on the St. Louis-Texas routes cross. Eastbound (or northbound) trains primarily use the former Missouri Pacific between Big Sandy, Texas (112 miles southwest), and southeastern Missouri, via Little Rock, while westbounds primarily use the former Cotton Belt t via Pine Bluff, Ark.

Typical Motive Power:
KCS: EMD GP38-2s, GP40-2s, SD40-2s, SD60s; GE AC4400CWs
UP: GE AC4400CWS, C41-8Ws, B30-7s, EMD SD9043ACs, SD60Ms, SD40-2s, GP38-2s.

Peak Operating Hours: Spread throughout the day

Approximate Daily Train Frequency: KCS: 20; UP: 35

Radio Frequencies: KCS: 160.260, 160.350 (road); UP: 160.515 (road), 161.550 (road)

Nearby Points of Interest: Texarkana Union Station, whose old head building is on the state line, hosts Amtrak's Texas Eagle twice daily. Amtrak's waiting room is in the east end of the facility, which is east of Tower 42. The westbound Eagle uses the former SSW west of Texarkana to Big Sandy; the eastbound uses the former MP from Big Sandy via Marshall. East of Texarkana, both Eagles use the ex-MP via Malvern. The Texarkana platform is a good place to watch UP's yard switchers south of the station, as well as mainline freights.

Remarks: Gas, food, and lodging are all available in Texarkana, with concentration north of downtown at I-30 and U.S. 59-71.

Safety Considerations: There is no public property to watch trains at the KCS-SSW crossing, but there is a gravel parking lot a the corner of Phenie and Lelia St. A few trees bordering the edge of a lumber yard at the diamond's southwest corner offer shade; in addition, the other crossing of the KCS with UP's ex-MP line is visible from here.

Contributor's Name: Mike Harbour
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