Southern Pacific semaphore signals at Beeville

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The San Antonio & Aransas Pass Railway Company began building south in 1885 and reached Beeville in early 1886. The railroad completed the line to Corpus Christi near the end of 1886. In 1888 the SA&AP completed a line between Skidmore and Alice.

Southern Pacific semaphore signals at Beeville

I had driven from San Antonio toward Beeville following a branch line of the Southern Pacific on December 8, 1977. Every once in awhile the sun would peek through a break in the clouds. I just happened to catch one of those breaks as engine 6622 and another GP35 came by the semaphore signals at milepost 93.4. The units have set out some cars at Beeville and are going back to pick up their train (CCHOY) at Darby siding about two miles south of Beeville. The train will head to Houston after meeting Extra 3358 West.

Southern Pacific semaphore signals at Darby

I missed the shot of the meet, but caught engines 3358, 6634, and 6605 at the south end of Darby siding. This time the sun remained behind the clouds. Darby is at milepost 95 as measured from San Antonio. The train is in a short stretch (11 miles) of CTC between Beeville and Skidmore. This short stretch of CTC went into service on January 18, 1930 and was the first installation of CTC on the SP. The installation controlled 4 switches at two sidings (Darby and Yougeen) and used 25 semaphore signals. The CTC machine was at the station in Beeville. At the time the line had six passenger and six freight trains a day plus two locals. However during harvest time in the Rio Grande Valley in February and March the line could see up to 40 trains. The system was retired in 1981. Disk 103