The Galveston Railroad Museum is owned and operated by the Center for Transportation and Commerce. It was established with funds from Galveston businesswoman and philanthropist Mary Moody Northen and the Moody Foundation. The museum is headquartered in the old Gulf Colorado & Santa Fe depot building in Galveston, TX. The GC&SF was a Galveston based railroad that eventually linked with the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe and became the Texas subdivision of the Santa Fe.
By 1912, the AT&SF announced its plans to build a new
union depot in Galveston that would also house the offices of the Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe. Their plans were for an eight-story fireproof building made of steel-reinforced concrete and faced with white enamelled brick. The waiting room would be 104 feet by 63 feet, and the building would be large enough to contain all of the departments of the GC&SF lines.
An addition to the building was made in 1932, which
included another eight-story building and an eleven-story tower. The company planned to spend $35,000 on this remodelling of the old building so that it would match the new structure.
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Chartered as the Beaumont & Great Northern Railroad in 1905, it was renamed the Waco, Beaumont, Trinity & Sabine Railway in 1923. In 1926, it had six locomotives and fifty-eight cars and operated over one hundred and fourteen miles of track.
Abandonments began in 1936 and continued until 1959, when it suspended operations completely. The last track was removed in 1961. The company was widely known as the Wobble, Bobble, Turnover, and Stop, which may be an indication of the condition of the railroad during much of its life.
This oil burning Prairie type (2-6-2) locomotive was built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works in Philadelphia, PA, in 1920 for the H. G. Bohlssen Company as #1.
W. Henderson and H. G. Bohlssen formed a corporation in 1913 called the H. G. Bohlssen Manufacturing Company and built a lumber mill at Barnes' Switch, near New Caney on the Angelina River in Ewing County, TX. Bohlssen died in the early 1920s and, after his widow sold out to Henderson, the company name was changed to Angelina Hardwood Company. #1 stayed with the company until 1944, when it was sold to the Southland Paper Mills in Herty, TX. Four years later it was sold to the Waco, Beaumont, Trinity & Sabine Railway in Trinity, TX.
#1 was rescued in a dilapidated condition from the WBT&S yard in Trinity, TX, and restored at the museum. It is on static display mounted on a simulated turntable in the courtyard outside the museum offices and is nicknamed "Mary and Elizabeth Too" in honour of Mary Elizabeth Moody Northen, who was instrumental in the founding of the museum.
The engine weighs 93,000 lbs, 68,000 lbs on its 43" drivers. With
15" x 24" cylinders, it operated at a boiler pressure of 160 psi delivering 16,690 lbs tractive effort.
This is one of thirty-two oil burning T-24 Class Ten Wheeler (4-6-0) type locomotives built by the Cooke Locomotive Works in Patterson, NJ, for the Houston & Texas Central Railroad in 1892 (#111-#132). Originally numbered #114, the locomotive was renumbered #314 in 1914.
The H&TC was chartered in 1848 but did not begin building until 1852. The company came under Southern Pacific control in 1883, but the H&TC continued to operate as a separate organisation until 1927, when it was leased to the Texas & New Orleans.
On the Texas & New Orleans, #314 worked primarily in Texas and Louisiana until it was sold to the Vermillion Sugar Co., in Erath, LA, in 1940 where it was renumbered #1. In
1957, it was sold to F. Nelson Blount in Bellows Falls, VT, who donated it to the Steamtown Foundation in 1965. It was restored for static display after 1968. In 1982, it was bought by the Moody Foundation.
Weighing 123,000 lbs, 96,000 lbs on its 57" drivers, with 19” x 24” cylinders, it operated at a boiler pressure of 160 psi delivering 20,670 lbs tractive effort.
An oil fired locomotive built at Alco’s Dunkirk, NY, shops in 1922, this Consolidation type (2-8-0) started work as Magma Arizona Railroad #5 hauling ore cars from copper mines at Superior, AZ, to the interchange with the Southern Pacific Railroad at Magma Junction, and carrying mine supplies back to Superior (you can see other Magma Arizona locomotives on the McCormick Stillman Railroad Park page of this website and the Texas State Railroad page.
#55 hauled its last train on 3rd September 1968. In 1970, it was sold to the Oregon, Pacific & Eastern Railway, where it hauled passenger excursion trains until the line closed in 1987. It was
then sold to the Moody Corporation, and has since been reliveried as Center for Transportation and Commerce Engine #555.
Below, #5 in the yard alongside ex-Southwest Portland Cement Fairbanks Morse H-20-44 #410.
#5 has starred in several television commercials and movies, most notably in Emperor of the
North, a 1973 movie filmed on the Oregon,
Pacific & Eastern right of way in Oregon. The film starred Ernest Borgnine, Lee Marvin and Keith Carradine, and the locomotive had two roles, top image on the right, as #5, the fast mail that almost collides with #19, and then, lower two images, as #27, the passenger train jumped by Marvin and Carradine.
This unit was the last of ninety-six H-20-44 type switchers built by Fairbanks-Morse in Beloit, WI between 1947 and 1954. It was outshopped in 1954 for the Akron, Canton & Youngstown Railroad as #505 and then sold to the Southwest Portland Cement Company in Victorville, CA, and renumbered #410. It was retired in 1984 and donated to the museum.
#410 was never owned by the Union Pacific, but was painted in UP colours by the museum in recognition of the railroad’s presence in
The H-20-44 was a heavier duty, 2,000 hp version of Fairbanks-Morse's 1,000 hp H-10-44 unit. Weighing 240,000 lbs and 51' long, the H-20-44 has a 2-cycle 38D8 1/8 prime mover powering a Westinghouse WE481B generator to drive four Westinghouse WE37DE traction motors. Delivering 55,000 lbs continuous tractive effort at 12.9 mph, it had a top speed of 60 mph.
As far as I have been able to piece it together, this is the somewhat convoluted history of these two units.
#315, an F7A unit, was built as #6443 at EMD's La Grange, IL, plant in 1953 for the Southern Pacific. It was traded to General Electric in
1966, where it was rebuilt. #316, another F7A, was built for the Texas & New Orleans Railroad in 1953 and was also traded to GE for rebuilding.
GE sold both units to the Wellesville,
Addison & Galeton Railroad in March 1970 where #6443 was renumbered #2200 and #315 as #2300.
The units were sold to the Port Authority of Allegheny County as PATrains #6690 and #6691 in 1975, and were bought by the Connecticut Department of Transportation in 1989 for the Shore Line East service out of New Haven, CT, where they were liveried with the New York, New Haven & Hartford "McGinnis" scheme.
CDOT #6690 was phased out of service in 1999 and put on display in Thomaston at the Railroad Museum of New England's headquarters. Both units were donated to the RMNE by ConnDOT in 2001 and went into storage.
GC&SF trains #15 and #16 running between Galveston and Chicago as the Texas Chief used the"Warbonnet" scheme, and the AT&SF F7s were numbered in the 300 series, so allocating the refurbished units #315 and #316 was intended to honour these historical facts.
However, there are several anomalies. The front doors with the headlights were salvaged from Texas Limited #100 and #102, F7s that ran from Houston to Galveston as a private train for a number of years and which were destroyed by Hurricane Ike in 2008.
The two units were next sold to the Galveston Railroad Museum in 2011 and travelled as RPCX #6690 and #6691 to Motive Power & Equipment Solutions in Greenville, SC, for refurbishment where they were painted in the Santa Fe Super Chief colours. They were publicly unveiled at Greensville on 9th June 2012.
Although these units never ran for the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe, with the permission of the BNSF, the museum was licensed to livery them in the famous "Warbonnet" passenger paint scheme of the Santa Fe.
The museum has one of the largest restored railroad collections in the southwest.
It is one of the five largest in the US, with many different pieces of railroad memorabilia and exhibits, including a total of more than forty pieces of rolling stock and locomotives.