TCT Motive Power

Apparently, the Texas City Terminal companies numbered their motive power in sequence.  Although many of their units were steam and diesel locomotives, they also had several “interesting” units. There are several “vacant” numbers for some of the early locomotives.

  • Number 1

    Steam 4-4-0.  In this 1894 view, Texas City Terminal #1 is seen pushing an IGN boxcar out to a waiting boat. It appears to be a 4-4-0 (American-type), a natural choice for a start-up railroad.  By that time, the 4-4-0 had largely been relegated to the scrap heap, replaced by larger and more efficient steam locomotives.  At the same time, the Texas City Terminal had little need for larger locomotives at that time.

  • Number 10

    Steam, 4-4-0?.  This photograph from the Texas City Library collection shows what appears to be locomotive No. 10 at the Texas City station which was located on 1st Avenue North between 5th and 6th Streets.

    The front number plate looks like “10”, with a prominent “0” on the steam dome (behind the person standing on the locomotive pilot). It is not clear what the wheel arrangement of this locomotive is, but the the drivers are large ones (note the person standing next to the driving wheel).

  • Number 12
  • Steam 0-6-0, Schenectady, 1890 (bought 1909).  No photographs have been found as of this writing.

  • Number 14
  • Number 15
  • Electric 0-B-0.  Baldwin Westinghouse 1911.  A photo of this locomotive type appears in the Baron book:

  • Number 16
  • Steam, 2-6-0, ALCo, 1911.  This unit, and apparently all subsequent Texas City Terminal steam locomotives, is an oil fired unit. Fuel oil was increasingly used to fire ships of that era, so it was logical that the Texas City port would have fuel oil supplies.  Even the venerable battleship U. S. S. Texas started off as a coal-fired ship in 1914, converted later to oil fuel in 1925.

    Although Texas does have coal reserves, most of it is low-BTU lignite.  On the other hand, Texas has plenty of petroleum, so oil-fired steam locomotioves on the TCT were a natural.

  • Number 17
  • Steam, 0-6-0, Baldwin, 1911, slope back tender.  This photo is linked because of Denver Public Library copyright restrictions.

  • Number 18
  • Steam, 0-6-0, Baldwin, 1911, slope back tender.  This photo is linked because of Denver Public Library copyright restrictions.

  • Numbers 20 & 21
  • Gasoline motor car, FM-Sheffield 1910, later converted to trailer. Keilty lists two Fairbanks-Morse rail cars on the TCT roster. They were 50hp gas powered, with 8 windows, 4 wheels with a clerestory roof.  These cars had a small baggage section and seated 35 passengers and were built in 1910.  Although no photographs have turned up, these cars would have been similar in appearance to this F-M car that has an all-passenger Brill body:

    Fairbanks-Morse was a manufacturer that produced a large number of railroad related equipment, from track scales (used to weight cars) to complete locomotives.  Sheffield started by producing a “velocipede” (a three-wheeled, hand-powered vehicle made for travel on train tracks), consolidating with F-M in the early 1900’s.  Fairbanks-Morse also combined their power units with other car-body builders such as Brill.

  • Number 22
  • Gasoline motor car, McKeen 1912. The Texas City Terminal had a number of interesting units on its roster, but perhaps the oddest was #22.

    The Texas City Terminal McKeen car, in common with many other railroad owners of these cars, proved to be unpopular.  It arrived in September of 1912 and was apparently replaced by No. 25 in 1917.

  • Numbers 23 & 24
  • Electric powered streetcar. McGuire-Cummings, 1913.  These two cars arrived on August 1, 1913. The Texas City streetcar operation lasted until May 31, 1918.

  • Number 25
  • “Molly O”, gasoline powered motor bus body on flanged wheels. The Molly O replaced No. 22 when passenger traffic continued to decline. Destroyed by fire, April 7, 1923 (DeMaet)

  • Number 26
  • “Dinky” gasoline powered motor bus body.

  • Number 27
  • Steam locomotive, 0-6-0, Baldwin 1925

  • Number 28
  • Gasoline powered 4-wheel locomotive, Plymouth 1940. Plymouth was a builder of small industrial locomotives. It is presumed that this locomotive was used for individual car movements at the Texas City docks.

  • Number 29
  • Steam locomotive, 0-6-0, American (ALCo) 1907, bought 1942.  This locomotive was bought second-hand from an unknown source.  There is one photograph of what appear to be both 27 and 29:

This photo was taken after the Texas City Disaster at the Terminal Company’s loco shops.  Presumably both locomotives were scrapped afterward.

  • Number 30
  • S-1 diesel locomotive, ALCo b/n 75125, 1/1947. Here, an early photo of the 30 in what appears to be a black & white livery:

  • Number 31
  • S-1 diesel locomotive, ALCo b/n 75126, 1/1947.  Here, an early photo of the 31 in a different livery:

Just guessing here, but it would seem that the #31’s livery would have been an as-delivered paint scheme from ALCo, while the #30’s simplified scheme would have been one applied by the TCT’s own shops.  One possible motivation for the repaint would have been as a result of the Disaster (which happened in April of 1947) since both #30 and #31 were built (and presumably delivered) in January of 1947. Here, a photo of a damaged diesel switcher at Texas City:

The #31 eventually left the property, ending up at a sand facility in South Carolina, still in its final Texas City Terminal livery:

  • Locomotive 32
  • Diesel locomotive S-3, ALCo b/n 78510, 11/1950.  Texas City Terminal went back to ALCo for a very similar S-3 switcher; the only difference was that the S-3 had different trucks (support frames for the wheels and traction motors).

  • Locomotive 33
  • S-4 diesel locomotive, ALCo b/n 80628, 8/1953. Three years later, TCT returned to ALCo for a final end-cab switch, #33.  The S-4 was rated at 1000 HP, higher than the S-1 & S-3’s 660 HP. Here, a builder’s photo:

  • Locomotive 34
  • 0-B-0 (4-wheel) 25-ton Plymouth JDT, 1956. TCT returned to Plymouth Locomotive Works for this unit, presumably a replacement for the earlier, similar unit, the #28. It is not known if this locomotive was gasoline powered or diesel powered. Here, a Texas City High School yearbook advert.  One of these young lady’s father was President of the Texas City Terminal Railway. And I had a grade-school crush on one of the others:

In the background is ALCo switcher #32.

At some point, the diesels of the Texas City Terminal Railway got long in the tooth. Presumably, their end-cab switchers were all leased and when the leases ran out, they were presumably ready for retirement. The #31 unit continued on in industrial service, but it is presumed that those that remained either continued on at other locations with other operators or were scrapped.

In the interim, Texas City Terminal relied upon locomotives obtained from its joint owners, Santa Fe and Union Pacific.  The Ken DeMaet book, shows three examples, but it is assumed that these locomotives are only examples of a rotating cast of characters.

Which brings us to the current locomotive fleet. Originally part of a larger order of MP-15’s for the Missouri Pacific (one of the TCT’s owners), these three locomotives were diverted to the Terminal Railway in November, 1982.

  • Locomotive 35
  •  MP-15DC Electron-Motive Diesel locomotive, Frame #827028-1

  • Locomotive 36
  • MP-15DC Electro-Motive Diesel locomotive, Frame #827028-2

  • Locomotive 37
  • MP-15DC Electro-Motive Diesel locomotive. Frame #827028-3

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