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Home News-Telegram News Rails uncovered at site of new jail

Rails uncovered at site of new jail

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In preparing the construction site of the new Hopkins County jail, workers are removing about eight feet of dirt to drill holes for piers to support the facility.
    In that process, County Judge Robert Newsom said some interesting things have been discovered, including old water pipes and old bricks.
    “The most interesting thing, thus far, appears to be a railroad track. It looks at least like it was a railroad spur that must have come off of the railroad that is there today, but nobody knew about it,” Newsom said. “I've contacted [local historian] John Sellers, and he was not aware of it.”
    Newsom said the discovery for rails, ties and other necessary materials for a railroad that had been covered for so many years came as a complete surprise.
    Obviously, the rails will have to be removed, but what to do with the material?
    “Now, something like that is considered a possible environmental problem,” the judge said. “We are going to have an expert come in and test the materials to make sure there is not an environmental problem, but eventually,  we will take the railroad ties out and do something with them.
    “But then, the rails, I don't know why we can't at least scrap them,” Newsom continued. “Maybe we can make a little money for the county as scrap iron — we will try to make the best of our situation.”

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Rail Spur Under the New Jail
written by a guest , August 27, 2014
The rail spur that was recently discovered during the site work for the new jail is an old spur that branched off the "Boomer Track" near the Farmer's Coop (The "Boomer" connects the KCS and Blacklands RR, running behind the jail, across College Street by FBC and thru Sulta Mfg, etc). The buried spur terminated essentially where the present jail sits. That was the site of a cotton compress according to the Sanborn Map of Sulphur Springs in April 1909. It stands to reason this track was used to load cotton on boxcars for shipment on the L&A (now KCS) or Cotton Belt (now Blacklands RR).

Nathan Bailey
Sulphur Springs, TX

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