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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
El Paso in El Paso County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Bataan Memorial Trainway

 
 
Bataan Memorial Trainway Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, October 21, 2012
1. Bataan Memorial Trainway Marker
Inscription. With the arrival of the railroads to El Paso in 1881, the train tracks marked the northern boundary of the city. As El Paso grew, the tracks divided downtown and created a time-consuming barrier for pedestrians and motorists. In the early 20th century, a trainway was proposed to place the city's main railroad tracks below street level. In 1948, eight major contractors and 22 subcontractors began work on the project. Robert E. McKee General Contractor did the largest portion of the work - regrading the railroad lines, digging the entire trench and laying new tracks. A significant work of civil engineering, the trainway cost $5,500,000 and took more than three years to complete. Over 4,500 gondola cars of dirt were excavated and eight bridges were built over the tracks. A 1,700-foot overpass across Cotton Street, several blocks east of the trainway, completed the project.

The trainway was named in honor of prisoners of war who died in enemy camps during World War II. The name Bataan was chosen to honor those soldiers-both Filipino and American-captured by the Japanese Army after the fall of the Bataan Peninsula. Many of the American prisoners, including thousands from New Mexico and Texas, had trained at nearby Fort Bliss.

The trainway was officially dedicated on August 21, 1950, and Southern Pacific's "Sunset Limited"
Bataan Memorial Trainway Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, October 21, 2012
2. Bataan Memorial Trainway Marker
Trainway passing under Durango Street is just to the left of the marker.
became the first passenger train to operate on the newly completed trainway. With the completion of the Bataan Memorial Trainway, traffic flowed freely and safely through downtown, aiding the city's growth and prosperity.
 
Erected 2002 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 12851.)
 
Location. 31° 45.466′ N, 106° 29.609′ W. Marker is in El Paso, Texas, in El Paso County. Marker is on West San Francisco Avenue, on the left when traveling east. Click for map. Marker is on the walkway, on the north side of San Francisco Avenue, by the railroad tracks just prior to passing under Durango Street. Marker is in this post office area: El Paso TX 79901, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. El Paso & Southwestern Railroad (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); El Paso Union Passenger Station (about 700 feet away); Old San Francisco Historic District (approx. 0.2 miles away); Hotel Paso Del Norte (approx. ¼ mile away); A City Is Born (approx. ¼ mile away); El Paso (approx. 0.3 miles away); Pioneer Plaza (approx. 0.3 miles away); Fray García de San Francisco (approx. 0.3 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in El Paso.
 
Also see . . .  El Paso - Bataan Memorial Trainway
Bataan Memorial Trainway image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, October 21, 2012
3. Bataan Memorial Trainway
View west from North Santa Fe Street.
. Photos of the trainway along with additional information. (Submitted on November 18, 2010.) 
 
Categories. Railroads & StreetcarsWar, World II
 
Bataan Memorial Trainway image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, October 21, 2012
4. Bataan Memorial Trainway
View east from North Santa Fe Street.
Cotton Street overpass image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, October 21, 2012
5. Cotton Street overpass
View is from North Dallas Street at I-10 exit 20.
Bataan Memorial Trainway Marker & Plaque image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, October 21, 2012
6. Bataan Memorial Trainway Marker & Plaque
Texas Historical Civil Engineering Landmark image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, October 21, 2012
7. Texas Historical Civil Engineering Landmark
The Bataan Memorial Trainway
Constructed 1948-1950, as the first application utilizing depressed trackage for the relocation of a mainline Transcontinental Railroad through a downtown area.

Designated September 2003
By the Texas Section
American Society of Civil Engineers
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. This page has been viewed 607 times since then and 34 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on , by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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