Showing posts with label Railroad. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Railroad. Show all posts

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Gulf / Chevron at Southgate

Click for larger size/higher resolution. I don't know who the subject is.

Something different today: here the focus isn't on a building, but the places around it. Here's a pretty awesome picture [click for higher resolution] of a Gulf station off of George Bush Drive, courtesy of Project HOLD from 1985 (supposedly). Based on the placement of the road, I'm guessing this is where the Chevron is. It's great seeing the George Bush (er, Jersey) stoplight as it was...the "old style" of College Station stoplights (becoming increasingly rare today), complete with the old railroad crossing (a cantilever railroad crossing? Awesome! Wait, where's the crossing gate? Guess it doesn't have one, since those of that type have the cantilever but no gate), and all those trees, too: this must have been before Olsen Field, and a time when you could probably still see the I-GN right of way on both sides.

I can't see what is behind the Gulf station. Whatever it was, it later became some crummy liquor store, and ultimately was cleaned up to be a clothing shop (Aggieland Outfitters, of course).

Anyway, the gas station has been a Chevron since the early 1990s when a merger happened that converted area Gulf stores to Chevron. It updated once to the newer 2005 design (didn't roll out fully until the late 2000s), and has always been Reveille's (convenience store) at least since the mid-1990s (if not further back).

I snapped this modern view of the gas station (the Reveille's sign can't be seen) from a bus.

I found this picture as well, which could be this Chevron. The angle will work, and the garage could easily have been turned to a convenience store later.

UPDATE 7-20-18: After de-branding around early 2017 to be ""K.D. Timmons Co. Inc." (a local fuel supplier, though it kept the Chevron colors), by July 2018 this gas station and convenience store is permanently closed, presumably as part of the George Bush underpass project.

300 George Bush Drive

Sunday, January 2, 2011

[Side Stories] LoTrak

Updated on June 28, 2013, with the correct spelling of the word, also renamed from "LoTrack: What Little We Know"
Being in College Station, I can say that The Eagle keeps the worst archives of newspapers around.

One of the more interesting things I heard I've heard about the history of the city was the circa-1993 proposal of "LoTrak" officially) was a way to avoid railroad crossings along Wellborn Road.

The main reason is that both College Station voters didn't want to do it (or was it Texas A&M?) even though TxDOT, the county, and Bryan would do it (it would cost millions, as seen above).

The original plan (seen above) was a sunken trench that would basically allow trains to descend about 25 feet below street level around Southwest Parkway, and convert Wellborn Road to a divided highway. What's bizarre is that Villa Maria Road and FM 2818 (it was FM 2818 back then!) as railroad crossings, which ironically are the only ones today that have replaced their at-grade crossings with overpasses or underpasses since the LoTrak proposal.

I've heard some earlier conflicting stories about this (source and other source), as some have claimed that it would go past 2818, or be partially elevated (possibly around University, maybe, which already had an overpass)

Later the possibility came up of rerouting the railroad to the west (that I remember) around 2001. That was even more difficult to imagine. First off, had they done that, my best friend would've moved out of town (he had lived in River Run). Furthermore, I couldn't imagine (and still can't, frankly) the railroad being abandoned along Wellborn. That would leave a lifeless right-of-way along Wellborn, bumping over patched crossings and seeing nothing but a scarred grass path, which would eventually give way to a full highway.

Updated to 2013 Format 5/15