RAILWAY MUSEUM OF SAN ANGELO
On September 30, 1888, the first train pulled into San Angelo, arriving at the new depot where a crowd of locals had prepared a celebration of the event featuring artillery, a commemorative parade, and a dance. The Santa Fe Railroad considered the community’s location an ideal site for shipping due to the juncture of the North, South, and Middle Concho Rivers and the excellent surrounding farmlands. The Kansas City, Mexico and Orient Railroad agreed and followed in 1909. After a fire destroyed the original depot, the Kansas City, Mexico and Orient Railroad financed a new, two-story depot, the largest of the company’s depots, serving as headquarters for the KCM&O state offices as well as providing segregated waiting rooms, ticket office, baggage handling area, men’s smoking room and a women’s parlor. A square tower with pyramidal roof located on the track side of the structure housed the dispatcher. The red brick building, accented by cast stone detailing, was likely designed by the railroad company’s engineering department.
The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Company purchased the KCM&O in 1928, thus the depot became known as the Santa Fe Passenger Depot, located alongside its companion freight depot. Very few original Orient structures survive in Texas thus, when Santa Fe announced plans to demolish both the passenger and freight depots, San Angelo citizens initiated a campaign to preserve the buildings. Today, visitors may tour the passenger depot, now home to the Railway Museum of San Angelo. The museum features railroad artifacts, model railroad layouts and displays, and historic photos and documents. Outside, a collection of rolling stock includes several locomotives and a Santa Fe caboose.