M-K-T Railroad Park with Caboose & Depot in Katy, TX
This small but impressive little park also serves as the Information and Tourist Center for visitors to Katy, Texas.
The location is 5615 First Street, Katy, Texas 77493.
Hours of operation are 9am to 3pm Monday through Friday and 10am to 2pm on Saturday.
What makes this park special is the restored Missouri-Kansas-Texas Depot and also the bright red caboose that is situated on the property.
Last Saturday my hubby and I visited the M-K-T Railroad Park and saw it in its new location which was created in 2006 as a park.
We toured the inside of the depot and were amazed at what we got to view.
A friendly woman who represents the Katy Historical Society informed us about some of the Katy Depot history.
She led us through the old railroad depot and pointed out different things as we went from one room to the next.
The M-K-T Depot was finished being constructed in 1898.
Back in those times it was not as easy to travel from one location to the next. Horses and buggies were still one main mode of transportation for the average person.
Railroads were still being built across our expanding nation and made it easier to go from one place to another in less time and in more comfort.
Steam engines needed a source of water and what was to become Katy, Texas was a good stopping point.
This area was originally called Cane Island.
Speculation exists that because of the enormous impact the M-K-T railroad had on the expansion of this area, the last 2 letters of the railroad might have influenced the origin of the name Katy.
At the heritage society home tour we were also told that the name of the town might have been named after a woman who was an accomplished baker.
No matter the reasoning behind the name change Katy, Texas is now a bustling town west of Houston with a rich heritage and ever growing population.
Another room was added to the M-K-T Depot in Katy in 1919. That was primarily because segregation was still in existence. The whites would be directed to one waiting room and blacks to another.
In 1977 the Depot would have been demolished. Traveling by train by that time was no longer as popular as most people had their own cars. The roads were greatly improved and air travel had become more affordable.
Trains still exist in places but mainly transport commodities instead of people with some few exceptions in the United States.
Those who wished to preserve that piece of history in Katy won and the depot was sold to the city for the sum of $25.
It had to be relocated however.
My husband and I had seen this depot and caboose in the other location in Katy many years ago.
I had created an original linoleum cut art print of it which can be viewed here.
Now it is back next to the railroad tracks where it originally stood.
The Katy Historical Society operates the Katy Railroad Depot and museum.
Looking at the artifacts contained within the small depot museum, it certainly gives one an idea of what it would have been like back in earlier days if traveling by train.