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Unread 03-06-2012, 06:52 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
498 posts, read 475,979 times
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Default 1960s Austin: I-35 rail crossing?

Someone once told me that when East Avenue was interstate-ified into I-35, the rail crossing near Airport--where the Red Line runs now--was still at-grade for a few years afterward. So a couple times a day, freeway traffic would have to stop for a train to roll through. (Can you imagine that now? )

Is this true? Any Austin oldtimers remember?
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Unread 03-06-2012, 07:20 PM
 
Location: The People's Republic of Austin
2,842 posts, read 1,247,079 times
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It was there at least until '69, as far as I can recall. I found this photo of 35 under construction in the Fifties with the railroad crossing visible.
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Unread 03-07-2012, 06:49 AM
 
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That is a great picture. Could be titled: the beginning of the end.
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Unread 03-07-2012, 06:56 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
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Must have really been something to see in the late 60's, with the train on I-35 and huge jets passing over I-35 up the street to land at Mueller... remember how close they were to the ground when they passed over the highway?
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Unread 03-07-2012, 10:19 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
498 posts, read 475,979 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scm53 View Post
It was there at least until '69, as far as I can recall. I found this photo of 35 under construction in the Fifties with the railroad crossing visible.
Thanks! Perhaps they constructed a bridge over the rail line when the upper deck was added?

The 1966 USGS map shows the crossing.
Attached Thumbnails
1960s Austin: I-35 rail crossing?-screen-shot-2012-03-07-11.14.42  
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Unread 03-07-2012, 10:35 AM
 
Location: Round Rock, Texas
4,475 posts, read 2,464,677 times
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Yes it was, I had to stop there numerous times. It was the only RR crossing on any stretch of the ENTIRE 40,000 mile interstate system. So Austin was a little bit weird even then.

But the problem was eliminated when the upper deck was built in '68 or '69.

You should've seen the rush hour traffic before I-35 was completed between 1st Street and 19th (MLK) in 1961:

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Unread 03-07-2012, 11:23 AM
 
Location: Austin
773 posts, read 471,164 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScoPro View Post
You should've seen the rush hour traffic before I-35 was completed between 1st Street and 19th (MLK) in 1961:
That's sort of what Highway 1 (the Glenn Highway) looks like going out of Anchorage, Alaska now. People still kvetched bitterly about the "traffic."

Ah, such good times living there. Getting around was a breeze.
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Unread 03-07-2012, 12:38 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
927 posts, read 1,337,245 times
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In 1983, I came to a stop light on IH90 located in Wallace, Idaho; stayed that way until 1991.

Wallace, Idaho - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Unread 03-07-2012, 06:10 PM
 
Location: Great State of Texas
67,821 posts, read 28,402,734 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atxcio View Post
Must have really been something to see in the late 60's, with the train on I-35 and huge jets passing over I-35 up the street to land at Mueller... remember how close they were to the ground when they passed over the highway?
I do..used to scare the crap outta me when I was driving on I-35 and one of those babies was coming in for a landing.
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Unread 03-07-2012, 06:47 PM
 
Location: Round Rock, Texas
4,475 posts, read 2,464,677 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyTexan View Post
I do..used to scare the crap outta me when I was driving on I-35 and one of those babies was coming in for a landing.
I remember once in the 1960s seeing a TreeTop Airlines (TransTexas) Convair propeller plane come in too low on his approach and had to JERK his aircraft up sharply to avoid hitting those low lightpoles on the side of I-35.

All the cars both directions hit their brakes all at once! lol
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