SANDERSON, TEXAS – Representatives of Amtrak and this West Texas community gathered on May 27, 2021, to celebrate the completion of a nearly $3 million upgrade of the local Amtrak stop, which is served by the tri-weekly Sunset Limited (New Orleans-San Antonio-Los Angeles) / Texas Eagle (Chicago-San Antonio-(Los Angeles)). The facility now offers customers an accessible open-air shelter, concrete platform, parking area and walkways in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The passenger shelter’s rustic design reflects the area’s natural beauty, which includes habitat supporting a great variety of cacti. The structure features a base of stone in gray and brown tones from which rises a framework of massive timbers joined by metal connector plates to support the roof. A built-in bench provides seating in the shade.
Originally known as “Strowbridge” or “Strawbridge” when the Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio Railroad (GH&SA) first began surveying and building in the area during the early 1880s, the town was quickly renamed Sanderson in honor of the engineer in charge of construction. Located on one of the few flat stretches of land in the railroad right-of-way between El Paso and San Antonio, the town soon became a GH&SA division point and would host a depot, roundhouse and other railroad-related structures.
Sanderson was and is a center for grazing livestock, including cattle, horses, polo ponies, burros, sheep and Angora goats. The area’s desert heritage and lifestyle are celebrated each October during the Prickly Pear Pachanga, a gala festival to celebrate fall, the beginning of the hunting season and of course the prickly pear – earning Sanderson the title of “Cactus Capital of Texas.”
Posted Jun. 2, 2021