In General
Getting Here
The Diamond
Other Sights

Tower 87 Signal Pictures
Signals at the south end of Settegast
Mesa Crossover Signals



In General

Location / Name:
Houston TX, Harris County

What's Here:
Former Tower 87 Location
Tower 68
Englewood Yard
Settegast Yard

GPS Coordinates: as needed
Phone A/C: 713
ZIP: 77028

Access by train/transit:
#77 Bus, comes down Liberty Road past Tower 68, but doesn't make it to the diamond, turns up Homestead Rd.

The Scoop:

This page covers Tower 87, a diamond located at Englewood Yard in northeast Houston TX.  More correctly, this page is about THE SIGNALS associated with Tower 87.  For info on the tower itself, I will refer you to the Texas Railroad History page on Towers 68 & 87.

This also a page of history, because the great majority of signals the were around here in 2007 are now gone... the searchlight dwarfs, the few high searchlight locations, the "trilight" signals at the Mesa Crossover, and to a lesser degree, some of the standard colorlight locations.

Because of where this diamond is, there is almost ALWAYS something moving, somewhere.  If you plan to visit, and you have friends, bring them along and have them all stand in different spots and share the pictures.... as you will not be able to keep up with the traffic at times!

Englewood Yard is a former Southern Pacific Yard, Settegast was always a UP Yard.

Below is an area map of the northeast side of Houston, and two site specific maps of the signals at Tower 87 - my original one from 2007, and it's updated brother.  There is also a snapshot of a Google satellite view of the Tower area.  My original map is oriented as you would be looking at the signals in Englewood yard from Liberty Rd.  I also inverted the Google Earth map so it would be in the same orientation.  In the picture and on the map, you will notice a dirt road that runs from Liberty Road to the I-610 service road, and also services the fenced in employee parking lot.  In the 2021 re-do of the map, it is oriented with north to the top.

Time was short when I was here in 2007, so I missed getting good pictures at all of the locations, if you can help out, it would be appreciated.  I'm sure many things have changed since then! :-)

Texas Railroad History
Google Maps
Bing Maps

Websites and other additional information sources of interest for the area:
See below (in Floobydust) for links to Texas tower locations Info on Towers 68 and 87

Getting Here

If you look at a map of Houston, you will notice two loop highways (Beltways if you are from the mid-Atlantic area), and one of them, the inner loop, is interstate 610, the Loop Freeway.  The outer loop is the Sam Houston Tollway.   Highways in Texas are generally superior to those elsewhere in the country.  Houston is no exception.  If you've never been to Texas before, the majority of their highways have service roads that run parallel to the highway, on both sides.  This makes getting on and off MUCH easier, as the service roads are one-way.  At most of the intersections that go over or under a freeway, there are usually U-Turn lanes where you do not have to wait for the light to change or go thru the intersection to make the U-Turn.  Wish other places had em both!!!

From the downtown area, I would come out of town on US59, heading north, and then take 610 east to exit 22, Homestead Rd.  Take a right, and it will run into Liberty at the yard... take a left.  When you come to a highway overpass, you're at the location.  There's a grade crossing with the original UP line, and you should be able to pull off the road along Liberty.

Coming from the east on I10, take I610 at exit 775, and head north on the loop to exit 23a.  Take the service road to Homestead, where you'll take a left,.  Then follow the above directions.

From the west on I10, take US59 north from the downtown area, and follow the instructions above.

If you're coming up I45 from Galveston, I would probably take I610 around to exit 22.

From the north on US59 or I45 for example, I would take I610 east to the above mentioned exit.


The above map is available as a PDF here

The above map is available as a PDF here

The above map is available as a PDF here


  The Tower 87 Diamond

GPS Coordinates: 29.79932, -95.28860

  Englewood Yard

5500 Wallisville Rd, Houston TX 77020 (from Google Maps)

Depending on where you you measure it from and to, Englewood Yard is "about" 3.46 miles long, going to the last switch at the western end that directs traffic into parts of the yard, and on the eastern end, the first switch for movements into the marshalling yard for the hump.  If we measure just Englewood Yard (to Wayside Dr), it's 2.0 miles long.

  the Southern End of Settegast Yard

GPS Coordinates: 29.80406, -95.28861 (at the entrance of the yard under I-610)

Keep in mind that I'm concentrating on Tower 87 on this page, so I will only cover the south end of Settegast Yard, since it is in close proximity to Tower 87, and half the traffic going thru the diamond is headed there.

  Settegast Yard Entrance Signs

A few signs at the south entrance to Settegast

    These three - 2007

The Signals

A good number of the signals in this area have been upgraded and replaced.  Most, if not all of the searchlight signals are gone, as are most of the older "trilight" style signals.  For comparison, I have left my 2007 signal locator map on the page.  Also, most of the signals covered on this page are involved with the interlocking for Tower 87.  This area is "packed" with signals, however, for signal fans, it's not quite a "go-to" spot as it used to be before the upgrade took place, darn.

Please Note: The numbering of MY signal locations follows the newer/2021 version of my locator map.

For what the signal aspects mean, check out these pages:

  EB Colorlight Signals

Color light signals at this location, by the approach to the hump.  It looks like one of the signals, the farthest one from Liberty Road, may have been removed, altho the view is blocked on Google Maps Streetview.


  EB Colorlight Signals

  SB Interchange "Trilight" Signal
  SB Dual Searchlight Dwarf Signal
  NB/SB Searchlight Dwarf Signals

Looking south under the flyover bridge towards signals 2, 3, and 4.  We can see the new signals waiting to be cut-over.  It looks like signal 3 has been replaced by a two head colorlight signal, and the NB searchlight is gone with no replacement.  We can see in the streetview the "new" colorlight signal at 4.

Signal #2 (the "trilight" signal in the pictures below), which is an interchange control signal, has probably been moved so that it is no longer visible from Liberty Road.  Maybe someone that works for the UP could send me a picture of the new/relocated signal?

EB/WB Colorlight Signals for the Diamond

These signals are on the West side of the Diamond.  Both sets of signals have a westbound and an eastbound signal back to back, and all four of them are two headed signals.

EB Colorlight Signal

This appears to be a signal for engines (and maybe trains) coming out of the yard and going out onto the mainline, probably for engines pushing trains over the hump and needing to get on the far side of the train????  Just guessin.

WB Colorlight Signal

This signal appears to have been removed and not relocated.  It was right next to Liberty Road where it goes over Hunting Bayou on the WB main.

SB Colorlight Signals for the Diamond

These signals are or trains coming south out of Settegast, or from Gulf Coat Junction.  There used to be two US&S searchlight dwarfs at this location, now, they are standard colorlights.  The west signal is a single head signal, while the eastern one has two heads.

SB Interchange Colorlight Signal

This signal controls SB movements out of Settegast onto the WB "SP" main.

Signal 7a is on the right

I've grouped a number of signal locations in with number 8, got lazy, I know, I'll burn in hell for doing so :-)

from under I-610

from the I-610 overpass

The next two photos illustrate two different aspects for "restrict", one is L/R, the other is R/R/L.


WB Colorlight Signals for the Diamond

See the Settegast Signals

Signal Bridge

GPS Coordinates: 29.79824, -95.29109

One of the few signal bridges in the area, this one spans 3 tracks, and uses "trilight" signals on the top, and standard colorlights on the bottom of all three signals.  When I came thru in 2007, the signal on the left was all "trilights".  These trilight signals are some of the very few that have not been changed over to colorlight signals in the Englewood/Settegast interlocking plant.

Signal bridge at this location spanning three tracks.  The two signals on the right use a standard color light signal head for the bottom location, while the remaining positions are "tri-light" signals.  These signals are for eastbound movements.

See the Settegast Signals
See the Settegast Signals
See the Mesa Crossover Signals
See the Settegast Signals
See the Settegast Signals

"NB" Interchange Colorlight Signal

This signal controls movement out of Settegast onto the EB SP main heading towards New Orleans.  I'm not 100% sure, but this signal may not have been in place on my 2007 visit.

Signals at the south end of Settegast

SB Colorlight

Not sure, this signal, which sits kinda under I-610, might be signal 10, relocated.

GRS Searchlight

This signal is at Kirkpatrick Junction.  It's the only GRS signal I saw during my three day trip.  It was replaced at some point after my 2007 trip.



A view looking west from Kirkpatrick Junction, still lots of dwarf searchlights used.  The middle searchlight is displaying a lunar white for restrict.  I wish I had taken these pictures in the high res mode with the camera, darnit.

In the picture below, we can see a lot has happened here in the past 14 years - pole line removed, tracks added, signal bridge added, and signals updated.
I think we'll miss that lunar indication! :-)

WB Colorlights

Signal #12 was replaced by the one in the middle, and the other two were added during the signal upgrade.

SB Colorlights

Of the three signals at this location, the one on the left is for an interchange track coming from Gulf Coast Junction, and the other two are for Settegast Yard leads.

from the I-610 overpass

Mesa Crossover Signals

Mesa Crossover

For WB traffic, there are three signals for three Tracks at Fields St, with an additional signal for the industrial siding controlling movements onto the mainline.  The three EB signals can be easily seen from Liberty Road.  The signals here used to be "trilights", but are all now standard color light signals.

WB signals at Field Rd

The siding signal

EB signals


Over Hunting Bayou and the SB tracks

Part of the Englewood Hump operation.

Over Hunting Bayou, Adjacent to Liberty Road

Over Hunting Bayou

Part of the Englewood Hump operation.

Over Hunting Bayou

Part of the Englewood Hump operation.

Over Hunting Bayou

Part of the Englewood Hump operation.

Over Hunting Bayou

Heading South.


FYI - Other Towers

Index page to all of Texas' Railroad Towers:

The only active tower in Texas is Tower 97 on the bridge between Galveston Island and the mainland.

Tower 17, which has been moved several hundred feet, now resides at the Rosenberg Railroad Museum.

Tower 55 in Ft Worth is still standing, but not active.  It is very difficult to get to anymore.


I love trains, and I love signals.  I am not an expert.  My webpages reflect what I find on the topic of the page.  This is something I have fun with while trying to help others.

Please Note:  Since the main focus of my two websites is railroad signals, the railfan guides are oriented towards the signal fan being able to locate them.  For those of you into the modeling aspect of our hobby, my indexa page has a list of almost everything railroad oriented I can think of to provide you with at least a few pictures to help you detail your pike.

If this is a railfan page, every effort has been made to make sure that the information contained on this map and in this railfan guide is correct.  Once in a while, an error may creep in :-)

My philosophy: Pictures and maps are worth a thousand words, especially for railfanning.  Text descriptions only get you so far, especially if you get lost or disoriented.  Take along good maps.... a GPS is OK to get somewhere, but maps are still better if you get lost!  I belong to AAA, which allows you to get local maps for free when you visit the local branches.  ADC puts out a nice series of county maps for the Washington DC area, but their state maps do not have the railroads on them.  If you can find em, I like the National Geographic map book of the U.S..... good, clear, and concise graphics, and they do a really good job of showing you where tourist type attractions are, although they too lack the railroads.  Other notes about specific areas will show up on that page if known.

Aerial shots were taken from either Google or Bing Maps as noted.  Screen captures are made with Snagit, a Techsmith product... a great tool if you have never used it! 

By the way, floobydust is a term I picked up 30-40 years ago from a National Semiconductor data book, and means miscellaneous and/or other stuff.

Pictures and additional information is always needed if anyone feels inclined to take 'em, send 'em, and share 'em, or if you have something to add or correct.... credit is always given!  Please be NICE!!!  Contact info is here

Beware: If used as a source, ANYTHING from Wikipedia must be treated as being possibly inaccurate, wrong, or not true.


NEW 2/21/2007, JAN/10/2014, OCT04/2017, SEP19-25/2021
Last Modified: 25-Sep-2021