In 1892, the Missouri-Kansas-Texas (KATY) Railroad completed its Dallas-Houston rail line, which came about one mile south of the old town of New Ulm. The railroad laid out streets and lots closer to the tracks, and soon businesses and homes were being built in the new town and before long the old New Ulm town-site was abandoned.
The railroad’s surveyors helped map out the new location for New Ulm with land set aside for two churches and a school. When the first train came through in 1892, the New Ulm Band met it. The New Ulm depot is now part of a residence a few miles from town.
My mother briefly worked for the KATY Railroad in the late 1940s before I knew what was going on. As a child I would be taken to the depot and enjoyed watching passenger and freight trains going through town. I even remember an occasional steam locomotive. From then on, railroads and rail history was in my blood.
Rather frequent trains still come through New Ulm today, run by the Union Pacific Railroad, which took over the KATY in the mid 1980s. When visiting my father, I often hear that lonesome whistle on a train coming through town in the middle of the night. That’s one reason I still love trains.