M-K-T Railroad Museum With Caboose and Depot in Katy, Texas

Updated on April 20, 2020
Peggy W profile image

I live in Houston, and I have worked as a nurse. My interests include art, traveling, reading, gardening, cooking, and our wonderful pets.

Bright red M-K-T caboose in Katy, Texas
Bright red M-K-T caboose in Katy, Texas | Source

M-K-T Railroad Museum

The small but impressive M-K-T Railroad Museum and park also serves as the Information and Tourist Center for visitors to Katy, Texas. The location is 5615 First Street, Katy, Texas 77493. The hours of operation are 9 am to 3 pm Monday through Friday, and 10 am to 2 pm on Saturday.

The restored Missouri-Kansas-Texas Depot and the bright red caboose that are on the property make this park unique.

Last Saturday, my hubby and I visited the M-K-T Railroad Museum and saw it in its new location, which was created in 2006, also as a small 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 histories. She led us through the old railroad depot and pointed out different things as we went from one room to the next.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Entrance room in M-K-T Depot & Museum serving as Tourist Center On grounds of M-K-T Railroad Park in Katy, Texas Historical marker Showing more of the Railroad Park in Katy, TX
Entrance room in M-K-T Depot & Museum serving as Tourist Center
Entrance room in M-K-T Depot & Museum serving as Tourist Center | Source
On grounds of M-K-T Railroad Park in Katy, Texas
On grounds of M-K-T Railroad Park in Katy, Texas | Source
Historical marker
Historical marker | Source
Showing more of the Railroad Park in Katy, TX
Showing more of the Railroad Park in Katy, TX | Source

Name of Katy, Texas

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 primary mode of transportation for the average person. Railroads were yet being built across our expanding nation and made it easier to go from one place to another in less time and in more comfort.

Another room was added to the M-K-T Depot in Katy in 1919. That was because segregation was still in existence. The whites would be directed to one waiting room and blacks to another.

Steam engines needed a source of water, and what was to become Katy, Texas, was a good stopping point. This area was initially 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.

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Mannequin dressed as station master View of room inside Katy Depot & Museum Old books & ledgers Waiting area for whites when segregation still existed. Lights in train cars Cases of items on display at Katy RR station View of station masters desk Controls for trains & tracks Desk & typewriter in M-K-T Katy Depot
Mannequin dressed as station master
Mannequin dressed as station master | Source
View of room inside Katy Depot & Museum
View of room inside Katy Depot & Museum | Source
Old books & ledgers
Old books & ledgers | Source
Waiting area for whites when segregation still existed.
Waiting area for whites when segregation still existed. | Source
Lights in train cars
Lights in train cars | Source
Cases of items on display at Katy RR station
Cases of items on display at Katy RR station | Source
View of station masters desk
View of station masters desk | Source
Controls for trains & tracks
Controls for trains & tracks | Source
Desk & typewriter in M-K-T Katy Depot
Desk & typewriter in M-K-T Katy Depot | Source

Saving the Historic Depot

In 1977 the depot would have been demolished. Traveling by train at that time was no longer as popular as most people had their own cars. The roads were significantly improved, and air travel had become more affordable. Trains still exist in places but mainly transport commodities instead of people with few exceptions in the United States.

Those who wished to preserve that piece of history in Katy won. 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 M-K-T Railroad 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.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
My original linocut of the M-K-T Caboose & Railroad Depot in Katy, TXArea where goods would have been received & also put on train cars to go. elsewhere. Old luggage & more inside delivery area of railroad station Stacks of items in rail station delivered or ready to be transported elsewhere. Large doors would slide open to receive or distribute goods.
My original linocut of the M-K-T Caboose & Railroad Depot in Katy, TX
My original linocut of the M-K-T Caboose & Railroad Depot in Katy, TX | Source
Area where goods would have been received & also put on train cars to go. elsewhere.
Area where goods would have been received & also put on train cars to go. elsewhere. | Source
Old luggage & more inside delivery area of railroad station
Old luggage & more inside delivery area of railroad station | Source
Stacks of items in rail station delivered or ready to be transported elsewhere.
Stacks of items in rail station delivered or ready to be transported elsewhere. | Source
Large doors would slide open to receive or distribute goods.
Large doors would slide open to receive or distribute goods. | Source

M-K-T Engine Sighting

One day while we were visiting the Katy Contemporary Art Museum across the street from the M-K-T Railroad Museum, we became excited. There was an authentic M-K-T railroad engine parked on the tracks in front of the railroad park. I quickly grabbed my camera and took some photos.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
M-K-T Engine M-K-T Engine parked in front of the Katy Museum & DepotM-K-T Engine View of the M-K-T EngineView of the M-K-T engine and the M-K-T caboose
M-K-T Engine
M-K-T Engine | Source
M-K-T Engine parked in front of the Katy Museum & Depot
M-K-T Engine parked in front of the Katy Museum & Depot | Source
M-K-T Engine
M-K-T Engine | Source
View of the M-K-T Engine
View of the M-K-T Engine | Source
View of the M-K-T engine and the M-K-T caboose
View of the M-K-T engine and the M-K-T caboose | Source

I hope you enjoyed this look at the M-K-T Railroad Museum. It is worth a stop if you are ever in the area.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Questions & Answers

    © 2020 Peggy Woods

    Comments

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      • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

        Peggy Woods 

        5 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi Ruby,

        If your sister or her husband is still alive, you should ask them where that train ride took place. It would be interesting to know.

      • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

        Peggy Woods 

        5 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi Ruby,

        If your sister or her husband is still alive, you should ask them where that train ride took place. It would be interesting to know.

      • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

        Peggy Woods 

        5 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi MG Singh,

        With the long history of railroads in India, it is excellent that you also have museums celebrating that history.

      • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

        Peggy Woods 

        5 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi Bill,

        One thing is sure. There are many train lovers out there! So places large and small that have anything to do with train transportation are popular places to visit.

      • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

        Peggy Woods 

        5 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi Pamela,

        Katy, Texas, got its start pretty much because of trains traveling through that part of Texas. I guess that is the case with many towns all across the U.S.A. Some towns thrived even after trains were no longer so prominent a means of transporting goods, and others did not.

      • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

        Peggy Woods 

        5 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi Liz,

        I would guess that many such sites from the past have gone by the wayside. The fact of them using this site for a dual purpose (information and tourist site) bodes well for its longevity.

      • always exploring profile image

        Ruby Jean Richert 

        5 weeks ago from Southern Illinois

        This was really interesting to read about the railroad history. I can remember riding a train one time when I was a child, I was with my sister Stella and her husband, but I do not remember where we went.

      • emge profile image

        MG Singh 

        5 weeks ago from Singapore

        Peggy, it's a lovely article. We also have some lovely rail museums in India as the first rail ran in 1861.

      • billybuc profile image

        Bill Holland 

        5 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

        That would be a fun place to work. Talking to people about trains...a nice gig if you could get it, don't you think?

      • Pamela99 profile image

        Pamela Oglesby 

        5 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

        I am glad there is still something to see and enjoy. I like the idea of preserving history as much as possible. Trains are enjoyable and they were so important for such a long time. I like this article as I like what you wrote about the trains.

      • Eurofile profile image

        Liz Westwood 

        5 weeks ago from UK

        It's great that this has been preserved for future generations to see. It's sad to realise how many similar sites have probably been lost. You have documented it very well.

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