Texarkana Union Station
Prior to the building of the present union station at Texarkana, the Cotton Belt was joint owner and user of a union station which had been built in 1888 by the Missouri Pacific and Texas & Pacific. Entering the station as a tenant in 1908, the Cotton Belt subsequently spent considerable sums for improvements and betterments and finally became part owner in 1913.
Agitation for new union station facilities was begun by the community of Texarkana as early as 1920. The many complex problems involved in creating a workable plan required several years of negotiation on the part of the railroads involved. In December, 1927, an indenture created the Texarkana Union Station Trust, in which the Cotton Belt joined the Missouri Pacific, Texas & Pacific and Kansas City Southern in the construction and operation of a modern union passenger and mail terminal at Texarkana. The project was financed through the sale of securities of the joint terminal. Total cost was $1,667,000, of which the Cotton Belt assumed 21 per cent.
The facilities were completed and placed in operation on April 17, 1930. Construction was done by Stewart-McGehee Construction Company of Little Rock, Arkansas. On May 12, 1930, the Chamber of Commerce of Texarkana sponsored a huge celebration in connection with the cornerstone laying. A banquet was given at the Grim Hotel on that evening for the officials of the participating railroads. A resolution passed by the Chamber of Commerce earlier in the year stated that the completion of the new union station would be "one of the most momentous events in the history of the city."
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