Preserving the Legacy of the St. Louis Southwestern Railway


Commerce Depot
Cotton Belt Depot, Commerce, Texas
Ed Cooper photo | Robert McFatridge engineer

The 9th Annual
Cotton Belt
Regional Railroad Symposium

Sam Rayburn Student Center
Texas A&M University-Commerce

Commerce, Texas

Fri. - Sat.,  October 3-4, 2014.

The 9th Annual Symposium is scheduled for the first weekend in October, 2014.

Joe StrapacThe featured Keynote Presenter is acclaimed railroad author and historian, Joseph A Strapac. His many titles feature diesel and steam locomotives on famous fallen-flag railroads including the Southern Pacific, Western Pacific, Rio Grande, Texas & New Orleans, and the St. Louis South-western.  Amongst those titles is a regional favorite, "Cotton Belt Locomotives."

Cotton Belt Locomotives by Joe Strapac

Mr. Strapac will present a program on Friday Evening on Cotton Belt's Diesel Locomotives and the Keynote Program on Saturday on Cotton Belt's Steam Locomotives.
The Keynote address is sponsored by
The North Texas Chapter of the
National Railway Historical Society.

Friday evening's activities include a presentation on Cotton Belt's Diesel Locomotives by Joe Strapac and an informal "Show-And-Tell"/"Mix-N-Mingle."  If you have items of railroad interest you would like to display on Friday and/or Saturday, please contact Jason Davis so we can arrange for appropriate table or display space.  Please note that this is NOT a swap-meet.

The formal event on Saturday will consist of a panel discussion; a program on railroad artist, John Winfield, by Tony Wilson; the premier unveiling of Mr. Winfield's latest Cotton Belt Painting; a luncheon; the Keynote Presentation on Cotton Belt's Steam Locomotives by Joe Strapac; an update on NETEX/Blacklands Railroad operations on the Cotton Belt's former C-branch; a presentation by the Museum of the American Railroad; and other activities.  Audience participation is encouraged.  North Texas T-Trak will have an expanded operating model train layout on-site during the event on Saturday.

Luncheon (RSVP Required)

The luncheon will be held at noon on Saturday. 
The meal will feature a deli-style buffet and include sides, desert, and drink.  The estimated cost for the luncheon meal is $10, payable by cash or check at the time of on-site registration at the event.  (No money is collected in advance.  Sorry, credit cards cannot be accepted at the event.)
Reservations are REQUIRED for the luncheon meal and must be made on or before Tuesday, September 30.  Luncheon meal tickets may be requested through our new on-line reservation system here:


We are obligated to pay for the number of meals submitted to our food service staff, we must secure an accurate count in advance of the event.  If you later learn that will be unable to claim and pay for your requested ticket(s), please notify Jason so the meal count can be adjusted accordingly, prior to the reservation deadline.
The symposium luncheon meal is being subsidized by the symposium, and possibly other underwriters, to minimize the cost to our guests. Final cost will be determined by the availability of additional sponsors, contributors, or underwriters.

Presented by

TAMU-Commerce Department of Engineering & Technology

TAMU-Commerce College of Science & Engineering

James G. Gee Library Special Collections

Commerce Public LibraryCommerce Public Library logo

2014 Sponsors

Luncheon Sponsor(s):

Opportunity Available
Contact Jason with inquiries, 903-468-8682.

Keynote Sponsor:

The North Texas Chapter of the
National Railway Historical Society

Gold Spike Sponsors:

Tony Wilson

Blacklands Railroad
Wayne Defebaugh, President

Greenville EDCGreenville Board of Development

Silver Spike Sponsors:

Dr. Madeline & James Justice

Bronze Spike Sponsors:

Mei-Ying Elaine Lin

Charles Neyman


Iron Spike Sponsor:

Cypress Bank

Sponsorship Opportunities Available...

You or your company can be recognized as a Sympoisum Sponsor for next year's event!  Multiple sponsorship levels are available.  All sponsorship contributions are tax deductable.  For more information on becoming a sponsor, please see our Sponsorship Opportunities page.  Our new MarketPlace makes it easier than ever!!! Sponsorships are accepted anytime, but must be confirmed by three weeks prior to the symposium to ensure inclusion in our major print materials in order to meet printing deadline for the event.
The Symposium Committee reserves the right to decline any sponsorship application.

Symposium History