A number of these old steam train water tower filling stations are scattered through the West. The railroad steam train water tank in the photo below is located on the side of the road at the intersection of highways 67 and 163 in Barnhart Texas, near San Angelo. These larger metal tanks began to replace wooden ones toward the end of the steam train era. This particular one served the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad which replaced the Orient Railroad that was built through Barnhart in 1910. I snapped this photo of the old steam train water filling tower this past April. Many of these steam train water towers can be seen along the roadway in West Texas. The dry climate of the west has preserved these old iron tanks as well as a few wooden ones as well.
Below is another photo of the old steam train water tower in Barnhart Texas.
Note the small green bottle along the roadside next to the utility pole. It is an insect collection trap used by agencies like The Texas Department Of Agriculture, Texas A&M and the U.S.D.A . in programs such as boll weevil eradication. A strip of pheromone laced paper attract the type of insect being studied. These traps may be located every few miles along a wide area of the state to check for an invasion of pests in to a particular area.
Below is a photo of a railroad switch which is used to manually change the tracks.
It is located next to the old steam train water filling station tank in tiny Barnhart Texas.
A good book about railroad history including steam trains see Railroads Across North America by Claude Wiatrowski.