Celebrating 100 years with MSU Texas: Railroad history

Published: Oct. 27, 2022 at 6:58 PM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - News Channel 6 is celebrating a century with Midwestern State University, and we’re continuing our tribute to the university’s past, present and future with a local railroad historian who teaches at MSU.

Steve Goen has always had a love for history. He’s a lifelong resident of Wichita Falls and a graduate of MSU Texas.

“I started at MSU in the fall of 1974,” Goen said. “Came out here to get my bachelors of music education degree. I taught school for several years and then I came back and got my master’s degree in music composition.”

This semester, he’s teaching three classes at the Lifelong Learning Center. The center is on Hampstead Lane right across the street from the university. And while it looks like a private home on the outside, inside it serves as a comfortable space for people over the age of 50 to continue their education through lessons on various disciplines.

“The one that I’m teaching today is all about the railroad history of Wichita Falls,” Goen said. “I’m gonna do it in two parts, the first part will be the railroads itself. All the depots that Wichita Falls has had over the years. The Texas passenger train. And then the second part, which is actually one of my favorites, is we’re going to be looking at the old street car system that Wichita Falls had from 1909-1933.”

Goen has used his knowledge of railroads and his collection of over 40,000 images to become an author.

“I’ve now written 12 books on the railroads of Texas, the southwest and Wichita Falls,” Goen said. “I’ve already started number 13 and I already know the titles of what probably the next four after that are gonna be. I’m just picking them off one-by-one. I’m trying to get a book out a year, so I’m doing pretty good on that.”

“I’m doing a series right now called passenger trains of Texas, and I’m picking off every one of the class one railroads and the books are just featuring those passenger trains on those railroads,” Goen said.

Bringing this former grad and nationally recognized historian full circle, Goen was also a volunteer for the MSU Jazz Band and Symphonic Band for almost 10 years.

All MSU Texas centennial celebration stories can be found by clicking here.

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