LCRA, City of La Grange award $12,000 grant to help restore historic train depot
New paint for 1897 depot will ‘get it back to looking the way it was supposed to look’
May 20, 2022
LA GRANGE, Texas – A $12,000 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority and the City of La Grange will pay for a historically accurate paint job for a 125-year-old former railroad depot that is now home to a railroad museum.lcra.org/cdpp.The Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with $3,000 in matching funds from the recipient, will cover the cost of new paint and minor exterior repairs to the depot, once a stop on the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad line. Often described as the Katy or M-K-T depot, the building contains a museum operated by the nonprofit group Friends of the La Grange Railroad Depot, the grant recipient. “Anybody who looks at the depot says, ‘Oh, my gosh! That depot needs paint,’” said Gale Lincke, Friends of the La Grange Railroad Depot treasurer. “We’re now going to repaint it in the historical Katy Railroad colors of green and gold. We’re going to caulk it, replace some wooden fascia and paint it all by hand. We’ll handle the work and the building appropriately and get it back to looking the way it was supposed to look.” At its original spot in La Grange and adjacent to a rail line now operated by Union Pacific, the city-owned depot is being considered for designation as a Texas state historic site. The museum in the roughly 1,500-square-foot building has re-opened after being closed for much of 2020 and 2021 because of the pandemic. The museum inside the depot contains several items original to the building, including a wood-burning stove, a desk, benches and a telegraph key. Exhibits with photos and memorabilia and MKT-specific model trains “tell the story of the depot in a child-friendly way,” Lincke said. The depot’s freight room has been restored to its original look, complete with baggage carts, and is available for public meetings. “It’s just a fun collection of things – everything from lanterns to old paperwork that goes back to 1889,” Lincke said. “We are just extremely pleased, delighted and thankful for this great opportunity to take care of a big need in an easy manner.” The community grant is one of 36 grants awarded recently through LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program, which helps volunteer fire departments, local governments, emergency responders and nonprofit organizations fund capital improvement projects in LCRA’s wholesale electric, water and transmission service areas. The program is part of LCRA’s effort to give back to the communities it serves. The City of La Grange is one of LCRA’s wholesale electric customers and is a partner in the grant program. Applications for the next round of grants will be accepted in July. More information is available at
The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; providing a clean, reliable water supply; and offering outdoor adventures at more than 40 parks along the Colorado River from the Texas Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to fulfilling our mission to enhance the quality of life of the Texans we serve through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934 and receives no state appropriations. For more information, visit lcra.org.