The Cotton Belt Railroad was completed into the town of Comanche in 1911, with the first train from Gatesville arriving on Valentine’s Day of that year. The first train arriving from Hamilton arrived in Comanche on September 3, 1911.
Basically, if you drive today’s Highway 36, you are driving in the bed of what was once the Cotton Belt Railroad.
“Initially, the line between Waco and Comanche was operated as a single subdivision, and as late as 1933, a daily mixed service ran between Waco and Hamilton, with less frequent service out between Comanche and Stephenville. On October 17, 1934, all track west of Hamilton was abandoned, followed by the remainder…between Gatesville and Hamilton on January 6, 1941.” (pp. 22-23)
When the tracks were taken up prior to the construction of Highway 36, which was built in the bed of the old Cotton Belt, the iron from the rails was sold. According to long time Comanche resident, Kenneth Evans, that iron come back to us in the shape of bullets that were fired at American men during WWII.