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Welcome from the CEO of the Mesquite Belt Railroad!

The CEO of the Mesquite Belt

Devin M. Jackson


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Layout Construction

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Management Staff

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Speeder Restoration



Photo copyright by Bill Phillips; used with permission.

I hope you have a safe and fun trip on the Mesquite Belt!
  I have enjoyed showing you about the railroad,  here is more information on the Mesquite Belt and a little about me.

The Mesquite Belt name was concieved during lunch while riding EMS in Bellville, Texas for Austin County EMS.   An article called "On the other Side of the Tracks" written by Ray L. Head grabbed my attention.   The article started telling of stories on the railroad.  The names had been changed not to protect the innocent, but keep those parties from getting in trouble with the real railroad.  For example, Houston was changed to Hotson, 'cause during the dogs days of summer, Houston with 100% humidity and 100 degree temps can make you think it is as hot as the sun!  In Sealy, where the Katy crosses the AT&SF, now the BNSF, there was a branch line that came off the Santa Fe called the Cane Belt that eventually ended in Matagorda, Texas.  In the article I was reading, the name of the Cane Belt had been changed to the Mesquite Belt, because of all the Mesquite trees down the line.  That name made perfect sense to me, just as the Cotton Belt represented a major crop on the land, so did the Mesquite Belt.   The Mesquite Belt was born!

Houses in the south usually do not have basements, so some sort of layout room was nessesary, since I wanted a large layout.   The idea of a depot looking building was an obvious choice.  Discovering the book "Katy Standard Plans" made research alot easier, and if I'm going to model the Katy, then why not build a Katy designed depot?   Model railroaders such as Tony Koester's Appalachian Midland (AM); Allen McKlellen's Virginia & Ohio (V&O); Doug Tagsold's Denver, Front Range & Western; Eric Brooman's Utah Belt; Brian Kanis' Utah Western; Gil Frietag's Stoney Creek & Western; David Barrow's Cat Mountain & Santa Fe; Gary Hoover's Missouri Kansas & Quincy; Bruce Carpenter's BNSF; and Steven Priest's ATSF Emporia Sub-Division have influenced me greatly.

I am a career firefighter for the City of Palestine, Texas;   For more information about our department, check out the  Palestine Fire Department website.  I hold an Advanced Level Structural firefighting certificate from the Texas Commission on Fire Protection, and EMT-Intermediate certification from the Texas Department of Health and Human Services.   In February 2003, the City of Palestine and East Texas was thrust into the national spotlight with the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster.  

I am a member of Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Palestine.  I serve the congregation as Webmaster, Choir Director, Director of Music, Elder & President.   If you would like to learn more about the church, it's history, or theological beliefs, click to view Bethlehem's Award winning Website.

A honorably discharged veteran from the United States Army after 14 years in the Army Reserves.  As a NCO with the rank of Sergeant, I enjoyed my time in uniform and served overseas twice.  In the military, I was a 51M20 Firefighter, 91B20 Combat Medic and 91W20 Combat Medic EMT.

Palestine is also home of the Texas State Railroad. Due to budget shortfalls from the State of Texas, I encourage you to write and call your state representatives to voice your concerns over the possible closure of this gem in East Texas. Currently, operations are slated to cease in fall 2007!

I am a member of the Piney Woods Model Railroad Club, Lone Star Region, & National Model Railroad Association.


Webmaster: Devin M. Jackson

Send  updates, information, and comments to:


Devin M. Jackson 903-724-3976

Dispatch Center 1-800-SHIP-MBT


Photos by: Bumper Clayton & The Texas State Railroad


Copyright 1987-2007  Mesquite Belt Railroad
A Mesquite Belt Transportation Company