San Antonio's 'Ghost Tracks' will be history after next week

Union Pacific making changes to intersection that could ruin the phenomenon

It's been part of the folklore of San Antonio for decades -- a railroad crossing haunted by the benevolent ghosts of children who help motorists across the tracks. But after next week, the attraction will be history.

Union Pacific is making changes to a stretch of tracks that includes San Antonio's famous "Ghost Tracks" on Shane Road.

"We're installing 2 miles of siding track that will help us move trains in and around San Antonio as we see more train traffic grow in the area," said Jeff DeGraff, senior director of corporate communications for Union Pacific.

The prep work is already underway. Next week, the intersection will be closed for construction and the project is slated for completion next month. When the work is finished, there will be a second track on the east side of the current track and the elevation will be changed in such a way that the perceived phenomenon won't work.

As the lore goes, a school bus full of children got stuck on the tracks at that intersection. The children were killed, but their ghosts remain at the site to help others out of harm's way. People say if you put your car in neutral on those tracks, the ghosts will push you across, and if you put baby powder on the back of your car beforehand, you can even see the handprints the ghosts leave behind.

RELATED - South Texas Haunted Folklore: The Tale of the Haunted Railroad Tracks

The urban legend has been debunked with a logical explanation. Despite the uphill appearance of the road, it's actually on a downhill slant. And the fingerprints? They're already on your car -- the baby powder just defines them.

While many in San Antonio will no doubt be disappointed, the Union Pacific spokesperson said they're excited about the changes.

"Obviously, we did not propose this project because of that phenomenon, that is just a side benefit to it because that area has been an attraction for some unsafe activities," DeGraff said.  

When the project is completed, the Shane Road railroad crossing will have crossing gates and lights.

More Coverage on

Link: A Haunting in South Texas

Watch: GMSA's Max Massey looks into the urban legend of the "Ghost Tracks":

Watch: South Texas Haunted Folklore: The Tale of the Haunted Railroad Tracks:


About the Author:

Julie Moreno has worked in local television news for more than 25 years. She came to KSAT as a news producer in 2000. After producing thousands of newscasts, she transitioned to the digital team in 2015. She writes on a wide variety of topics from breaking news to trending stories and manages KSAT’s daily digital content strategy.