txrrhistory.com - H&TC Depot - Dallas, Texas

Painting by Louis Daniel

In 1840 work began on a railroad from Harrisburg to the Brazos River that was later chartered as the Harrisburg Rail Road and Trading Company. Although this company subsequently failed, and its charter lapsed, this was the first attempt to build a railroad over a route that later became a part of the Southern Pacific. The decade of the 1850s, however, saw the construction of five railroads that were later acquired by the Southern Pacific. Work on the Buffalo Bayou, Brazos and Colorado Railway began in 1851, and by late 1860 the line was open from Harrisburg to Alleyton. The BBB&C was not only the first railroad to operate in Texas, but also the first component of the Southern Pacific to begin operating. It is also generally considered to have been the second railroad west of the Mississippi River.

By early 1861 the Houston and Texas Central (originally the Galveston and Red River Railway Company) was operating between Houston and Millican, while the Texas and New Orleans (originally the Sabine and Galveston Bay Railroad and Lumber Company) was completed between Houston and Orange.

The company reached Dallas on July 8, 1872, and, on March 15, 1873, Red River City, where connection was made with the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railway. This connection was the first between the rail system of Texas and the expanding national network.

Text from the Handbook of Texas Online

Last Revised: 09/30/2005 - Contact the Texas Interlocking Towers Page.