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Texas and Pacific Railway
HeadquartersMarshall, Texas
Reporting markTP
LocaleTexas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Arkansas
Dates of operation1871–1976
SuccessorMissouri Pacific
Track gauge4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge

The Texas and Pacific Railway Company (known as the T&P) was created by federal charter in 1871 with the purpose of building a southern transcontinental railroad between Marshall, Texas, and San Diego, California.


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Under the influence of General Buell, the T&P was originally to be 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) gauge, but this was overturned when the state legislature passed a law requiring 4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm) gauge.[1]

The T&P had a significant foothold in Texas by the mid-1870s. Construction difficulties delayed westward progress, until American financier Jay Gould acquired an interest in the railroad in 1879. The T&P never reached San Diego; instead it met the Southern Pacific at Sierra Blanca, Texas, in 1881.

The Missouri Pacific Railroad, also controlled by Gould, leased the T&P from 1881 to 1885 and continued a cooperative relationship with the T&P after the lease ended. Missouri Pacific gained majority ownership of the Texas and Pacific Railway's stock in 1928, but allowed it to continue operation as a separate entity until they were eventually merged on October 15, 1976. On January 8, 1980, the Missouri Pacific Railroad was purchased by the Union Pacific Railroad. Because of lawsuits filed by competing railroads, the merger was not approved until September 13, 1982. Due to outstanding bonds of the Missouri Pacific, though, the actual merger with the Union Pacific Railroad took place on January 1, 1997.

Texas & Pacific station and office building in Fort Worth, Texas

Several parts of the Texas and Pacific remain to this day, mainly two towering buildings, which help define the southern side of Fort Worth's skyline—the original station and office tower and a warehouse located immediately to the west. In 2001, the passenger platforms at the T&P station were put into use for the first time in decades as the westernmost terminus for the Trinity Railway Express, a commuter rail line connecting Fort Worth and Dallas. The T&P Warehouse still exists, but remains vacant with no plans to renovate it despite significant civic support and third-party developer interest. The passenger terminal and corporate offices have been converted into luxury condominiums.

Major named passenger trains of the Texas and Pacific

Major named passenger trains of the Texas and Pacific (route sections between St. Louis and Texarkana were operated by Missouri Pacific):


1878 map showing the Texas and Pacific Railway in Texas
Cover Art of Texas and Pacific Railway Passenger Timetable of July 1901
Revenue Freight Traffic (Millions of Net Ton-Miles)
T&P KO&G/KO&G of TX Midland Valley Cisco & Northeastern Pecos Valley Southern Texas Short Line
1925 1763 193 230 4 7 0.8
1933 1498 163 84 (with T&P) (with T&P) (with T&P)
1944 4761 412 113
1960 4168 495 97
1970 5854 150 (merged Apr 1970) (merged 1967)

"T&P" includes its subsidiary roads (A&S, D&PS, T-NM etc.); operated route-miles totalled 2259 at the end of 1929 (after C&NE, PVS and TSL had become subsidiaries) and 2033 at the end of 1960.

Legal disputes

The Texas and Pacific was unable to finance construction to San Diego, and as a result the Southern Pacific was able to build from California to Sierra Blanca, Texas. In doing so, Southern Pacific used land designated for, and surveyed by Texas and Pacific, in its rail line from Yuma, Arizona, to El Paso, Texas. This resulted in lawsuits, which were settled with agreements to share tracks, and to cooperate in the building of new tracks. Most of the features advantageous to Texas and Pacific were later disallowed by legislation.

Land grants

Route map of the railroad, circa 1950s (bold lines are T&P; thin lines denote connecting service for Eagle passenger trains)

From 1873 to 1881 the Texas and Pacific built a total of 972 miles (1,560 km) of track; as a result it was entitled to land grants totalling 12,441,600 acres (50,349 km2). T&P, however, received land only for the construction of track east of Fort Worth. This meant the firm received only 5,173,120 acres (20,935 km2). The State of Texas did not award the additional area because, it said, the construction had not been completed within the time required by the firm's charter. The then state Attorney General Charles A. Culberson filed suit to recover 301,893 acres (1,222 km2) on the grounds that "the road had been granted land partly on sidetracks and partly on land not subject to location."[3] The state ultimately recovered 256,046 acres (1,036 km2) giving a net grant to the T&P of 4,917,074 acres (19,899 km2), or 7,683 square miles. By comparison, the state of Connecticut is 5,543 square miles (14,356 km2).[citation needed]

Surviving Steam Locomotives

Number Build Date Builder Class Wheel Type Notes Photo
316 1901 Cooke Locomotive Works D-9 4-6-0 Sold to the Paris and Mount Pleasant Railroad in 1949. Donated to Abilene, Texas in 1951. Donated again to the Texas State Railroad in 1974 and was renumbered to 201. The locomotive was taken out of service at the end of the 2013 season. It is currently on display outside the Palestine engine house awaiting a possible restoration to service.
400 1915 Baldwin Locomotive Works E-4A1 2-8-2 Originally Fort Worth and Denver City Railway 410. It was sold to the Texas and Pacific Railway in 1958 to help pull freight trains through the flooded waters of the Red River. The locomotive suffered a mechanical breakdown and was donated to Marshall, Texas in 1963. The locomotive was unfortunately vandalized, and many of the original hardware was stolen from the locomotive (bell, headlight, backlight, classification lanterns, and many more items). In 2008, the locomotive was moved to the Texas and Pacific Railway Museum, put on display and received a cosmetic restoration. The locomotive still remains on display today.
610 1927 Lima Locomotive Works I-1a 2-10-4 Donated to Fort Worth, Texas in 1951. In 1975, the locomotive was selected to pull the American Freedom Train. The locomotive was restored to operation in 1976 and pulled the AFT throughout Texas. Afterwards, the Southern Railway leased the 610 to pull excursion trains. In 1981, the locomotive returned to Texas. In 1982, it moved to the Texas State Railroad where it currently remains today on static display.

Texas Pacific Land Trust

The Texas Pacific Land Trust (NYSE: TPL) was created in 1888 in the wake of the bankruptcy of the T&P in order to provide an efficient and orderly way to sell the railway's land, receiving at the time in excess of 3.5 million acres (14,000 km2). As of 31 December 2006 the Trust was still the largest private land owner in the state of Texas,[4] owning the surface estate of 966,392 acres (3,911 km2) spread across 20 counties in the western part of the state. The Trust also generates income from oil & gas royalties through its 1/128 non-participating royalty interest under 85,414 acres (346 km2) and 1/16 non-participating royalty interest under 386,988 acres (1,566 km2).[4]

See also


  1. ^ NLA
  2. ^ Hoiberg, Dale H., ed. (2010). "Abilene". Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. I: A-ak Bayes (15th ed.). Chicago, Illinois: Encyclopædia Britannica Inc. pp. 32–33. ISBN 978-1-59339-837-8.
  3. ^ Texas and Pacific Railway from the Handbook of Texas Online
  4. ^ a b Metz, Robert (January 5, 1998). "Shaking the Money Tree: Texas Pacific Land Trust... If You Trust Land". Money Talks. Investor Features Syndicate.

Further reading