Home > A Brief History

A Brief History

The only Texas railroad founded by a federal government charter, the Texas and Pacific Railroad began on 3 March 1871, and on 2 May 1872 an Act of Congress approved the name change to the Texas & Pacific Railway Company.  The Texas & Pacific's creation advanced the purpose of creating a southern transcontinental, which the T&P was to build from Marshall, Texas to San Diego, California.

Due to the Panic of 1873, the envisioned southern transcontinental construction failed to materialize as planned; however, the T&P continued construction, though with difficulty, through self-financing.  In 1879, railroad magnate Jay Gould acquired an interest in the T&P, and General Grenville M. Dodge was once again hired to oversee and continue construction of the T&P track line.  Through acquisitions of smaller railroads and construction of new lines, the T&P Railway Company operated trains from New Orleans, Louisiana to El Paso, Texas.  Today, Interstate-20 parallels much of the T&P line.

Gould possessed holdings in the Missouri Pacific Railroad, too, and through Gould’s capital assets, the two railway companies worked conjointly with the Missouri Pacific leasing T&P property.  After 1917, Gould no longer controlled both railroads; however, they formalized their partnership, and the Missouri Pacific began buying stock in the T&P in 1918, and by 1930, Missouri Pacific possessed 75% ownership of the T&P.  In 1974, Missouri Pacific owned approximately 97% of the T&P, and on 15 October 1976, the T&P was merged into the Missouri Pacific Railroad ceasing the existence of the Texas and Pacific Railway Company.  The Union Pacific Railroad eventually absorbed the Missouri Pacific Railroad on 22 December 1982 with Missouri Pacific holdings and operation ceasing to exist in 1997.

Last modified 30 October 2016