Texas & New Orleans C-23 Class 2-8-0 882, date, location, and photographer unknown.

This engine was built by Baldwin in September, 1913, as San Antonio & Aransas Pass 255. It became T&NO C-23 Class 882 when the SP bought the SA&AP in 1925. It was sold for scrap in Houston on October 31, 1952. Source: Timothy S. Diebert and Joseph A. Strapac, Southern Pacific Steam Locomotive Compendium, Shade Tree Books, 1987, pg 171.

(Craig Garver, Public domain, https://www.flickr.com/search/?user_id=187894742%40N05&view_all=1&text=Baldwin)



The San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway first began operation in the U.S. state of Texas in 1886. It was developed by Uriah Lott and businessmen of San Antonio as a direct route from the city to Aransas Bay on the Texas Gulf coast. It was eventually absorbed in the 20th century by Southern Pacific.


A Map of the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway.

Woodward & Tiernan Printing Co. Map of the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway and connections., map, 1890; St. Louis, Missouri.

(https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth190466/m1/1/: accessed November 23, 2023), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,

https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting University of Texas at Arlington Library.



Uriah Lott, a transportation entrepreneur, engaged his friends Richard King and contractor Mifflin Kenedy in development of three railroad lines in Texas to improve connections from major cities to smaller ones, and to trading areas in Mexico. The Corpus Christi, San Diego and Rio Grande Narrow Gauge Railroad connected Corpus Christi and Laredo. The St. Louis, Brownsville and Mexico Railway ran from Houston to Brownsville through the Rio Grande Valley and related stops.

Supported by businessmen from San Antonio, the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway was developed to connect San Antonio with Aransas Bay on Texas' Gulf coast, where a deepwater port was being developed. Lott, Texas was named in the developer's honor. (After damaging hurricanes in the early 20th century, the US Army Corps of Engineers designated Corpus Christi to be the deep-water port in this area.)

At Corpus Christi, the SA&AP connected with the San Antonio, Uvalde & Gulf Railroad and the Texas-Mexican Railway. The line also connected with the St. Louis, Brownsville & Mexico (MP) at Sinton, Texas.


Line History

The San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway Company was incorporated in 1884, to fulfill the need for a direct railway route from San Antonio to Mexico. Augustus Belknap became president of the company's board of directors, all of whom were also the primary investors, which included William H. Maverick, Edward Stevenson, Edward Katula, Daniel Sullivan, A. J. Lockwood, and George H. Kalteyer, all businessmen based in San Antonio, George Polk was the surveyor. With no progress upon completion of Polk's survey, Belknap was replaced by Lott as president of the board. He gained support in the state legislature from Representative Mifflin Kenedy. Construction began in 1885, and the first train rolled out on the line in 1886. The railroad went into receivership in 1890. The receivership was lifted in 1892 after a corporate reorganization whereby Southern Pacific acquired the majority of the stock.

As Section 5 of Article X of the Texas Constitution prohibited common control of parallel railroads, in 1903, the Southern Pacific Railway was sued by the Texas Railroad Commission. Southern Pacific lost the lawsuit and was compelled to divest itself of ownership of the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway. In 1924, a change in statutes allowed Southern Pacific to regain control of the railway. In 1934, the Southern Pacific consolidated the San Antonio and Aransas Pass into their Texas and New Orleans subsidiary road.


A postcard depicting the SA&AP passenger station at Corpus Christi, Texas in the pre-Southern Pacific era.

The station was razed when the original Harbor Bridge was under construction, ca. 1957. The bridge opened in 1959.

(Mary & Jeff Bell Library, Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi, Texas)


San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway Overview

Reporting mark: SA&AP, SAAP
Locale: Texas
Dates of operation: 1886–1934
Successor: Texas and New Orleans Railroad (SP)
Track gauge: 4 ft 8+1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge