This Texas & Pacific (TP) Railroad photo shows an EMD F7 A-B-B-A set, led by No. 886, with freight in tow

at the western end of the large Lancaster Yard in Fort Worth, TX, 1962.

This photo is for sale. Click on image for more information.

(© Dan Pope Collection / RMP Archive)


Texas and Pacific Railway herald.


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.


Route Map of the Texas and Pacific Railway.

(Texas and Pacific Railway, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)


Texas & Pacific station and office building in Fort Worth, Texas. (No machine-readable author provided. Gyrofrog assumed (based on copyright claims)., CC BY-SA 2.5 <>, via Wikimedia Commons)


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+1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) gauge.

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.

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.


Texas and Pacific Railway's "Cannon Ball", train No. 6 eastbound headed by Engine No. 359, at the Marshall, Texas Depot in autumn 1903.

(University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Museum of the American Railroad.)


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):

  • Louisiana Eagle — New Orleans–Dallas–Fort Worth
  • Southerner - St. Louis (north branch), Memphis, Tennessee (northeast branch), Alexandria, Louisiana (south branch) - El Paso
  • Sunshine Special - St. Louis - El Paso and Laredo, Texas
  • Texan - St. Louis - San Antonio and Houston
  • Texas Eagle — St. Louis–various Texas points - western section going to El Paso, with connecting Southern Pacific service to Los Angeles; southwestern section to Laredo, with car change for Mexico City; southern section going to Houston
  • Westerner — St. Louis–Dallas–El Paso—connection in El Paso for Southern Pacific service to Los Angeles


Texas and Pacific Railway ticket envelope.

(Texas and Pacific Railway, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)



  • March 3, 1871 - United States Congress grants a charter to the Texas Pacific Railroad Company
  • 1871 - Texas legislature charters the company and grant permission to purchase the Southern Trans-Continental Railway Company and the Southern Pacific Railroad Company. Note: This is a different Southern Pacific Railroad company from the one referred to above.
  • March 21, 1872 - The Southern Pacific is purchased.
  • March 30 - Southern Trans-Continental Railway Company is purchased.
  • 1872 - Thomas A. Scott, president of the Pennsylvania Railroad, becomes president of the Texas & Pacific.
  • May 2, 1872 - an Act of Congress changes the name to Texas and Pacific Railway Company
  • June 12, 1873 - Memphis, El Paso and Pacific Railroad Company purchased.
  • July 1, 1873 - First rail line opened between Longview, Texas, and Dallas, Texas
  • December 28, 1873 - Rail line from Marshall, Texas, to Texarkana, Texas, placed in service.
  • 1881 - Abilene, TX connected to the line.
  • 1888 - Flooding in Louisiana due to the 1886/1887 hurricane season and crop failures in Texas due to drought caused T&P to go into bankruptcy. The bonds that were sold to pay for the construction of the rail lines could not be paid, so the court converted the land into an asset of a separate company, the Texas Pacific Land Trust.
  • 1925 - Lima Locomotive Works delivers 2-10-4 locomotives to the T&P. The type is nicknamed "Texas" as a result.
  • October 15, 1976 - merged with the Missouri Pacific


1878 map showing the Texas and Pacific Railway in Texas. (University of Texas at Arlington, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)


Cover Art of Texas and Pacific Railway Passenger Timetable of July 1901. (Texas and Pacific Railway Company, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

Texas and Pacific (MP) No. 36, an EMD E8A with Train No. 1, the Texas Eagle, at Palestine, TX on September 6, 1966.

(Roger Puta, courtesy Marty Bernard, railfan 44, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons, cropped)


Revenue Freight Traffic (Millions of Net Ton-Miles)

Year 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 totaled 2259 at the end of 1929 (after C&NE, PVS and TSL had become subsidiaries) and 2033 at the end of 1960.


Texas and Pacific's "the Westerner" train No. 7, westbound, headed by diesel locomotive No. 2003, departing from the Union Station in Texarkana, Arkansas-Texas. (University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Museum of the American Railroad.)


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.


Texas and Pacific Railway's train No. 21 "Louisiana Eagle", headed by Engine No. 2005, a 4000 H.P. electro-motive diesel locomotive in Dallas, Texas on June 22, 1952. Photo by Roger S. Plummer. (University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Museum of the American Railroad.


Land grants

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 totaling 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." 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).


Locomotive 611, a 2-10-4 Texas type, Texas and Pacific Railway Company, ca. 1946.

(Robert Yarnall Richie, No restrictions, via Wikimedia Commons)


Surviving Steam Locomotives

A few T&P steam locomotives have survived the scrapper's torch. Some are shown below.


No. 316 was built in 1901 by Cooke Locomotive Works and is a Class 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. (DRGW488, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons)


No. 400 was built in 1915 by Baldwin Locomotive Works and is a Class 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. (DRGW488, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons)


No. 610 was built in 1927 by Lima Locomotive Works and is a Class I-1a 2-10-4 "Texas" type. 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. (Renelibrary, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons)


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, 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).


Texas and Pacific shops, Marshall Texas, ca 1935-40.

(Publisher-Gene Holder Marshall, Texas, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)



Headquarters: Marshall, Texas
Reporting mark: TP
Locale: Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Arkansas
Dates of operation: 1871–1976
Successor: Missouri Pacific
Track gauge 4 ft 8+1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge


Locomotive 653 at the Texas & Pacific Railway Company Depot, Marshall, TX, ca. 1946. Photo by Robert Yarnall Richie.

(Robert Yarnall Richie, No restrictions, via Wikimedia Commons)