1. Home
  2.  ›
  3. Fallen Flags
  4.  ›
  5. Texas & Pacific

Texas and Pacific Railway

Last revised: June 12, 2023

By: Adam Burns

Of all the Missouri Pacific's many subsidiaries, none were quite as important to its modern network as the Texas and Pacific Railway (T&P). It was initially established by Congress to construct a southern transcontinental corridor.

The road was originally chartered under a different name in 1871 and then became the T&P the following year. Before the decade had ended it was under Jay Gould's control and joined his growing Missouri Pacific empire.

At its peak, the T&P operated nearly 2,000 route miles linking New Orleans with El Paso, Texas via Dallas/Fort Worth.  The system comprised most of the modern MP's network in the Gulf Coast region and Texas.

In addition, it competed with the Southern Pacific and Santa Fe but also interchanged with the former at El Paso to move transcontinental traffic.

From a historical perspective, the Texas & Pacific is an important footnote in American railroading as one of the few federally chartered systems to actually be built, and at least partially completed.  Today, the railroad's former main line is still active under Union Pacific.


Missouri Pacific (Texas & Pacific) caboose #13238 in Kansas City; April, 1969. This car was a former Muskogee Road caboose, rebuilt by the shops in Sedalia, Missouri. American-Rails.com collection.


The Texas & Pacific's origins begin on March 3, 1871 when Congress awarded the then-Texas Pacific Railroad a rare federal charter to establish a southern transcontinental route along the 32nd parallel from Marshall, Texas to San Diego, California. 

At this time, the federal government was attempting to open other areas of the west to development; the original Transcontinental Railroad had been completed in 1869 and the hope was to establish northern and southern routes as well.

To do so, the government lured potential projects with land grants, essentially free property which could be used to establish rights-of-way and as monetary capital.

The government awarded twenty sections per mile through California and forty sections within the present-day states of Arizona and New Mexico. 

In addition, Texas awarded twenty sections per mile within its borders. On May 2, 1872 the company's name was changed to the Texas & Pacific Railway and just a year later, the first segment between Marshall and Texarkana was completed (December 28, 1873).  

System Map (1940)

While the T&P struggled to secure the necessary funding early on, it was lead by several eastern capitalists who had the connections to keep the project on track.

These individuals included former Texas Governor James Throckmorton, Moses Taylor, Samuel Tilden, E.W. Rice, and Thomas A. Scott.

Scott would subsequently recruit noted engineer Greenville Dodge, who had stepped in to help complete the Union Pacific leg of the Transcontinental Railroad.

Dodge brought strong military leadership, just as he had done at Union Pacific, and quickly completed the initial segment.  At Longview, the T&P opened a connection with the International-Great Northern which provided through service to points throughout southern Texas, including Houston and San Antonio/Laredo.

In addition, at Texarkana interchange was established with St. Louis Iron Mountain & Southern Railway (StLIM&S), which offered through service into St. Louis.

At A Glance

Texas & Pacific Building (Dallas, Texas)
States Served
Texas, New Mexico, Louisiana
Texas Pacific Railroad
Dates Of Operation
December 28, 1873 - October 15, 1976
U.S. Congress
Charter Date
March 3, 1871
Route Mileage (1930)
Most Notable President
Jay Gould
Principal Divisions

Eastern Division (Via Marshall)

Transcontinental Division (Via Sherman)

Louisiana Division

Rio Grande Division

Avoyelles Division

Texarkana District (T.C. Division)

Other Lines

Port Allen Branch

La Fourche Branch

Eunice Branch

Melville Branch

Napoleonville Branch

Marksville Branch

Ferriday Branch

Opelousas Branch

Reporting Mark
Missouri Pacific

The three roads worked together closely and comprised virtually all of the later Missouri Pacific's lines south of St. Louis.  

As the roads began to flourish, Jay Gould became involved during the fall of 1879 and gained lease of the Texas & Pacific, through the Missouri Pacific, in 1881.   The International-Great Northern had been added to his empire in December, 1880 while the StLIM&S was acquired in December, 1883.

Under his direction the T&P continued its westward march, reaching Sierra Blanca in West Texas on December 16, 1881 with a goal of connecting to the Southern Pacific at El Paso.  Unfortunately, this was not to be. 

The SP, led by Collis P. Huntington, had arrived there a few months earlier on May 19th, then continued building east, reaching Sierra Blanca on November 25th. 

Timetables (1940)

By extending much further than what had been stipulated, Gould took Huntington to court. The fight was finally resolved when the "Gould-Huntington Agreement" was signed on November 26, 1881.

This accord gave the T&P trackage rights over the Southern Pacific into El Paso but also forfeited its charter and franchises west of that point which were awarded to SP. Following the settlement, construction continued eastward with the railroad arriving in New Orleans on September 12, 1882.

In the succeeding years the T&P continued expanding, most notably to Denison (opening an interchange there with the Missouri, Kansas & Texas) and a secondary line into Texarkana that passed through Paris. At its peak the T&P owned 1,982-miles, including 1,109 miles in Texas.

As-mentioned, the T&P held a principal connection with the International & Great Northern at Longview and the St. Louis Iron Mountain & Southern Railway at Texarkana. For a fascinating background of this carrier, and how it wound up under Gould's direction, purchase a copy of "The Texas Railroad: The Scandalous And Violent History Of The International And Great Northern Railroad, 1866-1925" by Wayne Cline.

Missouri Pacific

Following Jay Gould's control of the Missouri Pacific, along with his son George, the railroad has blossomed into a nearly 10,000 mile network by the turn of the 20th century. 

The MP stretched from St. Louis to Pueblo (and a connection into Denver), Omaha (Nebraska), most of Texas, Memphis, and New Orleans.

However, it was laden with heavy debt from the Gould era.  As a result, it wasn't able to transform itself into a modern, respectable, and profitable carrier until after the Great Depression.

Interestingly, the Texas and Pacific remained a separate corporate entity throughout most of the 20th century.  The T&P, which even had its own offices and station in downtown Fort Worth (completed in 1931 by Wyatt C. Hedrick in the Art Deco style), and still stands today, formerly disappeared into the Missouri Pacific on October 15, 1976.

Diesel Roster

Electro-Motive (EMD)

Model Type Road Number (1st) Road Number (2nd) Serial Number Date Built Quantity
GP35600-6142500-2513 (former 600-613)28772-2878612/1963-1/196415
SD40-2790-7943090-309473713-1 thru 73713-58/19735
SW8811-8181401-1404, 1406, 1409, 1414, 141615830-158371/19528
SD40-2816-8393115-313873648-1 thru 73648-2412/1973-1/197424
SW71020-10231202-1203 (former 1021-1022), 1415 (former 1023), 1417 (former 1020)11996-119997/19504
SW91024-1028, 1029-10361222-1231 (former 1027-1036), 1410 (former 1033), 1412 (former 1026), 1419 (former 1024), 1422 (former 1025)14022-14026, 14510-145172/1951, 7/1951-8/195113
GP71118-1119627-62814021, 145504/1951, 8/19512
GP71120-11241629-1630 (former 1120-1121), 1633 (former 1124)14551-145554/19515
GP71125-1130641-643 (former 1125-1127), 1644 (former 1129)15824-158294/19526
GP71131-1136, 1137-11441837-1849 (former 1131, 1133-44)22524-22529, 25345-253523/1957-5/195914
F7A1520-1536850-861, 862-88611559-115757/195017
F7B1500B-1515B850B-865B8440-8451, 8469-84632/1949-11/194916
F7B1516B-1523B866B-873B11576-11577, 13516-135217/1950, 4/19518

* Ex-Midland Valley GP7's #152-153.

General Electric (GE)

Model Type Road Number (1st) Road Number (2nd) Serial Number Date Built Quantity

Steam Roster

Road Number Wheel Arrangement Class Builder Date Built
2 (2nd)4-4-0A-1Danforth1900
3 (2nd)0-6-0B-5Texas & Pacific1907
4-5 (2nds)0-6-0B-5Texas & Pacific1907
6 (2nd)4-6-0D-1--
8 (2nd)0-6-0B-5Texas & Pacific1907
10 (2nd)0-6-0B-5Texas & Pacific1907
11 (2nd)4-4-0B-5Texas & Pacific1901
12 (2nd)4-4-0A-3Baldwin1872
14 (2nd)4-4-0A-3Schenectady1872
15 (2nd)0-6-0B-5Texas & Pacific1907
16-21 (2nd)4-4-0A-3Texas & Pacific1900
22-25, 27, 41, 46 (2nds)0-6-0B-5Texas & Pacific1902-1905
31-34 (2nd)4-4-0A-3Texas & Pacific1900
35-39, 41-44, 45 (2nd)4-4-0A-3Baldwin8/1876-9/1876
40, 45-460-6-0B-3Pittsburgh8/1876
47-49, 51, 53-584-4-0A-2Schenectady4/1880-7/1880
50, 524-4-0-Rogers1870
50 (2nd)4-4-0-Baldwin1876
52 (2nd)0-6-0B-5Texas & Pacific1905
60, 704-4-0-Grant1882
80 (2nd)4-6-0D-2Pittsburgh10/1880
80 (3rd)4-4-0A-3Pittsburgh2/1882
81 (2nd)4-6-0D-2Pittsburgh10/1880
82-89, 91-924-6-0D-2Pittsburgh2/1881-4/1881
113-1150-6-0B-5Texas & Pacific1901
1164-4-0B-5Texas & Pacific1897
127-134, 1400-6-0B-5Texas & Pacific1898-1901, 1907
135-1394-4-0A-3Missouri Pacific9/1882-10/1882
141-1602-6-0C-1Missouri Pacific4/1883-12/1883
1690-6-0B-5Texas & Pacific1907
243-244, 264-2664-6-0D-7Rogers1898-1900
275-316, 324-3384-6-0D-9Alco/Cooke1901-5/1903
339-3404-4-2E-1Texas & Pacific1906-1907
359-3604-6-0D-9Texas & Pacific1907
400 (2nd)2-8-2E4A1Baldwin1915
600-606 (1st)4-6-2P-1Baldwin4/1919
600-606 (2nd)2-10-4I-1Lima10/1925

Final Years

Only a few years later, in 1982, the MoPac was acquired by Union Pacific.  In its final years the MP was a fine operation; in 1979 it had a net income of $32.6 million and gross revenues of over $524 million.

The Texas and Pacific lines were a primary reason for this, providing the MoPac with some of its largest markets.  Since the T&P remained a separate entity for so long it is also well-remembered by railfans; the road had its own fleet of steam and diesel locomotives, in addition to a separate listing within the "Official Guide Of The Railways."

Today, the T&P's principal lines remain in active service under successor Union Pacific while other segments are still utilized by short lines.


  • Ambrose, Stephen E. Men Who Built The Transcontinental Railroad, The: Nothing Like It In The World. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2000.

  • Cline, Wayne. Texas Railroad, The:  The Scandalous And Violent History Of The International And Great Northern Railroad, 1866-1925.  Lexington: 2015.

  • Klein, Maury.  Life And Legend Of Jay Gould, The. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986.

  • Schafer, Mike. More Classic American Railroads. Osceola: MBI Publishing, 2000.

Recent Articles

  1. Rock Island Diesel Roser: All-Time

    Jun 13, 24 11:18 PM

    Discover the Rock Island's all-time diesel roster here, which included a mix of models from all major builders, as well as rebuilds.

    Read More

  2. New Haven Railroad (New York, New Haven & Hartford)

    Jun 12, 24 11:45 AM

    The New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad (New Haven) served New England for nearly 150 years before disappearing into Penn Central and later Conrail in 1976.

    Read More

  3. Shay Locomotives: Ephraim Shay's Classic Geared Design

    Jun 11, 24 10:11 PM

    The famous Shay locomotive was designed by Ephraim Shay and built by the Lima Locomotive Works beginning in the 1870s.

    Read More