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Texas Short Line Railroads

Published: April 18, 2023

By: Adam Burns

Guide Information

Alamo Gulf Coast Railroad

(reporting mark, AGCR): This short line is owned by Martin Marietta Materials and operate a line that is just 3.5 miles in length near the town of Beckman, mostly hauling aggregates and timber products.  It began operations in 1996 over former SP property.

Alliance Terminal Railroad

(reporting mark, ATR): This railroad is owned by OmniTRAX operating a 7-mile terminal system near Haslet for the  Alliance Intermodal Facility. It interchanges traffic with BNSF. 

Angelina & Neches River Railroad

(reporting mark, ANR):  This historic short line traces its roots back to 1900 where it started out in the timber industry.  It currently operates 12 miles of main line trackage and 28 miles total radiating away from Lukin; these include the West Lufkin Branch, Clawson Branch, and its main line heading east.  

Its traffic currently includes newsprint, ground-wood paper, lumber, chemicals, scrap metal, sugar, corn syrup, grocery products, clay, aggregates and industrial products.

Austin Western Railroad

(reporting mark, AWRR):  The Austin Western is a Watco short line running 155 miles from Llano to Giddings with a 6.4 mile branch extending from Fairland to Marble Falls.  

Its traffic includes aggregates, crushed limestone, calcium bicarbonate, lumber beer, chemicals, plastics and paper while handling nearly 49,000 carloads annually.

Big Spring Rail

(reporting mark, BSR):  This short line was launched in August, 2012 provides switching services for local customers in Big Spring, Texas.  They also offer rail to bulk container loading, warehouse storage, outside storage, drayage, and oversized flat rack loading to and from rail to truck.  It operates a total of 3.3 miles of trackage, owned by the city of Big Spring.  Interchange is provided via Union Pacific.

Blacklands Railroad

(reporting mark, BLR):  This privately-owned short line first began service in 1995 and currently operates 73 miles of former Cotton Belt property between Greenville and Mt. Pleasant.  It handles a wide range of freight including salt, food products, metals, bricks, paper, chemicals, pipe, building materials, plastics, feed products, fertilizer, and machinery/equipment.  The company also offers transload services.

Border Pacific Railroad

(reporting mark, BOP):  The Border Pacific began service in 1984 over 32 miles of former Missouri Pacific trackage between Mission and Rio Grande City.  Its traffic currently includes silica sand, ballast, crushed stone, asphalt, scrap paper, and feed grains.

Brownsville & Rio Grande International Railroad

(reporting mark, BRG): The B&RGI operates about 42 miles of railroad serving the Port of Brownsville. It currently has interchanges with three Class Is; UP, BNSF, and KCS de Mexico.  

It began operations in 1984 by acquiring former Texas & Pacific (MP) property handling a variety of products such as steel, agricultural products, food products, and general commodities.

CMC Railroad

(reporting mark, CMC):  Launched in 1997, this short line is located in Dayton, Texas and serves the 1,050 acre Gulf Inland Logistics Park.

Corpus Christi Terminal Railroad

(reporting mark, CCPN):  This terminal road serves the Port of Corpus Christi and has been a G&W property since 1997.  It operates 30 total miles of trackage interchanging with KCS, UP, and BNSF.  Its traffic includes aggregates, brick and cement, chemicals, ethanol, food and feed products, machinery, minerals and stone, and petroleum products.

Dallas, Garland & Northeastern Railroad

(reporting mark, DGNO):  The DG&N, a G&W property since 2012, began service in 1992 by acquiring former Katy property from Union Pacific north of Dallas.  

Today, its mileage totals 337 on three disconnected lines; a short segment west of downtown Dallas, another between Grapevine and Sherman, and finally between Garland and Trenton.  It handles more than 60,000 carloads annually.

Fort Worth & Western Railroad

(reporting mark, FWWR):  The Fort Worth & Western began service in 1988 when it acquired former Frisco trackage from Burlington Northern totaling 6.5 miles.  It has since grown considerably and currently operates 276 route miles of track between the Fort Worth area and Santa Anna.  It currently handles roughly 36,000 carloads annually.

Galveston Railroad

(reporting mark, GVSR):  This terminal/switching carrier serves the Port of Galveston operating a total of 38 miles.  In 2005 G&W began operating the property which dates back to 1900 as the Galveston Wharves Railway.  Its traffic consists of chemicals, food/feed products, and heavy machinery.

Gardendale Railroad

(reporting mark, GRD): This short line is a division of Ironhorse Resources and provides switching/terminal service for companies serving the Eagle Ford Shale.  It interchanges with Union Pacific at Gardendale.

Georgetown Railroad

(reporting mark, GRR): The original Georgetown Railroad dates back to 1878, running 10 miles between Georgetown and Round Rock. It was later acquired by the International-Great Northern Railroad which went on to become part of Missouri Pacific.  

In 1959, eight miles of the MP's old Georgetown Branch was sold to new short line the Georgetown Railroad Company.  Today the operation owns about 30 miles of track serving communities such as Kerr, Granger, Belton, and Smith.  Its traffic includes aggregates, ammonium nitrate, lumber, and grain.

Hondo Railway

(reporting mark, HRR): This small short line operates about 5 miles of track near San Antonio and has been in service since 2006.  Its traffic base currently consists of ethanol, food products (sweetener), agricultural products, petroleum, and frac sand.  The railroad also offers transload services.

Kiamichi Railroad

(reporting mark, KRR):  This large short line operates 261 miles  of track (some of which is trackage rights) running from Hope, Arkansas to west of Durant, Oklahoma along the Red River.  There is also a north-south section running from Paris, Texas to Antlers, Oklahoma. 

The route's history traces back to the Frisco, when it was sold in 1987 by Burlington Northern.  RailAmerica acquired the property in 2002 from States Rail before being purchased by G&W in 2012.  Today, traffic consists of coal, lumber, aggregates, minerals, glass, paper, chemicals, cement, pulpwood, feed and food products.

Lubbock & Western Railway

(reporting mark, LBWR):  Formerly owned by Iowa Pacific and known as the West Texas & Lubbock, this Watco short line operates two disconnected segments; from near Dimmitt to Plainview, Texas and another from Lubbock to Whiteface as well as between Lubbock and Seagraves.  The L&W's traffic includes fertilizer, aggregates, grain, cotton, chemicals, peanuts, and plastics.

Moscow, Camden & San Augustine Railroad

(reporting mark, MCSA): The MC&SA dates back to 1898 to serve lumber interests owned by the W. T. Carter & Brother Lumber Company.  it was a common carrier offering both freight and passenger service, eventually opening between Moscow to Camden.

Today, it continues to operate this trackage, owned by Georgia Pacific and still handles primarily forest products including outbound plywood, lumber, and other freight.

Orange Port Terminal Railway

(reporting mark, OPT): Owned by Lone Star Locomotive Leasing, this terminal railroad operates 1.8 miles of track formerly owned by SP and began service on November 10, 1995.Panhandle Northern Railway (reporting mark, PNR):  

This OmniTRAX property operates 31 miles of the former Santa Fe between Panhandle and Borger.  Its traffic currently consists of carbon black, liquid petroleum gas, chemicals, petroleum products, scrap metal, fertilizer and grain.

Panhandle Northern Railroad

(reporting mark, PNR):  This OmniTRAX property operates 31 miles of the former Santa Fe between Borger and Panhandle, Texas.  It began operations in 1993 and handles carbon black, liquid petroleum gas, chemicals, petroleum products, scrap metal, and fertilizer.

Pecos Valley Southern Railway

(reporting mark, PVS): This little railroad has been in continuous operation since 1910 and today owns about 23 miles of track between Saragosa and Pecos, where it has an interchange with UP.

Its primary sources of traffic are aggregates and ore although its future includes the movement of traffic related to the region's booming Permian Shale Oil basin. Today, it is owned by Watco.

Point Comfort & Northern Railway

(reporting mark, PCN):  The Point Comfort & Northern began operations in 1948 serving the Port of Point Comfort and running 14 miles to the north where it connects with Union Pacific at Lolita.  It was acquired by RailAmerica in 2005 and G&W in 2012.  Its traffic consists of alumina, aluminum fluoride, fluorspar and fertilizers.

Port Terminal Railroad Association

(reporting mark, PTRA):  This historical terminal road can trace its history back to 1924 to serve the Port of Houston.  Today, it is owned by the railroads serving the port as well as the Port of Houston Authority.

Rio Valley Switching Company

(reporting mark, RVSC): Another railroad owned by Ironhorse Resources, Inc. the short line serves Harlingen (where it has an interchange with UP), Mission, Edinburg, and Santa Rosa. Overall, the Rio Valley operates about 66 miles of track.  

Its traffic includes oil field services, paper, agricultural products, lumber, bulk plastics, steel, scrap metals, cottonseed, corn sweetener, lime, cement, canned goods, frozen food, and aggregates.

RJ Corman - Texas Lines

(reporting mark, RJCD): This operation includes 13.08 miles of an historic short line, the Texas South-Eastern Railroad, between Diboll and just south of Granville.  Its heritage can be traced back to 1900 in the handling of timber and lumber.

Most of its original network has long since been abandoned with Corman serving five customers in Diboll.  Interchange is provided through Union Pacific at Diboll.

Rusk, Palestine & Pacific Railroad

(reporting mark, RPP):  This short line is an Iowa Pacific property (since 2012) that operates over the historic Texas State Railroad (reporting mark, TSR) between between Palestine and Rusk, 30 miles.  The road initiated freight service on the line during June of 2014 for the first time since the 1960s.

Sabine River & Northern Railroad

(reporting mark, SRN): The SR&N is owned by Temple-Inland Incorporated and operates about 40 miles of track on two lines serving Bessmay, Echo, Buna, and Evadale. The trackage was built directly by the railroad in the mid-1960s to serve a linerboard mill.  Today, its traffic still consists of forest products such as paper and lumber.

San Antonio Central Railroad

(reporting mark, SAC):  This Watco property primarily provides switches local industries in southwest San Antonio, maintaining a total of 8.5 miles of track.

South Plains Lamesa Railroad

(reporting mark, SLAL): This small short line operates around the Lubbock area providing mostly switching and terminal services.  It has been in operation since 1993 and also offers railcar storage and transload services.

Southern Switching Company

(reporting mark, SSC): This terminal railroad is another Ironhorse Resources property operating just over 8 miles of track and serving the Abilene area, where it has a connection with UP.  Its traffic currently consists of grain, animal feed, fertilizers, petroleum products, scrap, corn sweetener, and lumber.

Temple & Central Texas Railway

(reporting mark, TC):  This Patriot Rail short line operates over 10 miles of largely yard trackage to serve the Central Pointe Rail Park located in Temple, Texas.

Texas Central Business Lines

(reporting mark, TCB): This 13-mile terminal serves the industries of the Midlothian area and connects with both UP and BNSF.   Its traffic consists of aggregates, metals, automotive products, steel/scrap, and forest products.

Texas Coastal Bend Railroad

(reporting mark, TCBR):  This Watco property began operations on August 2, 2022 and serves 63 miles of mostly terminal trackage to serve the Port of Corpus Christi.  The railroad handles grain and grain products, cement, coal, chemicals, steel, and plastics.

Texas, Gonzales & Northern Railway

(reporting mark, TXGN): The TG&N operates between Harwood and Gonzales on a system that is just over 12 miles in length operating on former SP trackage.  It began operations in 1992.

Texas & Northern Railway

(reporting mark, TN): The T&N is owned by Transtar operating close to 8 miles of railroad near Lone Star. It currently interchanges with KCS west of Hughes Springs.  The road began operations in 1948 to serve steel mills and continues to carry steel products today.

Texas North Western Railway

(reporting mark, TXNW): This short line dates back to 1982 when it took over trackage originally owned by the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific (Rock Island) between Etter and Morse Junction, Texas as well as Stinnett, Texas and Hardesty, Oklahoma. Its traffic currently consists of agriculture, chemicals, petroleum products, and coal.

Texas & New Mexico Railway

(reporting mark, TXN):  Formerly known as the Texas-New Mexico Railroad (reporting mark, TMNR) and owned by Iowa Pacific Holdings, this Watco property operates a 104-mile system serving the oil fields between Monahans, Texas and Lovington, New Mexico.  

The trackage was formerly owned by the Texas & Pacific/MP and acquired by Iowa Pacific in 2002.  Its traffic includes oilfield chemicals and minerals, construction aggregates, industrial waste, and scrap.

Texas Northeastern Railroad

(reporting mark, TNER): This railroad is owned by Genesee & Wyoming and operates two unconnected sections of track east of Sherman and west of Texarkana consisting of just over 100 miles.  

It began operations in 1990 when it acquired former Texas & Pacific property from Union Pacific.  Today, its traffic consists of coal, military equipment, wheat, and polyethylene while handling more than 10,000 carloads annually.

Texas Pacifico Transportation

(reporting mark, TXPF): This railroad, a division of Ferromex, began service in March, 2001.  It operates 384 miles of state-owned track in West Texas running between Presidio, at the Mexican border, to Coleman. It interchanges with the Fort Worth & Western (which operates into Fort Worth via trackage rights over BNSF) and Ferromex. 

The short line has three subdivisions; Alpine (Presidio - Fort Stockton), Big Lake (Fort Stockton - Tom Green), and San Angelo (Tom Green - Santa Anna/Coleman).

Texas Rock Crusher Railway

(reporting mark, TXR):  This short line is a division of the TNW Corporation and serves the Brownwood area over 5.65 miles of former Santa Fe industrial trackage.  It began operations in 1998 and also serves the nearby Vulcan limestone quarry.  Its motive power consists of two CF7's and an SW10.

Timber Rock Railroad

(reporting mark, TIBR):  The Timber Rock is a Watco subsidiary and has been in service since 1998.  It operates 160 miles of trackage between Silsbee and Tenaha with a branch to Deridder, Louisiana.  Its traffic largely includes aggregates and forest products handling more than 26,000 carloads annually.  


Texas South-Eastern Railroad

(reporting mark, TSE): This operation first began service in 1900, a division of the Southern Pine Lumber Company, hauling logs and related forest products.  It eventually grew into a 78-mile system reaching such locations as Diboll, Everett, Blix, Lufkin, Vair, and Neches.

It was eventually cutback over the years and today only operates terminal/switching services at Diboll.  It has been a division of R.J. Corman since September of 2014.

Western Rail Road

(reporting mark, WRRC):  This short line is privately owned and operated by Cemex to connect its quarry and cement plant in Dittlinger, Texas with the nearby Union Pacific main line.  It operates about 2 miles of track.

Wichita, Tillman & Jackson Railway

(reporting mark, WTJR): The WT&J is currently owned by the Rio Grande Pacific Corporation, running on disconnected trackage in Texas and Oklahoma once owned by the Rock Island and Union Pacific.  It has been in service since 1991.