Gulf Coast Lines

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Gulf Coast Lines
Gulf Coast Lines herald.jpg
Gulf Coast Lines system map.jpg
Gulf Coast Lines system map, circa 1920
Locale Louisiana and Texas
Dates of operation February 28, 1916–March 1, 1956
Successor Missouri Pacific Railroad
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Headquarters

New Orleans[1]

and Houston, Texas[2]

The Gulf Coast Lines was the name of a railroad system comprising three principal railroads, as well as some smaller ones, that stretched from New Orleans, Louisiana via Baton Rouge and Houston to Brownsville, Texas. Originally chartered as subsidiaries of the Frisco Railroad, the system became independent in 1916 and was purchased by the Missouri Pacific Railroad in 1925.[3]

The parent company of the independent Gulf Coast Lines was the New Orleans, Texas and Mexico Railway, incorporated in Louisiana on February 28, 1916, which bought the property and assets of the Frisco-owned New Orleans, Texas and Mexico Railroad. The NOT&M was headquartered in New Orleans, and owned or leased a number of other railroads in Louisiana and Texas, operating them all together as the Gulf Coast Lines. As of December 31, 1916, the total trackage operated by the Gulf Coast Lines system was 1,013 miles (1,630 km), including branches, sidings, trackage rights, and leased lines.[4]

Constituent railroads[edit]

Primary lines[edit]

According to a corporate history published in the 1950s by the Missouri Pacific Railroad,[5]

The Gulf Coast Lines was projected originally by B. F. Yoakum, chairman of the board of the Rock Island and Frisco Lines. Yoakum's plan envisioned using the Rock Island and Frisco, together with.several railroads to be built in Texas and Louisiana and now known as the Gulf Coast Lines, to form a continuous line of railroad extending from Chicago, St. Louis and Memphis to Baton Rouge, Houston, Brownsville, Tampico and Mexico City.

The Frisco and Rock Island were conjoined under his leadership in 1905 and known as the "Yoakum Line."[6]

The first section of the GCL was the St. Louis, Brownsville and Mexico Railway. Construction was done by the B.F. & P.M. Johnson Co. of St. Elmo, Illinois, which began in 1903 from Robstown, Texas (near Corpus Christi) to Brownsville, Texas. The line was opened for business on July 4, 1904. By the end of 1907, the StLB&M was extended to Houston, with trackage rights via the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railroad between Algoa and Houston.[7][8] The railroad was the first to reach the Rio Grande Valley, where it had a great effect on the region. According to the Handbook of Texas Online,[9]

The coming of the railroad and irrigation made the Valley into a major agricultural center. In Hidalgo County, land that had been selling for twenty-five cents an acre in 1903, the year before the St. Louis, Brownsville and Mexico Railway arrived, was selling for fifty dollars an acre in 1906 and for as much as $300 an acre by 1910.

In 1905, Yoakum purchased the Beaumont, Sour Lake and Western Railway, which connected with the StLB&M at Houston.[10]

The next link eastward was the New Orleans, Texas and Mexico Railway, construction of which began in 1905 from Anchorage, Louisiana[11] (opposite Baton Rouge), to DeQuincy, Louisiana, with trackage rights purchased from Kansas City Southern Railway from DeQuincy to Beaumont. NOT&M trains were ferried across the Mississippi River at Baton Rouge until 1947,[12] several years after the Huey P. Long Bridge (carrying a highway and a railroad track) was built in 1940. This segment opened for service on September 1, 1909, with trackage rights via the Louisiana Railway and Navigation Company[13] from Baton Rouge to New Orleans; after 1916, GCL trains used trackage rights on the parallel Illinois Central route instead.[14]

Yoakum's planned extensions of the GCL from Brownsville to Tampico and Mexico City, as well as from Baton Rouge to Memphis, never materialized. In 1913, the Frisco and the GCL roads fell into bankruptcy, which was terminated in 1916 when Frisco's receivers were ordered by a court to sell the Texas-Louisiana lines. The StLB&M and the BSL&W were acquired by the New Orleans, Texas and Mexico, and operated under the Gulf Coast Lines name after that.[15][16]

On June 30, 1924, the NOT&M bought the International-Great Northern Railroad,[17] and in December of the same year, the Missouri Pacific bought the Gulf Coast Lines and operated it as a subsidiary. In March 1956, all of the GCL lines were merged into the Missouri Pacific system, losing their separate identity.[18] The Missouri Pacific was merged into the Union Pacific Railroad in 1997.

Secondary lines[edit]

Before 1925, the following railroads were also part of the Gulf Coast Lines system who retained their separate legal identities:[19]

Acquired by the New Orleans, Texas & Mexico on February 1, 1924:

Acquired by the New Orleans, Texas & Mexico on behalf of the Missouri Pacific in 1925 to keep the Missouri Kansas Texas from taking control of it, but operated as a separate division from the Gulf Coast Lines until all were merged into the Missouri Pacific in March 1, 1956:

After 1925, the following railroads were purchased by the Gulf Coast Lines division of Missouri Pacific, though maintaining their separate legal identities.[23]

Acquired by the New Orleans, Texas & Mexico on December 1, 1925:

Acquired by the New Orleans, Texas & Mexico on January 2, 1926:

Acquired by New Orleans, Texas & Mexico in November 1926:

Acquired by New Orleans, Texas & Mexico on January 1, 1927:

Acquired by the Beaumont, Sour Lake & Western on May 1, 1927:

The Beaumont, Sour Lake & Western also owned a 25 percent share of the Houston Belt and Terminal Railway;[31] the StLB&M owned a 50 percent share of the Brownsville and Matamoros Bridge Company.[32]

Passenger trains[edit]

After 1925, numerous Missouri Pacific passenger trains used the various segments of the Gulf Coast Lines route, which although legally separate entities for tax, tariff, and accounting purposes, were marketed to the public as a seamless continuation of MoPac passenger service.

One notable passenger train of the postwar era was the streamlined Valley Eagle, introduced on October 31, 1948, which covered the 372 miles between Houston, Corpus Christi, and Brownsville in 8 1/2 hours at an average speed of 44 miles per hour.[33] Two trainsets of five cars each were built by ACF to make the daytime run in both directions.[34]:139 The train was discontinued on July 1, 1962.[35]

Also in the postwar era, MoPac's Houstonian and Orleanean ran between New Orleans and Houston, covering the 367 miles in nine or ten hours.[36]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Poor's Intermediate Manual of Railroads. New York: Poor's Manual Company. 1917. pp. 601–606. 
  2. ^ Official Guide of the Railways. New York: National Railway Publication Company. September 1955. p. 735. 
  3. ^ "MoPac's First 125 Years". Missouri Pacific: A History of Color. Missouri Pacific Historical Society. Retrieved 2 April 2011. 
  4. ^ Poor's Intermediate Manual of Railroads. New York: Poor's Manual Company. 1917. pp. 601–606. 
  5. ^ Missouri Pacific Railroad. "First Railroad in the West: An Historical Outline". The Empire That Missouri Pacific Serves. Kansas State Library. Retrieved 2 April 2011. 
  6. ^ Orozco-Vallejo, Mary M. "Yoakum, Benjamin Franklin". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Society. Retrieved 2 April 2011. 
  7. ^ Werner, George C. "St. Louis, Brownsville and Mexico Railway". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 2 April 2011. 
  8. ^ Missouri Pacific Railroad. "First Railroad in the West: An Historical Outline". The Empire That Missouri Pacific Serves. Kansas State Library. Retrieved 2 April 2011. 
  9. ^ Vigness, David M., and Mark Odintz. "Rio Grande Valley". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 2 April 2011. 
  10. ^ Missouri Pacific Railroad. "First Railroad in the West: An Historical Outline". The Empire That Missouri Pacific Serves. Kansas State Library. Retrieved 2 April 2011. 
  11. ^ Now uninhabited; see Anchorage - Ghost Town
  12. ^ "Smoke on the Water". History Hunts (blog). Retrieved 4 April 2011. 
  13. ^ The LR&N Became part of the Louisiana and Arkansas Railway in 1929, which was acquired by the Kansas City Southern in 1939.
  14. ^ Missouri Pacific Railroad. "First Railroad in the West: An Historical Outline". The Empire That Missouri Pacific Serves. Kansas State Library. Retrieved 2 April 2011. 
  15. ^ Missouri Pacific Railroad. "First Railroad in the West: An Historical Outline". The Empire That Missouri Pacific Serves. Kansas State Library. Retrieved 2 April 2011. 
  16. ^ "MoPac's First 125 Years". Missouri Pacific: A History of Color. Missouri Pacific Historical Society. Retrieved 2 April 2011. 
  17. ^ Hemphill, Hugh. "The Missouri Pacific / International & Great Northern Railroad in San Antonio". Texas Transportation Museum. Retrieved 4 April 2011. 
  18. ^ Missouri Pacific Railroad. "First Railroad in the West: An Historical Outline". The Empire That Missouri Pacific Serves. Kansas State Library. Retrieved 2 April 2011. 
  19. ^ "MoPac History: The Gulf Coast Lines". Missouri Pacific: A History of Color. Missouri Pacific Historical Society. Retrieved 4 April 2011. 
  20. ^ Werner, George C. "San Benito and Rio Grande Valley Railway". Handbook of Texas On line. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 4 April 2011. 
  21. ^ Wooster, Robert, and Nancy Beck Young. "Orange and Northwestern Railroad". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 4 April 2011. 
  22. ^ Cravens, Chris. "Houston and Brazos Valley Railway". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 4 April 2011. 
  23. ^ Hemphill, Hugh. "The Missouri Pacific / International & Great Northern Railroad in San Antonio". Texas Transportation Museum. Retrieved 4 April 2011. 
  24. ^ Young, Nancy Beck. "San Antonio, Uvalde and Gulf Railroad". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 4 April 2011. 
  25. ^ Young, Nancy Beck. "Sugar Land Railway". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 4 April 2011. 
  26. ^ Young, Nancy Beck. "Asherton and Gulf Railway". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 4 April 2011. 
  27. ^ Young, Nancy Beck. "Rio Grande City Railway". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 4 April 2011. 
  28. ^ Ochoa, Ruben E. "Asphalt Belt Railway". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 4 April 2011. 
  29. ^ Young, Nancy Beck. "San Antonio Southern Railway". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 4 April 2011. 
  30. ^ Werner, George C. "Houston North Shore Railway". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 4 April 2011. 
  31. ^ Werner, George C. "Houston Belt and Terminal Railway". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 4 April 2011. 
  32. ^ Reed, S. G. "Brownsville and Matamoros Bridge Company". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 4 April 2011. 
  33. ^ Hemphill, Hugh. "Rail Ramble from San Antonio to Corpus Christi". Texas Transportation Museum. Retrieved 4 April 2011. 
  34. ^ Schafer, Mike; Joe Welsh (1997). Classic American Streamliners. Osceola, WI: MotorBooks International. ISBN 0760303770. OCLC 37281634. 
  35. ^ "Missouri Pacific (MoPac)". Lawrence Scripps Wilkinson Foundation. Retrieved 4 April 2011. 
  36. ^ "The Houstonian, The Orleanean". Streamliner Schedules. Eric H. Bowen. Retrieved 4 April 2011. 

External links[edit]

Histories[edit]

Photographs, maps, and timetables[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Allhands, J.L. (1960). Railroads To The Rio, The Anson Jones Press, Salado, Texas. (No ISBN Number Available)
  • Morgan, David P. "Kingsville Division," Trains magazine, June 1949: 16-25.