The railroad originally consisted of a through route between Whitesboro and Texarkana, originally owned by the Missouri Pacific Railroad, but abandoned the section between Whitesboro and Sherman in 1991, and in sections the route between Paris and New Boston during the late 1990s and early 2000s. Service was discontinued on the section between Bonham and Paris in the early 2000s; although the line is still intact and has been sold to Fannin County, who is currently searching for a carrier to operate the line.
In 1998 the operations of the TNER were merged with the operations of sister railroad DGNO. The TNER is operated entirely by DGNO and basically exists only on paper.
The railroad's traffic comes mainly from aggregates, grain, fertilizer and plastic products, as well as military equipment to and from the Red River Army Depot. The TNER hauled around 10,000 carloads in 2008.