New Orleans, Opelousas and Great Western Railroad

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New Orleans, Opelousas and Great Western Railroad
Locale Louisiana
Dates of operation 1854–1869
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Previous gauge , originally 5 ft 6 in (1,676 mm)
Headquarters New Orleans, Louisiana

The New Orleans, Opelousas and Great Western Railroad (NOO&GW) was chartered in 1852. Construction began at Algiers, across the Mississippi River from New Orleans, in late 1852. By 1857, the track had reached Brashear (now Morgan City) on Berwick Bay, and this remained the end of the line for over 20 years. The 83 miles (134 km) NOO&GW was built to the "Texas gauge" of 5 ft 6 in (1,676 mm),[1] the only such railroad in the New Orleans area to use that gauge; the line was converted to 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge in 1872.

In 1869, steamship operator Charles Morgan bought the NOO&GW and began operating it as owner. In 1878 he organized his railroad property as Morgan's Louisiana and Texas Railroad and Steamship Company, and it eventually became part of the Southern Pacific Company's main line. The line is currently owned and operated by BNSF.


From the establishment of the company in 1852 until 1862, Benjamin Flanders (later Reconstruction Governor of Louisiana and Mayor of New Orleans) was the Secretary and Treasurer of the line. In 1869, the company was bought by Charles Morgan.