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Texas Railroad Sesquicentennial - Introduction
Wednesday, September 7, 1853, marked the beginning of regular railroad operations in the state of Texas.
On that day the Buffalo Bayou, Brazos & Colorado Railway placed its first 20 miles of track in service between
and Stafford’s Point. By the early 1880’s the BBB&C had evolved into one of the many properties that comprised
the New Orleans to Los Angeles "Sunset Route" of the Southern Pacific Railroad. In fact, many people who know
that the SP began in California and expanded east from there, may be shocked to find out that the BBB&C was the
oldest corporate predecessor of that railroad (before its last-gasp lunge to Chicago). Harrisburg was later
annexed by Houston; Stafford’s Point is now the southwest Houston suburb of Stafford, and practically all of the
original BBB&C survives as a vibrant—and in places congested—component of SP successor Union Pacific. On the BBB&C’s
first day, almost 13,000 miles of track were already open for business elsewhere in the United States. Yet from its
meager genesis, the Texas railroad network had by about 1905 become the largest of any state in the nation, and has
remained so ever since.
Click here for a brief -- but detailed -- history of the BBB&C, written by Howard Laker,
Historian of the Gulf Coast Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society, Inc. )
Sunday, September 7, 2003, marked the 150th anniversary of railroading in the Lone Star State.
Through the power of the internet, several weeks in advance we challenged fellow rail buffs to celebrate the event
by photographing as many Texas rail scenes as possible that day. Those who would not be available at the appointed
time were encouraged to participate as close to that day as possible. This was also necessary to cover
certain rail operations that do not normally take place on Sunday. The results, which are truly gratifying,
are presented here. We offer our thanks to all the railfans and, especially, railroaders who made this presentation
possible. We hope every visitor finds it a fitting tribute
to the Texas Railroad Sesquicentennial.
Jimmy Barlow -- Leonard, Texas
Wes Carr -- Fort Worth, Texas
A big "thanks" to all of you... without your help, this project would not have been a success!
Robert B. Hall
Carl Wegerer, III
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