The Abilene and Northern Railway Company was fostered by Edward S. Hughes and his associate D. T. Bomar, who had been one of the promoters of the Wichita Valley Railway. On February 5, 1906, they obtained a charter to build from Hamlin southeastward to Brady, with a branch from a point near Anson to Stamford, the terminus of the Wichita Valley line. The construction contract was given to the Fidelity Construction Company of Wichita Falls, which in 1907 built the thirty-nine miles from Stamford via Anson to Abilene. The Abilene and Northern was open for service on January 1, 1907. The capital was $200,000, and the business office was at Abilene. Members of the first board of directors included C. H. Steel of Anson, R. L. Penick of Stamford, Bomar of Fort Worth, and Hughes, William G. Swenson, Henry James, H. O. Wooten, A. Holt, and George L. Paxton, all of Abilene.
By February 1908 the company had sold its securities to the Colorado and Southern Railway, another backer of the project. Though the road received no state funds, financial backing from people in Abilene, Anson, and Stamford and landowners along the line amounted to $86,805.85. No more track was built, and the Abilene and Northern was leased for operation to another Colorado and Southern subsidiary, the Wichita Valley Railway Company. The Abilene and Northern formed the south end of a through route between Wichita Falls and Abilene. The company was merged into the Fort Worth and Denver in June 1952.