The Brownsville and Gulf Railroad was chartered on May 10, 1883, to connect the ferry landings in Brownsville, Cameron County, with the Rio Grande Railroad, a distance of five miles. The capital stock was $25,000. The principal place of business was Brownsville. The members of the first board of directors were B. W. Thacker, F. A. Lister, and A. R. Woolston, all of Laredo; D. M. Murphy of Corpus Christi; M. Quin of Galveston; Walter Hinchman of New York City; and Charles S. Hinchman of Philadelphia. In 1883 the Brownsville and Gulf built a mile of three-foot-gauge track in Brownsville. Reported gross earnings in 1891 were $3,000. The company was recognized as a common carrier by the Railroad Commission until 1902, when it was reclassified as a tram road. The BGR held a franchise granted by the United States that authorized the construction of a bridge across the Rio Grande. On March 14, 1906, the line was sold to interests backing the St. Louis, Brownsville and Mexico Railway Company, and the franchise was later used by the Brownsville and Matamoros Bridge Company. Although the BGR was reported to have had one steam locomotive in 1899, mules were normally used to move the rail cars between the station and the ferry landing.