Colorado and Southern Railway

By: George C. Werner

Type: General Entry

Published: 1976

Updated: June 1, 1995

The Colorado and Southern Railway Company was chartered in Colorado on December 19, 1898, and operated in Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico. The company was formed on January 11, 1899, when the Colorado and Southern acquired the Union Pacific, Denver and Gulf Railway Company and the Denver, Leadville and Gunnison Railway Company, both formerly subsidiaries of the Union Pacific. In Texas, the Colorado and Southern controlled a rail system extending from Texline in Dallam County through Fort Worth and Dallas to Houston and Galveston, in addition to branches in the Panhandle, in the South Plains, and to Abilene. The Colorado and Southern system in Texas included ten railroads, of which eight were owned by the end of 1910. The oldest was the Fort Worth and Denver City Railway Company, which made direct connection with the Colorado and Southern at Texline. Other owned companies included the Wichita Valley Railroad Company, the Wichita Valley Railway Company, the Abilene and Northern Railway Company, the Stamford and Northwestern Railway Company, the Fort Worth and Denver Terminal Railway Company, the Wichita Falls and Oklahoma Railway Company, and a 50 percent interest in the Trinity and Brazos Valley Railway Company. The Trinity and Brazos Valley also owned a 25 percent interest in the Houston Belt and Terminal Railway Company, the Galveston Terminal Railway Company, and one-eighth interest in the Union Terminal Company at Dallas. The Trinity and Brazos Valley was reorganized as the Burlington-Rock Island in 1930. The Texas properties were expanded during the late 1920s with the construction of the Fort Worth and Denver South Plains Railway Company and the Fort Worth and Denver Northern Railway Company. The Colorado and Southern also owned the Wichita Falls and Oklahoma Railway Company of Oklahoma, which was built in 1924. On August 7, 1951, the Fort Worth and Denver City was renamed the Fort Worth and Denver Railway Company, and, on June 13, 1952, it merged all of the Colorado and Southern properties in Texas with the exception of the Burlington-Rock Island. The Burlington-Rock Island was dissolved in 1965, with the Colorado and Southern's one-half interest merged into the Fort Worth and Denver. In December 1908 the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad Company purchased the Colorado and Southern, which, however, continued to operate as a separate company. On March 2, 1970, the Burlington was one of the railroads merged to form the Burlington Northern Railroad, and the Colorado and Southern was subsequently merged on December 31, 1981. See also BURLINGTON SYSTEM, BURLINGTON-ROCK ISLAND RAILROAD.

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

George C. Werner, “Colorado and Southern Railway,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed October 19, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

June 1, 1995