Galveston and Western Railway

By: Nancy Young

Type: General Entry

Published: 1952

Updated: October 1, 1995

The Galveston and Western Railway Company, also known as the Little Susie after its first locomotive, was chartered on December 9, 1887, as part of a project to construct a railroad from Galveston to Collins, sixty miles from Laredo. Members of the first board of directors were Walter Hinchman, Theodore F. H. Meyer, and John Pratt, all of New York; and C. A. Merrian, Thomas W. Dodd, B. W. Thacher, and M. M. Reynolds, all of Laredo. The company was capitalized at $200,000, and the office was in Galveston. On February 29, 1888, the Galveston and Western acquired from the Mexican National Construction Company fifteen miles of narrow gauge railroad on Galveston Island that had been constructed in 1876 and 1877 by the Galveston, Brazos and Colorado Narrow Gauge Railway Company. Between March 1889 and March 1890 the railroad built a new line on various Galveston streets and abandoned the existing track on Thirty-seventh Street and on Avenue T. The Galveston and Western also began converting to standard gauge and by mid-1891 had five miles of three rail track. In that year the company earned $1,335.25 in passenger revenue, $258.47 in freight revenue, and had other income of $16,544.04. However, this included over $9,000 received from the sale of three locomotives and other equipment. On May 21, 1895, it made an agreement with the Galveston, La Porte and Houston Railway Company whereby the latter company would operate the Galveston and Western and also use its tracks as an entrance into Galveston. Part of the narrow gauge trackage was destroyed by the Galveston hurricane of 1900, and the City of Galveston refused to allow the company to rebuild its tracks in certain streets. The company abandoned its trackage east of Thirty-eighth Street. All that remained was some trackage, primarily on Forty-third and Forty-fifth streets, which served several industries and Fort Crockett. The Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway Company began operating this track in June 1910 and purchased the assets of the Galveston and Western in 1923.

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

Nancy Young, “Galveston and Western Railway,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 26, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

October 1, 1995