Galveston Terminal Railway

By: Nancy Young

Type: General Entry

Published: 1976

Updated: October 1, 1995

The Galveston Terminal Railroad Company was chartered on August 29, 1905, to provide a terminal at Galveston for the system of railroads then being developed by Benjamin F. Yoakum. The capital stock was $25,000, and the office was in Galveston. Members of the first board of directors were John Sealy, Isaac H. Kempner, Leon Blum, B. Adoue, Charles Fowler, and Marks Marx, all of Galveston; and Sam Lazarus, of St. Louis, Missouri. In 1907 the company completed 3.53 miles of main track and 20.33 miles of yard tracks along with a brick freight station and other facilities. The Galveston Terminal was initially owned by the Trinity and Brazos Valley Railway Company, which supplied the equipment required. However, as a result of its 1914 receivership the Trinity and Brazos Valley discontinued use of the terminal on July 31, 1914. Between August 1, 1914, and January 31, 1919, the Galveston Terminal was leased by the Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio Railway Company to supplement its own terminal facilities. The Galveston Terminal then remained idle until June 1, 1931, when the Burlington-Rock Island Railroad Company, successor to the Trinity and Brazos Valley, resumed service to Galveston. By this time ownership of the Galveston Terminal had been transferred to the Colorado and Southern Railway Company and the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway Company. The terminal was first used under contract, but was later leased by the Burlington-Rock Island. The Galveston Wharf Company provided the switching services and yard work. The hurricane of August 1915 washed out some tracks of the Galveston Terminal along the water front that were not replaced, so that at the time of the lease to the Burlington-Rock Island the company had 2.69 miles of main track and 13.86 miles of yard tracks. Following the demise of the Rock Island in 1980, the Burlington Northern Railroad Company, as successor to the Colorado and Southern, became sole owner of the Galveston Terminal and merged the company in 1985.

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

Nancy Young, “Galveston Terminal Railway,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 27, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

October 1, 1995