The Gulf, Beaumont and Kansas City Railway Company was chartered on March 31, 1893, to connect a point on the Neches River at the Beaumont Lumber Company's mill near Beaumont with a rock quarry in northern Jasper County, for a total of about seventy miles. John H. Kirby planned for the venture to tap his timber interests in East Texas. He began by purchasing the tram road of the Beaumont Lumber Company from Fords Bluff to Buna. According to the original articles of incorporation the railroad had a capital stock of $500,000. The principal place of business was Beaumont. The members of the first board of directors were Edward Ellerton Pratt and Nathaniel D. Silsbee, both of Boston, Massachusetts; John H. Kirby and Edwin E. Hobby, both of Houston; William Wiess, William A. Fletcher, and W. C. Averill, all of Beaumont.
Most of the road's earnings came from freight operations, but passenger service was also provided. In 1895 the line reported total passenger earnings of $5,000 and total gross earnings of $52,000; that year the railroad owned four locomotives and 193 cars. In 1903 it reported total passenger earnings of about $70,000 and total gross earnings of almost $500,000 and owned five locomotives and 559 cars.
In 1894 the GB&KC built twenty-one miles of track between Beaumont and Silsbee and three miles of track between Collins Ferry Junction and Collins Ferry; in 1895 it built another thirty-one miles between Silsbee Junction and Kirbyville. In 1899 ten miles was added between Kirbyville and Roganville. That year Kirby sold the railroad to the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe, which agreed to buy its lumber from the Kirby mills and to cancel, insofar as possible, rates and divisions on lumber with other lines. The rates were canceled, but the Interstate Commerce Commission set aside this discriminatory action. In 1901, 8½ miles of track was removed between Call Junction and Call, Collins Ferry Junction and Collins Ferry, and Silsbee Junction and Silsbee. The GB&KC was leased to the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe on December 1, 1903, and merged into that company in 1948.