Houston North Shore Railway

By: George C. Werner

Type: General Entry

Published: 1976

Updated: March 21, 2017

The Houston North Shore Railway was chartered on June 27, 1925, as an interurban railway to connect Houston with Baytown and Goose Creek, a distance of twenty-five miles. A branch was also projected from Highlands through Crosby on the Texas and New Orleans Railroad and to Huffman on the Beaumont, Sour Lake and Western Railway. Only the Houston to Goose Creek line was built. The Houston North Shore was promoted by Harry K. Johnson to provide transportation facilities for his land development project near Highlands. The line also served the Goose Creek oilfield and the Humble Oil and Refining Company refinery at Baytown. When completed in 1927, the Houston North Shore began handling carload freight in addition to operating electric interurbans between Union Station in Houston and Goose Creek. Although the track of the Houston North Shore ended at Market Street on the east side of Houston, the Houston Electric Company Lyon's Avenue streetcar line was utilized by the interurbans to reach downtown. When the streetcar line was discontinued in 1931, the interurban schedules ended at Market Street with connecting bus service to Union Station. In 1948 railbuses, which ran until 1960, were substituted for the electric cars. Johnson sold the Houston North Shore to the Beaumont, Sour Lake and Western on May 1, 1927. This made the interurban a subsidiary of the New Orleans, Texas and Mexico Railway Company and a part of the Missouri Pacific system. The line continued to be operated separately until it was merged into the Missouri Pacific Railroad Company on March 1, 1956.

Time Periods:

  • Texas in the 1920s
  • Great Depression


  • Houston
  • Upper Gulf Coast
  • East Texas

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

George C. Werner, “Houston North Shore Railway,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed November 28, 2021, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/houston-north-shore-railway.

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March 21, 2017

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