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Texas Transportation Company

George C. Werner General Entry

There were two unrelated railroads in Texas known as the Texas Transportation Company. The first was chartered on September 6, 1866, to construct a railroad along the south side of Buffalo Bayou from Houston to a point near Bray's Bayou. The principal promoter of the railroad was John T. Brady. Although some construction was done, the backers were unable to complete the line, and the project languished for several years. By early 1876 Charles Morgan had acquired the stock of the Texas Transportation Company and used the charter to construct an eight mile line from Clinton to Houston along the north side of Buffalo Bayou. Clinton, named after Morgan's Connecticut home town, was at the head of the channel Morgan had dredged up Buffalo Bayou. The first vessel to use the new channel, also named Clinton, arrived on April 21, 1876, with construction materials for the railroad. The line was completed and opened in September of the same year. In 1891 the railroad reported total gross profits of $9,000, and it owned two locomotives and twenty-nine cars. By 1895 it reported total gross earnings of $36,000. The Texas Transportation Company was merged into the Texas and New Orleans in June 1896, and the line was still operated as an industrial branch of the Southern Pacific in 1990.

The second Texas Transportation Company, located in San Antonio, began as a private corporation in 1887 and was chartered on September 24, 1897. In 1932 the company was recognized as a common carrier by the Railroad Commission. The Texas Transportation Company was owned by the Pearl Brewing Company and the approximately 1.3 miles of track served as an electric switching line for Pearl's San Antonio brewery. In the 1990s the railroad had two electric locomotives and remained one of the last freight-hauling electric lines in the United States. The train consisted of an average of twenty-five to thirty cars per day that operated over a six-day week. In 1997 the Bexar County/San Antonio Transit Authority conducted a feasibility study to explore utilizing the tracks as part of a plan to implement historic trolley service. This proposed heritage line was intended to connect downtown tourist attractions such as Alamo Plaza, the San Antonio Zoo, and the Witte Museum. The Texas Transportation Company ceased operations on June 30, 2000, however, and Pearl Brewing Company closed in the spring of 2001. By the end of 2002 the Texas Transportation Company had officially dissolved as a corporation, and eventually its tracks and overhead wire were dismantled.

Time Periods:

  • Reconstruction
  • Late Nineteenth-Century Texas
  • Progressive Era
  • 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, “Texas Transportation Company,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 08, 2021,

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July 14, 2017

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