Since its original printing in 1952, the publication of the Handbook of Texas has been made possible through the support of its users. As an independent nonprofit, TSHA relies on your contributions to close the funding gap for the online Handbook and keep it a freely accessible resource for users worldwide. Please make a donation today to preserve the most comprehensive encyclopedic resource on Texas history. Donate Today »


Ruben E. Ochoa

ASPHALT BELT RAILWAY. The Asphalt Belt Railway Company was chartered on June 9, 1923. The railroad was planned to run from a point on the San Antonio, Uvalde and Gulf in Zavala County to the mines of the Texas Rock Asphalt Company and of R. L. White in Uvalde County. The capital of the AB was $20,000. The principal place of business was San Antonio. The members of the first board of directors were H. P. McMillan, R. C. Tarbutton, R. H. Schultz, and Mason Williams, all of San Antonio; E. R. Breaker and F. L. Lewis, both of North Pleasanton; and R. C. Hollifield of Uvalde. The Asphalt Belt was constructed during the later part of 1923 by Frank Kell and W. T. Eldridge and opened January 1, 1924. The line ran from Asphalt Belt Junction on the SAU&G, located about a mile south of Pulliam, at Dabney, a distance of about eighteen miles. The company provided intrastate service only until granted authority to engage in interstate commerce by the Interstate Commerce Commission on August 24, 1926. In November of the same year the Asphalt Belt was acquired by the New Orleans, Texas and Mexico, which was acting for the Missouri Pacific. Although the Asphalt Belt kept its corporate identity, it was operated as a part of the Missouri Pacific lines until 1956, when it was merged into the Missouri Pacific. Throughout its life the Asphalt Belt owned no equipment and never offered passenger service. Extensive flood damage in late 1986 destroyed a bridge near Farm Road 481 and led to the dismantling of the former Asphalt Belt in 1987.

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to:

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


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

Handbook of Texas Online, Ruben E. Ochoa, "ASPHALT BELT RAILWAY," accessed March 20, 2019,

Uploaded on June 9, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

Get this week's most popular Handbook of Texas articles delivered straight to your inbox