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FORT WORTH AND NEW ORLEANS RAILWAY. The Fort Worth and New Orleans Railway Company was chartered on June 13, 1885, by J. J. Roche, Thomas Roche, M. C. Hurley, and other citizens of Fort Worth to build from Fort Worth to a point on the Sabine River in Newton County and thence to New Orleans by the most practical route. The capital was $300,000, and the business office was in Fort Worth. Members of the first board of directors included J. J. Roche, M. C. Hurley, Thomas Roche, Eugene Roche, John Hurley, W. S. Pendleton, and Charles C. Allen. Although New Orleans was the stated destination of the road, the first major objective was to connect with the Central Texas and Northwestern Railway, which had built to Waxahachie in 1879. Citizens of Fort Worth raised $75,000, and construction of forty-two miles of track to Waxahachie began in September 1885. The line was completed in 1886. In December 1886 the Fort Worth and New Orleans was acquired by the Houston and Texas Central Railway Company. On January 6, 1887, Charles Dillingham took formal possession of the road for the H&TC after his firm reportedly paid $500,000 for the FW&NO. In 1892 the company owned fifty-five freight cars and earned $34,911 in passenger revenue and $88,991 in freight revenue. Earnings for 1895 were $193,767. In 1899 the FW&NO built 1.92 additional miles of track, bringing the total length of mainline track to 41.97 miles. In 1901 the Texas legislature authorized the consolidation of the road with the Houston and Texas Central Railroad, which occurred on August 22, 1901. As the Fort Worth and New Orleans, the line hauled freight, including grain, lumber, livestock, and flour. In 1934 the Houston and Texas Central was merged into the Texas and New Orleans Railroad Company, which was subsequently merged into Southern Pacific Company in 1961. The Southern Pacific continued to operate the track in 1994.

W. Kellon Hightower

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Handbook of Texas Online, W. Kellon Hightower, "Fort Worth and New Orleans Railway," accessed December 16, 2017,

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.