Gulf Coast Lines
Gulf Coast Lines included the following railroads:
- New Orleans, Texas & Mexico - see history below
- Beaumont, Sour Lake & Western - Beaumont to HB&T connection Houston, 83 miles. Incorporated August 13, 1903 as the Beaumont, Sour Lake & Port Arthur Traction Co.; name changed to BSL&W June 30, 1904. Road opened June 19, 1907. BSL&W owns 25% of the Houston Belt & Terminal Ry.
- Orange & Northwestern - Orange to Newton TX, 61.5 miles. Chartered January 14, 1901 and opened January 1, 1902.
- New Iberia & Northern - Port Barre to New Iberia, LA, 63.6 miles. Incorporated April 2, 1907. Road built for StL&SF Ry and StL&SF notes were issued as payment thereof. Due to Frisco financial failure, the road was repossessed by the owners on May 1, 1914 and was subsequently purchased by the NOT&M Ry.
- Iberia, St Mary & Eastern - New Iberia to Patterson, LA, 48 miles. Operated under lease by New Iberia & Northern
- St. Louis, Brownsville & Mexico - Brownsville to Algoa TX, 343 mi plus assorted branches for total owned trackage of 504 miles. Incorporated January 5, 1903 and first segment opened July 4, 1904 from Brownsville-Robstown plus trackage rights over Texas-Mexican RR from Robstown to Corpus Christi. StLB&M owns 25% of the Houston Belt & Terminal Ry and is joint owner with National Railways of Mexico of the Brownsville & Matamoras Bridge Co. The bridge opened for traffic on July 31, 1910.
- Louisiana Southern - New Orleans to Bohemia, LA, 50 miles. Incorporated February 1, 1897; leased to the NOT&M February 1, 1911.
- International-Great Northern
- San Antonio Southern - Christine-Kirk, TX 39 mi plus trackage rights Kirk to San Antonio over I-GN. Incorporated January 1, 1920 for the purpose of acquiring the property of the Asphalt Belt RR.
- San Antonio Uvalde & Gulf - San Antonio to Crystal City, Pleasanton to Corpus Christi and branches, 317 mi. Incorporated April 17, 1912 as successor to the Crystal City & Uvalde RR
- Asphalt Belt
- San Benito & Rio Grande Valley - Fernando to Santa Maria TX and branches, 65 miles. Incorporated July 28, 1912. Road opened in 1912 and 1913.
- Sugar Land Ry - Cabell to Anchor, TX 39.28 miles.
- Asherton & Gulf - Asherton to Artesia Wells, TX, 32 miles. Incorporated in March 1908.
- Rio Grande City
- Houston & Brazos Valley - Purchased by NOT&M February 1, 1924. Incorporated April 3, 1907 as successor to Velasco, Brazos & Northern Ry
- Houston North Shore
The corporate organizations of the Gulf Coast Lines railroads were absorbed into Missouri Pacific in March 1956.
Rear cover advertisement from May 1921 Gulf Coast Lines public timetable.
New Orleans, Texas & Mexico (NOT&M)
The NOT&M served as the primary corporate structure under which the Gulf Coast Lines system was built, thus deserving a more detailed look at its organizational history.
The New Orleans, Texas & Mexico Railroad was originally chartered in Louisiana in May 1905, as the Colorado, Southern, New Orleans & Pacific RR. The CSNO&P name was changed to New Orleans, Texas & Mexico in April 1910. Trackage extended from Baton Rouge LA to Brownsville TX, and included subsidiaries Orange & Northwestern RR, Beaumont, Sour Lake & Western Ry, and St. Louis, Brownsville & Mexico Ry. These lines were originally owned by the Frisco, and were operated as the NOT&M Division of the St. Louis and San Francisco Railway. Trackage rights over the Yazoo & Mississippi Valley provided access between Baton Rouge and New Orleans.
The NOT&M went into receivership in July 1913. This receivership along with the Frisco's financial distress wiped out all Frisco interest in NOT&M. A new corporation, the New Orleans, Texas & Mexico Railway, was incorporated in Louisiana on February 29, 1916, and took over operations on March 1, 1916. Operating under the name Gulf Coast Lines, the NOT&M, its subsidiaries and the Y&MV operating agreement formed a through line from New Orleans to Brownsville.
On June 2, 1924, Missouri Pacific purchased a sizable block of NOT&M capital stock, with an option to secure 51% of the stock to gain a contrilling interest. On June 21, 1924, NOT&M purchased sufficient stock of the International-Great Northern Railroad to gain control of that property. This purchase was on behalf of Missouri Pacific. The Gulf Coast Lines and I-GN were brought into the Missouri Pacific system in 1926.
Under a cloud of it's own making, St. Louis Brownsville & Mexico #252 heads a mixed train west of Raymondville to Edinburg, Texas, where it will meet the Valley Eagle. September 10, 1946. R.H. Carlson photo / MPHS Collection.
SAU&G Public Timetable, August 1917