The Houston and Great Northern was chartered on October 22, 1866, by the first legislature to meet after the Civil War. At the time of the merger, the Houston and Great Northern owned 252 miles of track between Houston and Palestine, between Houston and East Columbia with branches from Phelps to Huntsville, and between Troup and Mineola, Texas. The mileage of the Houston and Great Northern included the former Houston Tap and Brazoria Railroad and the Huntsville Branch Railway, which had been merged on May 8, 1873.
The International was chartered on August 5, 1870. At the time of the I-GN consolidation this road operated 177 miles from Hearne to Longview, Texas.
Despite the financial panic of 1873, the consolidated company continued to slowly expand, reaching Rockdale in 1874 and Austin on December 28, 1876. On December 1, 1881 the I-GN reached San Antonio and Laredo. The I-GN then acquired the Georgetown Railroad Company on June 2, 1882. The last major push of the century involved the aquisition of the Henderson and Overton Branch Railroad Company on September 27, 1880, but this line would notbe consolidated until August 31, 1911.
Jay Gould acquired control of the International and Great Northern in December 1880. The company was leased to the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railway Company, another Gould company, for ninety-nine years on June 1, 1881, but the lease was canceled on March 2, 1888, and the railroad was again operated by its own organization.
During the 1890's the International and Great Northern owned eighty-eight locomotives, sixty-one passenger cars, 1,919 freight cars, and eighty company service cars. Earnings that year included $1,076,695 in passenger revenue and $2,530,451 in freight revenue. The company owned 756 miles of track at the end of 1882 and would make no major expansions to this mileage until after the turn of the century.
On May 1, 1901, the I-GN merged the Calvert, Waco and Brazos Valley Railroad Company. In 1903 the railroad also acquired the Houston, Oaklawn and Magnolia Park Railway Company. Next would come the Henderson and Overton Branch, giving the International and Great Northern its peak of 1,106 miles. In addition, the I-GN owned the Austin Dam and Suburban Railway Company and a 50 percent interest in the Galveston, Houston and Henderson Railroad Company.
The Missouri Pacific Railroad Company, the Texas and Pacific Railway Company, and the I-GN had worked together as a system through the Gould holdings in each company rather than by any direct control by the MoPac. It wouldn't be long, however, when the Gould interests no longer controlled these railroads, and in 1922 the St. Louis-San Francisco Railway Company attempted to acquire the I-GN. Although the ICC refused to authorize the purchase, the threat of losing a major Texas connection led to the MoPac adding the International-Great Northern to it's empire. This was accomplished through the New Orleans, Texas and Mexico Railway Company (NOT&M), which bought the I-GN on June 20, 1924. When the NOT&M was itself acquired by the MoPac on January 1, 1925, the I-GN became part of the Missouri Pacific Lines, continuing to operate as a separate entity.
The Missouri Pacific Lines, including the I-GN, entered receivership on March 31, 1933. It would take twenty-three years for a reorganization plan to be agreed on. Finally on March 1, 1956, a plan was adopted, and the International-Great Northern was merged into the reorganized Missouri Pacific Railroad Company. At the time of its merger into the MoPac, the I-GN owned eighty-eight diesel units, 4,959 freight cars, sixty-nine passenger cars, and 149 company service cars. The company had 1,053 miles of main track at the end of 1955 and during that year had freight revenues of $29,745,000, passenger revenue of $1,681,300, and total revenue of $34,359,900. (source: George C. Werner - Handbook of Texas Online)
New Orleans Texas & Mexico (NOT&M)
The New Orleans Texas & Mexico was the overiding corporate entity of the Gulf Coast Lines. These lines were owned by the Frisco up until the mid-1920s when the MoPac took them over from a bankrupt SLSF. Just as the MoPac took over, the NOT&M bought the International-Great Northern (I-GN), a line seperate from the Gulf Coast Lines.
Last Updated: August 5, 2012
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All material and photos are for personal use only! All rights reserved by the Missouri Pacific Historical Society. These items are copyrighted by the original owners or by the Missouri Pacific Historical Society and may not be reproduced or redistributed in any form without express written permission from the owners.
Copyrighted © 2001 - 2013 Missouri Pacific Historical
Society, Inc. unless otherwise noted.