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United States  >  Migration  >  Railroads  >  Texas and Pacific Railway

In December 1881 the Texas and Pacific Railway linked to the Southern Pacific Railroad in Sierra Blanca, Texas to create the third transcontinental railroad line in the United States by connecting Texarkana (and St. Louis) to Los Angeles. Settlers were attracted to nearby communities because the railroads provided access to markets. Railroads encouraged settlement along their routes to help increase the need for their service. If an ancestor settled near a railroad, you may be able to trace their place of origin back to another place along the tracks.


Historical Background

The Texas and Pacific Railway started in Marshall, Texas and built track from Texarkana to Dallas in 1873. The Texarkana terminal was important because it gave the T&P access to the St. Louis, Iron Mountain, and Southern tracks to St. Louis and much larger markets. T&P extented their tracks to Fort Worth in 1876. In a burst in 1881 their tracks connected to the tracks of the Southern Pacific Railroad from California at Sierra Blanca, Texas, creating the third transcontinental service in the United States. The next year, 1882, T&P built into New Orleans.[1]

Settlers and Records

Settlers who used the Texas and Pacific Railway would most likely have come from Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, or Texas. They most likly would have settled in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, or California.

No known passenger lists for the Texas and Pacific Railway exist.


A typical transcontinental route using the Texas and Pacific line included:

  • St. Louis, Missouri
  • Texarkana, Arkansas
  • Marshall, Texas
  • Dallas, Texas
  • Fort Worth, Texas
  • El Paso, Texas
  • Deming, New Mexico
  • Tucson, Arizona
  • Yuma, Arizona
  • Los Angeles, California

Internet Links

Texas and Pacific Railway Museum - history and photos

Wikipedia - Texas and Pacific Railway - timeline, legal disputes, land grants, land trust


  1. "History" in Texas and Pacific Railroad Museum at www.marshalldepot.org/History.htm (accessed 4 July 2009).


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