Frisco in Texas

Discussion in 'General' started by Bradley A. Scott, Aug 31, 2010.

  1. The following is cut-n-pasted, with permission, from a post by Texas railroad author Steve Goen on the Railspot Yahoo list. Some Frisco folks may find it interesting or useful as a starting point for researching the SLSF's early-20th century expansion plans in Texas.

    Bradley A. Scott

    Frisco into Central and South Texas

    Posted by: "Steve Goen"

    Mon Aug 30, 2010 5:33 pm (PDT)

    My mention of the Kingsville and Bay City depots being of Frisco design seemed to have spurred several to contact me regarding my claims that the Frisco ever reached that part of Texas.

    Indeed it did. The Frisco at one time had grand plans for Texas, a far cry from the small amount of trackage they ended up with which barely reached the Lone Star State, like at Paris, Sherman and Ft. Worth, Vernon and Quanah.

    The Frisco had at least five or six separate plans to criss-cross the state, and several well known lines were either already under their control, or were about to be. These include:

    Trinity & Brazos Valley (sought after and later acquired by Frisco's
    partner at the time, the CRI&P)
    Texas Midland (sought after and close to purchase)
    San Antonio & Aransas Pass (sought after and came close to being acquired)
    Ft. Worth & Rio Grande (already controlled)
    Brownwood North & South (already controlled)
    Orange & Northern (already controlled)
    New Orleans, Texas & Mexico (already controlled)
    St. Louis, Brownsville & Mexico (already controlled)
    Gulf, Texas & Western (already controlled)

    Just to name a few.

    If you take out a Texas map and start connecting these dots, plus fill in the proposed but never constructed FW&RG extensions to Del Rio, another between Brady, Mason and San Antonio, and a TM-SAAP connection between Ennis and Waco, you can see how the Frisco would have had a strangle hold on much of the state's N-S traffic and would have basically surrounded the IGN on both sides. There would have been three mainlines to and through Houston, a line thru San Antonio, and a Paris-Brownsville one to boot. Then there would have been a secondary Mexico-US artery via Del Rio, Brownsville and Ft. Worth, and a secondary Oklahoma-Texas artery via the GT&W's proposed extension to Vernon. Plus also keep in mind that the Frisco and Rock Island were partners at the same time. Things would have been much different here in Texas if these plans had progressed a bit further along. That was one major reason the MP fought so hard to keep the Frisco System from expanding itself into South Texas.

    Its funny how the MP argued for so long that the Frisco should be denied the right to expand so heavily into South Texas on the grounds that it was too large, when in fact the MP ended up with many of these very same lines which certainly beefed up its own mileage and power base in South Texas.

  2. SteveM

    SteveM Member Supporter

    Brad, you have opened the proverbial genie's bottle. With a little historical license, all off-the-layout, I can ship/receive almost anything from the Central Division via Paris. Who needs interchange with a Texas network like that?
    More seriously, it almost makes me want to read some Texas railroad history. But I'll probably leave that to my Santa Fe and SP Texas modeler pals, unless I get some really unexpected spare time.
  3. Joseph Toth

    Joseph Toth Member

    THE book is "A History of Texas Railroads" by S.G. Reed, c.1941, St. Clair Publishing Co., Houston.

    A pity it hasn´t been reprinted and brought up to date.

    Joe Toth
    The Trinity River Bottoms Boomer

    SAFN SAAP Member

    The SA&AP, was indirectly acquired by the SLSF when Yoakum injected millions of dollars into her. The owner of the SA&AP, Uriah Lott, was best friends with Yoakum. The only thing that pushed the Frisco out was the fact that the SP conducted a hostile takeover and Frisco did not want to engage the SP in a legal, aka, expensive, ordeal. Frisco and the SP were NOT the best of friends. The Frisco had track rights into Kerrville, TX which joined with the SA&AP. Frisco acquired much livestock manifests from San Antonio as San Antonio was a major cattle pen station in the early 1900's. Some of the stockyards here in SA still exist.
  5. Joseph Toth

    Joseph Toth Member

    A big player in the Railroad Monopoly game was Jay Gould and his son, after he passed away. The railroad maps were always changing as the powerful lines bought or sold off the railroads that did not fit into their game of things. Perhaps this is the reason the Official Guilde was a monthly publication? If the Frisco were still with us would there still be a QA&P or AT&N? Would the Frisco have expanded into Texas after the Stager´s Act?

    All speculation of course, left to the history buffs or model railroaders who tend to rewrite history to fit their layouts. Like Monopoly, the railroad games continues today. How long will there be a BNSF, UP, CSX, NS, CN or CP? History is still being written.

    Joe Toth

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