|Dates of operation||1856–1934|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge|
|Previous gauge||5 ft 6 in (1,676 mm)|
Ebenezer Allen of Galveston, Texas obtained the charter to establish a railroad company on March 11, 1848. A series of meetings about the establishment of the company occurred in Chappell Hill and Houston. In 1852, the Galveston and Red River Railway (G&RR) company became active.
The start of construction occurred on January 1, 1853, when Paul Bremond and Thomas William House broke ground in Houston. Track-laying of the 5 ft 6 in (1,676 mm) gauge railroad began in early 1856. On July 26, 1856, the track-laying reached the 25-mile (40 km) point, at Cypress. The railroad company name changed from G&RR to H&TC on September 1, 1856. By April 22, 1861 the railroad construction had reached the 81-mile (130 km) point at Millican. Because of the American Civil War, the railroad construction was halted. In 1867, with the Civil War over, construction resumed.
In 1867, the H&TC railroad company took control of the Washington County Railroad (1856–1868). That railroad consisted of 25 miles (40 km) of railroad line between Brenham, Texas and Hempstead, Texas, which had been chartered in 1856 and completed in April 1861 with a gauge of 5 feet 6 inches. The H&TC extended the Washington County Railroad line to Austin. On December 25 (Christmas Day) 1871 the extension to Austin was completed.
In 1871, the railroad track of the original Houston & Central Texas Railway line appeared in Corsicana. In 1872 the original line extended to Dallas. In 1873 the original railroad line reached Red River City, Texas, where it connected with the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railroad. This formed an all-railroad route from Texas to St. Louis, Missouri and the Eastern United States.
Impressions of 1891
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Houston and Texas Central Railway.|
- Abandoned rails
- Houston Metropolitan Research Center, Houston Public Library 1902 Houston and Texas Central Map
- Texas State Library and Archives Commission Schedule of the Houston and Texas Central Railway, 1879