The Texas Railroad
The Scandalous and Violent History of the International and Great Northern Railroad, 1866-1925
(For book information, click here.)
The Texas Railroad tells the fascinating story of a railroad enterprise that originally intended to create the world’s longest rail line, from Houston, Texas, to the Canadian border. But it couldn’t get enough funding. So it became the International and Great Northern Railroad ironically serving just one Southern state, Texas, and most of its major cities, including Austin, Fort Worth, Galveston, Houston, Laredo, San Antonio, and Waco.
Wayne Cline’s well-written and well-researched book takes the reader into finanicial and political scandals that allowed the great 19th-century “Robber Baron” Jay Gould to gain control of the I&GN Railroad, which his son later inherited and proudly dubbed “The Texas Railroad.” Cline’s work describes how the railroad operated, served its passengers, took care of its rolling stock and tracks, and suffered several train robberies. The author also recounts labor conflicts and violence related to unions and how the I&GN Railroad was affected not only by the massive Galveston hurricane in 1900 but by the Mexican Revolution that began in 1910, as well.
The Texas Railroad is an intriguing work of American and Texas railroad history that should please not only rail buffs but readers of history and economics interested in how this “key railroad played a major role in the agricultural, industrial, social and political development of the Lone Star State.”
Cline’s previous book also is a work of railroad history, Alabama Railroads from the University of Alabama Press.
— Si Dunn