Texas Central Railroad
The only remaining evidence of this railroad in our area is the trussell bridge between Tokio and FM2114 which now has a gravel road running across it. Few probably realize that the reason there are two parallel roads in front of Tokio store is because one use to be the railroad tracks.
These tracks started at Ross, came straight down Ross Road (FM3149), through Tokio, across the trussel bridge and past FM2114 to Aquilla. There are peices of it’s history scattered throughout the small towns from Ross to Albany and beyond. It was a great influence on a number of small towns creating many of them and bringing great prosperity. Located in very rural parts of Central Texas, many of these towns would never have come into existance without the Texas Central Railroad.
In May of 1879 the Texas Central Railway Company was chartered to build a railway starting from Ross Station (present-day Ross, Texas) north to Eastland County.
The laying of tracks started in the fall of 1879 at Ross Station. The tracks past through present-day Tokio which is only three miles from Ross. The tracks reached Aquilla in November. Aquilla had already been around for 20 – 30 years prior to the railroad. Early settlers found this location to be the closest area to Hillsboro to find timber. The railroad was laid serveal miles away from Aquilla but over the next few years residents and businesses moved to be near the tracks.
The railroad reached Whitney by the end of 1879. The railroad company auctioned off lots for businesses and named the new town after Charles A. Whitney, the brother-in-law of J. P. Morgan, and a stock holder in Texas Central Railroad.
The tracks reached Morgan in 1880 which was a small community originally called Steele’s Creek. The community quickly grew, organized with a post office and named after a railroad stockholder Richard Morgan. The Texas Central Railroad intersected with the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway at Morgan.
The building of the railroad contiuned though Walnut Springs, Hico, Dublin, DeLeon, Cisco and reached Albany in December of 1881. The beginnings of many of these towns are tied to this railroad, such as Hico moving 2 1/2 miles from the “Old Hico” location to be near the railroad. Most of these small towns were ranch and farm towns that flourished because of the transportion of goods the railroad provided. The company completed the line from Ross to Waco in 1905.
In 1910, the Texas Central Railway was acquired by the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railway Company (Katy) although it continued to operate as a seperate entity. In 1929 the seven and one half miles of tracks from Waco to Ross were abandoned. The last of the TCR railways were abandoned in the late 1960’s. – written by Barry Murry – 2009