Texas Central Railroad
The Texas Central Railway Co. was chartered on May 31, 1879 with plans to build two branches. Construction began on the western branch on November 12, 1879. It was to run from the terminus of the Waco & Northwestern at Ross Station located about 11 miles north of Waco to a point in central Eastland County to be determined at a future date. Over time, its projected terminus was declared to be the panhandle, New Mexico, Colorado and even Oklahoma.
The northeastern branch was to be built almost simultaneously with the western branch and was to begin at the Houston and Texas Central Railroad (different entity) at Garrett and extend to St. Louis. Rails from neither branch ever left the state of Texas and the northeastern line was constructed from Garrett to Roberts before bankruptcy forced its eventual sale on February 27, 1892. That branch became a separate railroad called the Texas Midland Railroad.
The Texas Central rails reached Mt. Airy in December 1880, De Leon in April 1881, Cisco in May 1881 and Albany in December 1881. The western end of the Texas Central was extended from Albany to Stamford in 1900 and an extension to Rotan was completed in 1907. Because of conflicts with the owners of the old Waco and Northwestern, the Texas Central built its own line from Ross Station into Waco in 1905.
For many years branch lines were rumored to soon be built from various points along the road. Ultimately only one branch running from De Leon to Abilene and Sweetwater was begun in April 1910. That branch reached Cross Plains in January 1911 and was never extended further west. The De Leon-Cross Plains branch was abandoned on March 15, 1944.
The MKT leased the Texas Central in 1910 and operated the line until November 28, 1967. At that time a new Texas Central Railroad Co. began operations.
Click below to see photos and discussion about various railroad activities on the Texas Central and around De Leon. More will be added over time.