Polkadate: March 2018. Texas is BIG; almost 900 miles from Anthony to Orange. So when the railroad corporations were heading from the East Coast to California, more than one third of the distance involved included building tracks through Texas in the 1870s. Today, there are over 10,000 miles of tracks in Texas, considerably less than 75 years ago, when trains were the primary form of transportation both near and far. Thank you to the members of the FB page Texas Railroad History for assistance. Last month, we discussed the influence of railroad songs on America. This month we focus on Texas.
In Texas, one of the first actions by the newly formed government in 1836, was the establishment of the “Texas Rail Road, Navigation, and Banking Company” to construct railroads "from and to any such points...as selected." This occurred less than 10 years after the first public railroad was chartered in the United States. These forwardthinking Texians only made one error; they included banking in the name. The suspicion of banking corruption (rightly so) resulted in the failure of this noble endeavor to bring commerce and people from the Texas coast inland and back to the ports.
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