Longview to Ore City

The Port Bolivar and Iron Ore Railroad

Picture Point of Interest

GOOGLE MAPS no longer available: With apologies, I am unable to continue showing Google Maps. Google has forced my hand by increasing their map usage fee from nothing/free to OVER $300 A MONTH for the Abandoned Rails website! This is an expense that I simply cannot afford. Rest assured I am looking at available open source alternatives, so maps should be back online soon!

Greg Harrison

Showing of

The Santa Fe passenger station in Ore City. (Submitted by Robert Della-Pietra)

Chartered in 1910 by entrepreneur L. P. Featherstone, the Port Bolivar and Iron Ore railroad was part of Featherstone's master plan to sell the rich Texas iron ore for contracts in Philadelphia. The plan was to transport mined iron ore from the area around appropriately-named Ore City, down the PB&IO to Port Bolivar and a connection with the Gulf and Interstate Railway, which would transport it just a bit more to the Gulf of Mexico, and then by ship to Philadelphia. Construction began and the line was completed from Longview (and a connection with the Texas and Pacific) north to Ore City, a distance of 30 miles, in 1912. The railroad was destined for Hughes Springs.

In 1914, the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway (the Texas subsidiary of the AT&SF) obtained control of the line, and continued operating it. However, the line never reached Hughes Springs, as World War I halted construction. Abandonment of the line came in 1927.

I am in the area. What can I do to help add information?

Mineola, DC

[I would try to get pictures of the line, if it can be found. Thanks Scott!  —Greg Harrison]


The Port Bolivar and Iron Ore railroad was built around 1911 and extended from the ATSF in Longview to EROS, which is now covered by the Lake of the Pines. The railroad was financed and later controlled by the ATSF. Much of the ROW is still visible as a walking trail on the east side of Longview. The remainder through as far as Ore City is mostly visible. Just south of New Diana, the line crossed the Marshall and East Texas which ran from Elysian Fields through Marshall and ended at Winnsboro.

jud powell
texarkana, TX


There's a bike trail that goes through Longview that appears to follow the right-of-way for about three miles. I have taken that trail many times but never realized it was an old railroad grade! You can pick up the trail right at the south end of what the map shows.


Dave K.
West Chicago, IL


2/12/2013. Actually the location of my boyhood home was about eight miles north of Longview in a community that is almost three miles north of Judson, Texas. The ommunity was once know as Omega, Texas. My earliest remembrance of this area was in 1936 when I was 5 years old. My grandfather, David (Dave)Bruner, in addition to being a farmer,operated a general coutry store and a grist mill. The general store and grist mill was about 175 yards west of the abandoned Port Bolivar Iron Ore Railway. The tracks had been removed and some of the rails were stacked near the grist mill. Also there were some cross ties also stacked on the property until the rails and cross ties could be removed. As a child, my brothers and friends liked to go "exploring" along the abandoned railroad. To the south, there was a small spring-fed lake from which water was drawn for the locomotive. A short way south of this lake, there once had been a railroad trestle. There was evidence that there had been a fire that destroyed the trestle and according to stories I heard was one reason the railway was abandoned. This, I cannot verify because that happened probably before I was born in 1931. To the north of our property was a cotton gin which also served as a depot for the Omega, Texas community.

James Bruner


James R. Bruner
Longview, TX


The RR right of way crosses our land 6 miles North of Longview just off hwy259 at Judson Tx. we have about 40 acres. When RR was being built they had to dig out or grade down to make the bed level as possible. 2 lakes were built using the dirt for a dam, Whitehurst and McQueen lake.At some point in time Mr Cargill in Longview bought the right of ways, that go thru our land, about 15 yrs ago we were able to purchase the R O W from Cargill family. There is old Trestle and place where the trains were to stop for water, I remember going into the woods many years to play and look around that place. I could add mor bu ti must get back to work. If The Mr Bruner that has a post on here reads this, I think your dad was my math (arithmetic) teacher at Judson.

Monnie Linton
Longview tx


Yes,My name is Mr.Robert J.Hayes out of Dalllas ,Texas I am a Movie Director,Writer,Actor.I am interested in this location for a future that I will be directing and making into a movie in the future called,Hell Express.What I would like to know does the Ore City rail station still exist today as an ababdon rail station.If so would yousend me more info and if it is for sell.Thank you so very much and have a bless day.This is my email address were you can reach at:godheadpower@yahoo.com.If it is not for sell do you have a listening of other abandoning railroad stations that I could look into for the making of my movie.

Robert J.Hayes
Dallas, TX


I was born in longview, okay, i'll say it, in 1961. so I don't know much about the history. and my dad, Herbert bruner born 1939 can maybe shed some light on some of the history.

barbara bruner langdon
longview, , TX


During the drought in 2011, the raised railbed of the PB & IO RR was clearly visible beneath the waters of Lake O' The Pines, where it originally crossed the Big Cypress bottomlands. The roadbed is ~2.25 miles downstream from the TX 155 bridge, at Latitude 32.828672° and Longitude -94.674041°.

Those of you who use Google Earth can enter those coordinates into its search field, go to the 11-2011 date, and see it for yourself. You can also use Google Earth to follow the railbed both east and west of the Big Cypress crossing.

For those without Google Earth, I've uploaded a "screenshot" photo of the satellite view of the crossing into my MICROLITH.GOM domain's webspace, and you can view it at


I also placed a red "path line"on the photo -- marking where the railbed on the east begins a graceful curve northward toward Warlock, the northern PB&IO terminus.


Cartographer & "Rut & Rail Nut"

Archeological Steward

Texas Historical Commission

Bivins, TX


Shortened Link: http://a-r.us/66c

Do you have any pictures or information about The Port Bolivar and Iron Ore Railroad? Please . You will get credit for anything you contribute.