Garrett to Paris

The Texas Midland Railroad

Interlocking Tower 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

Note: Some of this informaton was drawn from the Handbook of Texas Online.

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This is looking south on Breckenridge street at Milan in Ennis. The portion past the truck marks the end of the public portion of the street. There used to be a cotton bale shipping building a little past the white sign in the distance. This was located at the "Compress Curve" on the UP line (ex SP, ex H&TC). This was more or less the southern terminus for the Texas Midland (TM). Photo by Cliff Mullican.

In 1882, the Houston and Texas Central began building a railroad line from Garrett, TX (just north of Ennis) to a connection with the Saint Louis-San Francisco Railroad (the Frisco) at Paris, almost 100 miles to the northwest. This northeastern extention of the H&TC was short-lived, though, as three years later in 1885, the company went into receivership, by which time only 51 miles had been constructed between Garrett and Roberts (just south of Quinlan). The Texas Midland was then chartered in 1892 in order to extend the line another 19 miles to Greenville, which was completed in 1895. Still intending to build to Paris, the Texas Midland continued construction north out of Greenville; the final 38-mile segment between Commerce and Paris was completed in 1897.

In 1903, it was reported that the Texas Midland was to be purchased by "Rock Island-Frisco" interests in Texas and subsequently extended another 65 miles south to Waco, where it would have connected with the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railroad. This did not came to pass, however, and it was sold much later to the Southern Pacific Railroad in 1928, who then leased it to one of its subsidiaries, the Texas & New Orleans Railroad. It was finally merged into the T&NO in 1934.

The Texas Midland was the first road in Texas to use electric lights on its engines and one of the first to use steel boxcars and high speed gas-electric rail cars.

Just as the line was built one segment at a time, so also it was abandoned. The first segment to be abandoned was between Greenville and Commerce in 1933. The southern end of the Texas Midland between Garrett (Ennis) and Kaufman was abandoned in 1942 (due to washouts along the Trinity River), with the segment between Kaufman and Greenville to follow in 1958. The final segment between Commerce and Paris was abandoned in 1972, bringing to an end the Texas Midland Railroad.

A rough timeline of the Texas Midland Raiload:

    Garrett ---- Kaufman ---- Roberts ---- Greenville ---- Commerce ---- Paris
1882   |---- Built by H&TC ------|
1892                             |-- Built TM --|
1896                                            |--Built TM --|
1897                                                          |--Built TM --|
1928   |------------------ Sold to Southern Pacific ------------------------|
1933                                            |- Abandoned -|
1934   |---- Merged into Texas & New Orleans ---|             |-Merged T&NO-|
1942   |-Abandoned-|
1958               |------- Abandoned ----------|
1972                                                          |- Abandoned -|

See also Abandoned Rails of Greenville.

Historic ICC Abandonment Filings

Docket Number: AB-12 (Sub 1) Date: 3/30/1972 Section: 1(18)
Application for authority to abandon a line of railroad extdg. from MP 86.83 at Commerce, Hunt County, northerly to MP 123.20 at Paris, Lamar County, 36.37 mi, in Hunt, Delta and Lamar Counties, TX.
Length: 36.37 miles Citation:  

Interlocking Towers

Nbr Location Railroads Type Authorized Retired Map
39 Kaufman TM, T&NO    Unknown 6/16/1904 1928
79 Paris T&P, GC&SF, TM, StL&SF    Electrical 5/27/1909 1963
131 Terrell T&P, TM    Electrical 1/19/1927 1958

The Texas Midland used to run motor cars over the T&P to Dallas. If you could check a Texas Midland annual report from 1918 or so, I think you will find that the TM had trackage rights over the SSW.

michael lowe
formerly from texas


worked for sp at kaufman,was told by old railroaders that paris branch rails were even joints and gillette razor bough the rails

cond kl snodgrass

1963 2003

kl snodgrass
rusk tx, TX


A very small portion of the Texas Midland is still extant in Commerce, Texas. It is used for freight car storage by Blacklands Railroad. The Texas Midland freight house is extant in Commerce, Texas. Texas Midland built its own line between Greenville and Commerce in 1921. Before that Texas Midland had trackage rights over SSW between Greenville and Commerce. These rights commenced on 9/1/1896. After T&NO abandoned the Greenville to Commerce line in 1933 the trackage rights between those two points was reestablished. The Middle Sulphur River flooded in 1971 and washed out the Paris Branch tracks just north of Commerce.

This website shows the reason for the abandonment of the Paris Branch.

Edwin Cooper
Shelbyville, KY


The Texas Midland depot at Rosser is still there and in fair condition. Someone has done repairs on it.

Dale Carnley
Seagoville, TX


it is a shame that your article does not even give a nod to ned green,hetty green's son, for all the good he did to save and big up the tmr during the late 1890's and early 1900's.

katy, TX


The Rosser depot was used as a soap factory in the 50s and 60s and then restored in the 1980s by Fred Alford. Recently, it was purchased by James West as a store for his future vineyard.

Rosser, TX


I started my railroading in June 1968 at Ennis. Worked the Paris local many times from Commerce to Paris. Our Caboose was located in the round around track. The Cotton belt would set out cars on the main line. If we had more than eight cars, we would have to run around 8 at a time to get out engine on the head in of the train. Most of the cars went to the TP transfer track to Campbell Soup Company Paris. Sometimes we would have a Gondola of asphalt ,that we set out on the Ma and Pa track. If we had a piggyback car, it set out at the depot. I remember the switch to the transfer track was at a crossing and up on a hill, was the stone where Chisholm is buried. Track speed was 20 MPH or less. When the river wash out, we had a hopper at Enloe. SP removed the car on a 18 wheeler. I remember a siding at Cooper and setting cars out their too. My brother was born in 1940, and my Dad was switching the transfer track a Paris, when the Telegraph operator came out and handed him a message, It's a boy. I retired 40 years railroading August 2008, third-generation conductor,my son still works fourth-generation conductor and going into engine service this week. I am the chairman of the railroad museum is Ennis Texas and we have a Lot of information on the Midland Railroad and also the largest collection of Midland RR China anywhere. My Dad told me that when the local worked out of Ennis, it was a hard 16 hour local. There lots of information of Haddie Green's Midland Railroad that you can see at the the Museum.

Dane Williams
Ennis, TX


Howdy all. As evidenced above I took several photos of the TM in the Ennis area and at Rosser. I have more, not sure why they didn't make it onto the site. I'll be happy to send them to anyone who wants them. kc5aea @ gmail dot com.

Cliff Mullican
Bristol, TX


The Texas Midland is a favorite of mine. I have collected a lot of information about it. A few things I'll share...

1) The TM had its own depot in Ennis about a block or two east of the H&TC depot. Eventually it used the H&TC depot.

2) The RR shops were in Terrell. One used to be able to find a dump of earth and broken material (brick and so forth) where the shops were located.

3) There is a small freight office/depot on the north side of US Hwy 80 that has been a restaurant in recent years.

4) At various times TM used the Union Depot with the T&P in Terrell and its own depots south of the T&P mainline. One still exists and was used by Mobil Oil or one of its distributors up until the 1990s. I have one reference that suggests that depot might have been shared with the Texas Interurban Co.

5) The motorcars TM bought were from General Electric.

More later...

Dennis Hogan
Frisco, TX


In the late 1890s, TM had its own freight/passenger depot less than a block east of the GC&SF/Frisco Union Depot.

It's still there--at least part of it--as a city or county history museum. After the early 1900s the building was just a TM freight depot.

The preserved SP locomotive in Baytown, TX is a former Texas Midland steam locomotive.

Dennis Hogan
Frisco, TX


Some of the stationery and letterhead material stated that the Texas Midland was "The Waco Route." This must have been during the period that the TM had projections to expand beyond Ennis.

Dennis Hogan
Frisco , TX


Does anyone have old maps or information about the railroad between Kaufman and Terrell? I am trying to find an old cemetery and the only information I have is that it is 1.5 miles south of Terrell off the old railroad right of way. If I could narrow down where that it is, it would be very helpful. Thank you!

Lubbock, TX


I can be reached at: nicolegail [at] gmail [dot] com

Lubbock, TX


I love old train depots. It doesn't say in your pics where you shot the photos of that old depot. Would love to visit it. Thanks.

Mike Stephens
Lubbock, TX


Mike: There are two old posts above from Dale and Don referencing this depot in Rosser.

Bob Lemmon
Whitestown, IN


The Enloe Museum has a collection of information and artifacts on the railroad, and is located in Enloe near the rail crossing and cotton platform. We are always in need of information, photos, and exhibit materials. Please contact us if you have information you could share, or stop by the museum ! Enloe Museum, 218 Lexie St., Enloe Tx 75441 Find us on Facebook !

Jeff Duncan / Enloe Museum
Enloe, TX


The Texas Midland freight depot in Terrell is still standing. It is just south of the T&P main, under the Highway 34 overpass.

Chuck Hamilton
Forney, TX


Shortened Link:

Do you have any pictures or information about The Texas Midland Railroad? Please . You will get credit for anything you contribute.