This line between Union Station in downtown Houston and Kenedy, Texas, was originally built as the Houston Branch of the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway in 1887 as their second main line, reaching Houston proper in 1890. It was acquired by the Southern Pacific Railroad in 1925 and was made part of SP's Texas and New Orleans Railroad in 1934. In the late 1950s most of the line near Cuero that had originally traversed south of the T&NO's Cuero Branch was abandoned in favor of a connection, known as River Junction, to the Cuero Branch west of the Guadalupe River and three miles away from Cuero. A short section of the original SA&AP line in Cuero itself remained as a freight spur until the 1990s.
The beginning of the end for the Kenedy-Houston line started with abandonment of the section between Yoakum and Sheridan in 1959, thus creating several branches. Over the following decades more sections would be abandoned in phases culminating with the last major abandonment of a large section between a grain facility east of Eagle Lake and Bellaire Junction in Houston in 1993.
Four sections of the line are in use today, the track between Yoakum and Cuero is used by Union Pacific as part of it's Victoria Subdivision, a short section from Eagle Lake is used as a spur for a sand and gravel mine, and two other short sections in Houston are used as industrial spurs. Other than that, everything else of the line is abandoned.
Date of abandonments:
- Late 1950s: Section outside of Cuero
- 1959: Yoakum to Sheridan
- 1963: Altair to Sheridan per ICC filing (applying to 11 miles of track outside of Altair to Sheridan)
- 1990s: lengthy section west of Altair continued as a gravel pit spur
- 1963: Yorktown to Kennedy
- Late 1960s: Section between Bellaire Junction and the Houston yard
- 1969: Yorktown to Cuero per ICC filing (stating section between outside of Yoakum and Yorktown, though only the section between River Junction (west of Cuero) and Yorktown was actually removed
- 1980s: Houston yard
- 1993, Bellaire Line: section between a grain facility east of Eagle Lake and Bellaire Junction, Houston
- 2001: Houston Metro bought the line within Houston and began removing it so that the Westpark Tollway could be built on top of the former ROW
- 2008, Chesterville Industrial Lead: a section of the remaining Bellaire Line from Eagle Lake used as an industrial spur