Historically Katy
Texas Western Narrow Gauge Railroad

| August 1, 2017

The Texas Western Narrow Gauge Railroad ran through Katy, as noted in the map.

The Texas Western Narrow Gauge Railroad ran through Katy, as noted in the map.

Train

A Railroad Ran Through It

The Texas Western Narrow Gauge Railroad installed tracks from Houston to Sealy in 1873. It was the first train to operate in this area and the tracks went right over land that is now someone’s yard. From its Houston depot, it stopped at a few stations before it got to Katy.

The Wimberly station was in Katy, named that because it was on the Wimberly family property. In 1885, J. C. Hennessy purchased Wimberley’s property and renamed the train station.

The train was fueled by wood and traveled only about fifteen miles per hour. It consisted of box cars, flat cars, and a passenger coach. For a few years the train did a thriving business primarily moving cotton crops from around Pattison and the “Brazos Bottom” to Houston. It also brought visitors out of Houston for hunting expeditions or a pleasure day ride. Apparently there was no schedule; they would stop for the passengers to gather pecans, berries or to fish or hunt deer depending on the season.

As the equipment aged the train was slowed to only about five miles per hour; a horse could easily outrun it. It was not uncommon for passengers to jump off and get back on. When the MKT Railroad came, the Texas Western was doomed. By 1887, the railroad went into bankruptcy and was abandoned.

Some of the road bed was visible in old aerial photographs of Katy, but not so much anymore. In a few areas you may find a slight berm from the road bed.

This is an accurate map above of where the TWNGRR line ran through Katy — check it out and see if a train ran through your backyard!

Carol Adams is the author of HISTORIC KATY: An Illustrated History

 

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Category: Katy Texas History

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