Research: Tram & Railroad Database

Code: 202
Corporate Name: Beaumont, Trinity & Sabine
Folk Name: “Wobble, Bobble, Turn, & Stop” or the “Trinity Tap” or the “Katy's orphan branch”
Ownership: Trinity & Sabine. Missouri Pacific. Missouri, Kansas, & Texas. Waco, Beaumont, Trinity, & Sabine.
Years of Operation: 1880 to 1936
Track Type:
Standard Gauge Wooden Rails
Track Length: 67
Locations Served: Trinity (Trinity County)
Counties of Operation: Trinity, Polk, Tyler.
Line Connections: International & Great Northern at Trinity to the Texas & New Orleans at Colmesneil.
Track Information:
Tram Road Logging / Industrial Common Carrier Logging Camp
Equipment: Keeling reports nine rod locomotives.
History: The Trinity & Sabine Railroad Company was chartered on September 28, 1881, for one primary purpose. To access the great interior pine forests to the east in Tyler and Polk counties for Trinity County logging interests, including the Joyce family-owned Trinity County Lumber Company at Groveton. Jay Gould bought the railway and its thirty-eight mile road stretching east from Trinity for the Missouri Pacific on December 9, 1882, and sold it that same day to the Missouri, Kansas & Texas. The line became known as the Katy's “orphan branch.” It was also called the “Trinity Tap.” By 1884, the railroad had been pushed twenty-nine miles eastward to Colmesneil in Tyler County. It gained a junction there with the Texas & New Orleans and obtained access to the magnificent East Texas pineries. The building of the logging industrial began a logging boom in these counties that lasted until the Great Depression, a period of almost fifty years. The Missouri, Kansas & Texas sold the Tap to a business group in 1923, which renamed the road the Waco, Beaumont, Trinity & Sabine. It also gained a new moniker: the “Wobble, Bobble, Turn, & Stop. With the devastation of the Depression and the cost-effective nature of truck logging, the railroad was abandoned it in 1936. This particular rail line was elemental to the development of communities and road surfaces in central East Texas. The communities of Trinity, Groveton, Westville, Saron, Carmona, Corrigan, Chester, and Colmesneil all derived from the lumber industry or survived because of it. Highways 94 and 287 were developed in part from the right-of-ways of the Waco, Beaumont, Trinity & Sabine.