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The Texas Mexican Railway Company History

In 1875, founder Uriah Lott began construction on the rail line originally chartered as the Corpus Christi San Diego and Rio Grande Railroad. In the beginning, the railroad's primary business was transporting sheep from inland ranches to the Gulf of Mexico. In 1877, Lott completed 25 miles of track from Corpus Christi to Banquete. After some setbacks, a 162-mile line between Corpus Christi and Laredo was completed, making Tex Mex the U.S.' first railroad to arrive at a strategically important gateway to Mexico. In 1881, the railroad was renamed The Texas Mexican Railway Company (Tex Mex). By 1883, a permanent bridge linked Laredo and Nuevo Laredo across the Rio Grande and by 1889, the last rail line gaps were filled, allowing a train to travel from Mexico City to Canada.

At the turn of the century, the Mexican government acquired control of Tex Mex and held it in trust until 1982, when it was sold to Grupo TMM, S.A. (TMM). In 1995, TMM sold 49 percent of Tex Mex to Kansas City Southern Industries, Inc. (now Kansas City Southern). In 2002, Kansas City Southern (KCS) and TMM sold their interests in Tex Mex to TFM. Finally, in August 2004, KCS purchased the controlling interest in Tex Mex and placed those shares in a trust pending U.S. Surface Transportation Board approval, which became effective at the end of 2004.

On January 1, 2005, KCS took control of Tex Mex and the U.S. portion of the International Bridge at Laredo, as the vital link in the rail network connecting The Kansas City Southern Railway Company and TFM, S.A. de C.V.

Suggested Reading:
    Reed, S.G., A History of Texas Railroads, 1941
    Green, S., A History of The Tex Mex Railway, 1996

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