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Rock Island Railroad

In 1893, the Rock Island Railroad laid tracks between the Oklahoma border and Ft. Worth. The railroads used coal as fuel and chose the path through this area to take advantage of the valuable resource. The town was moved from the banks of the Trinity to it’s current location.

 

 

A Brief History of the Rock Island Railroad

 

Bridgeport Index Articles

Remembering The Rock Island Railroad Part 1
Remembering the Rock Island Railroad Part 2

Rock Island Bridge Fire
Railroads: Vital Importance to the West
List of Bridgeport Employees in 1946

In 1892 the Rock Island completed a line from Kansas across Oklahoma Territory to the Red River . In order to extend this line into Texas , a charter was obtained on July 15, 1892, for the Chicago , Rock Island and Texas Railway Company to build from the northern line of Montague County south to Weatherford in Parker County , a distance of seventy-five miles. On February 2, 1893, the charter of the Chicago , Rock Island and Texas was amended to provide for an extension to Fort Worth and Dallas . In August 1903 ninety-two miles of track were opened between the Oklahoma-Texas line through Bridgeport and on to Fort Worth . The line was laid through Wise County in 1893 and came within a mile east of Bridgeport. At that time Bridgeport was located on the banks of the Trinity River. The town moved from that location to its present site occupying land on both sides of the tracks. The charter was further amended to authorize a line from Bridgeport to Graham, and the fifty-five mile line was completed in 1903.

The available information on the railroad, during its operating days in Bridgeport, comes from articles and photographs published in the Bridgeport Index. Citizens like Reba Boase, Frank Bordner, Donna Munn and others have been interviewed by Index reporters and articles published.

Index Articles: Remembering The Rock Island Railroad Part 1
Remembering the Rock Island Railroad Part 2

The Depot was manned 24 hours a day. Agents included Jack Waters, Ben Read and John Curley. Bob Taylor carried the mail and freight from the depot to the local stores and the post office. The train service gradually decreased as automobiles became available to the average person and trucks for moving freight. The line to Graham was removed in the 1960's. The depot was torn down in 1984.