Origin Story

Welcome aboard the Jamestown and Haydenville Railroad. New challenges, which we are trained to view as opportunities, opened up in the early twentieth century when the Balcones Fault in central Texas again became active. Existing routes north and south between Dallas and San Antonio were disrupted, but the way westward from San Antonio was greatly altered. A small short line, the Jamestown and Haydenville, suddenly became the only feasible way for east-and-west rail traffic to move, until major construction and repairs were undertaken. The north-south line operated by the Missouri Pacific, and leased rights by Cotton Belt division of the Southern Pacific, ran from Corsicana, through Austin, to San Antonio and Laredo. The trackage abutting the Balcones Fault had to be upgraded. But the major work lay in replacing the Southern Pacific rails from Houston (with leased rights to ATSF, the "Santa Fe") westward to New Mexico, Arizona, and on to California. Until that could be accomplished, the Jamestown & Haydenville had to take up the job.

New industries opened along the newly-upgraded J&H. Such industries as Madison Mining and Charlotte Coal Company began to prosper. After completion of Victoria Viaduct, capacity more than tripled. Trackage was expanded. New-fangled computers were brought in to increase traffic control safety. Today, most rail traffic is back to normal levels, but the Jamestown & Haydenville continues to move significant traffic, bridging a tie between the north-south and east-west traffic which used to be concentrated in San Antonio.