"Peach River Lines": Railroads of the Miller-Vidor Lumber Company profiled in the American Lumberman magazine in 1910.  
  Source: “Peach River Pine”, American Lumberman, October 8, 1910. Chicago, 1910.
  The "Peach River Lines."  

The "Peach River Lines" of railway of Texas, while yet in their infancy, give promise of becoming a decidedly important feature of transportation in the Southwest. These roads consist of the Peach River & Gulf, the Galveston, Beaumont & Northeastern and the Riverside & Gulf railways. The officers of these various roads of the "Peach River Lines" are C. S. Vidor, president; A. W. Miller, vice president and treasurer; B. I. Sparks, secretary and auditor; and C. W. Hole, Galveston, Tex., general manager. Mr. Hole has had wide experience in construction, maintenance and traffic affairs of railroads in the Southwest for many years.

The Galveston, Beaumont & Northeastern railroad carried monthly last year 11,500 tons; the Riverside & Gulf railroad 17,892 tons; the Peach River & Gulf railroad 2,649 tons, an aggregate of 32,041 tons a month, or a total for the twelve months of all the "Peach River Lines" of 384,492 tons.

At various places in this descriptive article are high class especially prepared maps which indicate, in one map, the Lines of the Peach River & Gulf railway, in another the Lines of the Galveston, Beaumont & Northeastern railway and in another those of the Riverside & Gulf railway.

The relations of the "Peach River Lines" to each other and to the great interstate trunk Lines of the Southwest are shown in another and general map of southeastern Texas.

  Galveston, Beaumont & Northeastern Railway.  

The Galveston, Beaumont & Northeastern railway runs from the Beaumont mill of the Miller & Vidor Lumber Company about three miles to the junction with the Kansas City Southern at a point near Beaumont. Through that point to the north it has trackage rights over the Kansas City Southern to Vidor, a station about six miles north of Beaumont.

At this junction point the road is now laid for about eight miles north into Orange county, Texas, and the right-of-way is graded about ten miles farther north. This road operates a 25-ton Baldwin locomotive, a 25-ton Heisler locomotive [TTA note: Photographs of this engine in the original American Lumberman article, and surviving rebuilder/resale records in the possession of historian Thomas Lawson, show that "Heisler" is in error; the locomotive referred to here was built by Climax Manufacturing Co., which uses a different power-transfer configuration than Heislers], and a 15-ton Porter locomotive. It has a passenger coach for carrying passengers regularly and for the accommodation of the men riding to and from the woods and camps at Vidor and Beaumont; 3 box cars for carrying stock from Vidor to the woods operations; 40 regular standard flat cars fully equipped with air brakes and all necessary features, and 20 regular log cars. The total mileage of the Galveston, Beaumont & Northeastern railroad is about seventeen miles, inclusive of spurs, sidetracks etc., and the rails are of 60-pound steel on the main line and 35-pound steel on the spurs.

The Galveston, Beaumont & Northeastern has a joint station arrangement with the Kansas City Southern at Beaumont and at Vidor, and a joint yard at each place. It has a machine shop at Vidor. The Galveston, Beaumont & Northeastern was chartered in the spring of 1905, and was granted the right to construct a railroad from Beaumont, Tex., through Jefferson, Orange, Jasper and Newton counties, to a point on the Sabine River about 100 miles northeast of Beaumont.

The railroad has all told 35 employees, 3 on the right-of-way, 4 in the grading crew, 9 in the steel gang, 7 in the section gang, 6 engineers, 3 brakemen, 1 conductor and 2 car repairers.

  The Riverside & Gulf Railway.  
The Riverside & Gulf railway of the "Peach River Lines" has its inception and most important point at Milvid Junction, Tex., in Liberty county, a station on the main line of the Santa Fe system, about fifty-six miles from Beaumont.

The Santa Fe at that point runs directly east and west, and the Riverside & Gulf railway rather parallels that line, bearing, however, a little to the south.

About one and one-half miles southeast of Milvid Junction, on the line of the Riverside & Gulf railway, is the town of Milvid, the most important manufacturing point of the Miller & Vidor Lumber Company.

Twelve miles of main line of this railroad are already built, and reference to the map will show three collateral spurs, one 2 miles in length; one 1-1/2 miles in length and another 2 miles in length. Six or eight miles of right-of-way in various necessary directions are already completed. The right-of-way has been especially planned to connect Milvid with a fine landing place on the Trinity River and, taking into consideration the operations of the road already built and definitely planned, and the Lines that are being rapidly constructed, the Riverside & Gulf railway will soon have about 28.62 miles of trackage.

All of the main line of the Riverside & Gulf railway is laid with 52-pound steel, and will continue to be SO laid. On the spurs 40-pound steel is used.

In service are 62 regular logging cars, 28 feet and 35 feet in length, one caboose, one passenger coach and 3 locomotives, one of which is a 35-ton Baldwin, one a 14-ton Baldwin and one an 18-ton Baldwin.

There has been very little grading to do on the Lines of the Riverside & Gulf railway, and but two trestles of any importance, and the main line is heavily ballasted with sand and gravel, so that all trains can be moved as fast as could be done if the road formed a division of some great interstate trunk line.

On the line of this railroad at Allen, about one mile south of Milvid Junction, is the 50,000 capacity hardwood saw mill of T. B. Allen & Co., which adds materially to the tonnage of this division of the "Peach River Lines." All told, 52 employees are directly concerned in the operation of this railroad: 3 engineers, 3 firemen, 12 section men, 10 steel gang men, 2 track walkers, 2 night watchmen, 10 shop men, 1 brake-man and 9 men in the grading crew. The Riverside & Gulf railway has the same general officers and manager as the Galveston, Beaumont & Northeastern railway.

The general shop work of the "Peach River Lines" is largely done at the Milvid shop of the Riverside & Gulf railway. This machine shop is contained in a building 24x70 feet in area, and contains two forges, one blast, one small upright power drill, one 10-inch lathe, one 30-inch lathe, one 6x14 lathe, one 24x24-inch 6-foot blower and one 6x16 horizontal engine for driving. Power to run this plant is secured from the planing mill boiler house. In this shop besides the ordinary repair work locomotive repair work is done and complete cars are readily built.

The Riverside & Gulf railway was chartered in 1907 to construct a line of railroad from Wallisville, on Galveston bay, Texas, to Livingston, Tex., county seat of Polk county.

  The Peach River & Gulf Railway.  
The Peach River & Gulf railway has its inception at Timber, Tex., a station on the main line of the Santa Fe system about eighty-eight miles north of Beaumont. The officials of this line are the same as were mentioned for the Galveston, Beaumont & Northeastern railway. This road is built of 52-pound steel on the main line and of 35-pound steel on the branches.

The construction of the road was an extremely easy proposition, as there was but very little grading to do, probably less than has ever before been done through southern timber the same number of miles. The grades do not amount to one-quarter of 1 percent.

The Peach River & Gulf railway has all told about fifteen miles of 52-pound steel rails and ten employees to take care of the entire line. It was chartered in 1904 to construct a line from Beaumont, Tex., to a connection with the International & Great Northern railway in Walker county, Texas, a total of 150 miles.
Text and images were digitized and proofread from the original source documents by Murry Hammond. Contact Murry for all corrections and contributions of new material.