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Austin and NW Railroad

The tracks we use are part of what was the Llano subdivision of the Austin division of the Southern Pacific railroad. The section from Giddings to Austin was built by the Houston & Texas Central Railroad and completed in 1871. This was the first railroad into Austin. The capital city’s first train arrived via the H&TC on Christmas Day, 1871.

In a separate business enterprise, the line west of Austin to Llano was chartered on April 20, 1881, as the Austin & Northwestern Railroad. The intent of the A&NW was to link Austin with the Texas & Pacific line at Abilene, however, no track was ever laid west of Llano. The railroad was originally built as a narrow gauge line, with 3 feet between the rails instead of the standard 4 feet – 8.5 inches. The line reached Burnet in 1882. It was extended to Granite Mountain in 1885 and began hauling pink granite to Austin for the Texas Capitol building.

The marker is located at the same location as the Austin Steam Train Association offices. If you walk through the arches, you will see the marker located to the right of the fence. 401 E. Whitestone Blvd.