Site of End of the Line Station: Texas Historical Marker
The original charter for a rail line through the Orange area was granted to the Sabine and Galveston Railroad and Lumber Company in 1856. About the same time the New Orleans, Opelousas and Great Western Railroad Company was building a line west from the Mississippi River. The Louisiana Legislature later endorsed a plan to join Texas in the completion of the trade route between the states. The two companies were reorganized as separate divisions of the Texas and New Orleans Railroad. The Texas division completed construction to this site before the Civil War. Since the rail line stopped at the Sabine River, the first depot in Orange was known as the End of the Line Station. Trains unloaded cargo here for transfer to riverboats and ocean freighters. Sections of the line remained in operation during the Civil War, but nearby rails were used to build Confederate fortifications at Sabine Pass (34 mi. SW). The interstate route was completed in 1881 under the direction of Charles Morgan, a steamship line owner. The first station, damaged by an 1885 storm, was replaced by a larger facility with river loading docks. The Southern Pacific Railroad later took over the T. & N. O. Line.