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Research: Tram & Railroad Database

Code: 156
Corporate Name: Sabine River & Northern Railroad
Folk Name:
Ownership: Owens-Illinois Glass Company. Temple-Inland Forest Products, Inc.
Years of Operation: 1966 to present
Track Type:
Standard Gauge Wooden Rails
Track Length: 31.5
Locations Served: Mauriceville Orange
Counties of Operation: Orange, Newton
Line Connections: Evadale, Bessmay, Mauriceville, Lemonville, Echo
Track Information:
Tram Road Logging / Industrial Common Carrier Logging Camp
Equipment: 1972: five diesel units and one car
History: The Owens-Illinois Glass Company built a paper mill on the west bank of the Sabine River, near Mauriceville, and about ten miles from Orange, during the late 1960s. Of interest is that the company investment involved acquiring a thirty-mile railroad to move its materials and product. The company had timberlands in Louisiana as well as Texas, so it seems reasonable to assume that the company was moving timber from its lands to the mill along the railroad, and then finished product from the mill to the deep-water port of Orange. Chartlered on 20 April 1965 by Owens-Illinois, Inc., the Sabine River & Northern Railroad, with a capital value of $1,000,000, was built to provide rail support for the company's linearboard plant. Built at Mulford in the northeastern part of Orange County, it supported the plant located four miles south of Deweyville. The route was to run from Bessmay and its connection of the Gulf Colorado & Santa Fe to the Southern Pacific Company in Orange County, about two miles west of the Louisiana state line. The line between Echo and Mulford opened on 19 April 1966, and the full thirty-one and a half miles of track from Mauriceville to Bessmay was in operation by 17 August 1967. The company built a completely new railroad line from Echo to Mauriceville. The Sabine River & Northern Railroad contracted for the usage of 6,800 feet of trackage on the Missouri Pacific at Mauriceville. The track north of Mauriceville was built on the abandoned roadbed of the Orange & Northwestern, once an independent logging industrial and later a Missouri Pacific branch from Mauriceville to Newton and Bessmay. The net income for 1972 with five diesel units and one car was $172,000. A subsidiary of what is now Temple-Inland bought in 1982 the plant and Mulford and the tram line. Company plans envisioned the linking of the Mulford plant with other company facilities, a sawmill at Buna and a paperboard mill at Evadale. In June 1988 construction began on an eight-mile branch to Evadale, spurring from the main line eight miles north of Mauriceville. Work was completed in July 1990. The Sabine River & Northern carries Temple-Inland freight, such as wood chips from Buna, to Mulford as well as chemicals and other materials required for the making of paper. Product is shipped outbound to connections with the Southern Pacific at Echo, the Kansas City Southern at Lemonville, the Missouri Pacific at Mauriceville, and the Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe at Evadale and Bessmay.