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Spiderweb Railroad

Texas Historical Marker - Spiderweb Railroad

Texas Historical Marker

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Col. Sam A. Robertson, who founded the town of San Benito in 1907, promoted and built the San Benito & Rio Grande Valley Railway. It was designed to provide a more accessible and efficient transportation system for the shipping of area farm products. Because of the railroad's intricate network of lines and spurs, it was commonly known as the Spiderweb Railroad.

The first phase of the rail line were begun in 1911 under the supervision of Col. Robertson's brother Frank S. Robertson. Construction of the feeder rail lines brought trackside loading facilities to the remote farming areas of the valley and assured the continuing development of brushland into irrigated farms. Trains carrying freight and passengers were soon making two round trips daily over routes that eventually stretched 128 miles.

For many years the Spiderweb remained essential to the valley's development as one of the leading agricultural regions of the nation. Traffic on the line declined, however, because of improved roads, motor transportation and more centralized loading facilities. Today the history of the line serves as a reminder of the pioneer farmers and businessmen who were instrumental in the area's early growth.

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