Dallas, Texas Branch
It was found advantageous to secure trackage rights over the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railroad from Wylie to Dallas, Texas. In August, 1898, a ten-year contract was drawn up that included a charge of forty cents per train mile for both passenger and freight, and another clause that granted each company the right to withdraw after six months notice. At the same time, the Cotton Belt granted the G.C. & S.F. the use of its tracks from Wolfe City to Sherman, Texas.
Previously, the company had considered construction of a line from Carrollton to Dallas, but this plan failed to materialize. However, in 1903, the Cotton Belt did build its own tracks to Dallas from Addison.
One other trackage agreement was reached on September 1, 1896, that involved granting to the Texas Midland Railroad Company the right to operate over the Cotton Belt's line between Commerce and Greenville, Texas, thus preventing ruinous competition and cementing a more friendly relationship between the two companies.
On April 27, 1897, the first branch constructed by the old Texas and St. Louis Railway between McNeil and Magnolia, Arkansas, 6.4 miles in length, was leased to the Louisiana and North West Railroad Company at a rental of $3,960 per year. This lease was to become effective immediately upon the completion of the latter's track to the Louisiana-Arkansas state line. The reason for this lease was to get rid of the operation of this branch, which never had paid for itself, and to gain an eighty-mile feeder into a new and undeveloped territory rich in timber and cotton products.
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