July 08, 2015

Tap railroads

Question sent by "J.S." May 24, 2015, via email

Houston, Tap and Brazoria Railway Company - I have an undated, unissued and unnumbered stock certificate for the subject railroad. And I have lived in Houston since 1981, and traveled and worked in Brazoria County. But I have never heard of any place called Tap.  I have been curious about this since purchasing this certificate some years ago. Do you, by any chance, know what Tap is or was? Thank you for your consideration.

My answer --

I’ve always wondered why no one has ever asked this question before. You are the first!

“Tap” railroads were tiny branch railroads off more established companies. In this case, the route was a few miles long, intended to “tap” the plantation business. There are only 11 companies in the database with the word ‘Tap’ and ALL are from Texas. Certificates from the Houston Tap & Brazoria are the most common among that small group. The only other company represented by surviving certificates is the Acme Tap Railroad Co and they are rare and costly.

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