The City of College Station and Union Pacific share a rich heritage, dating back to the founding of the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas (Texas A&M College) in 1876. The site for the new college was selected in large part because of the existence of a Houston and Texas Central (H&TC) Railroad line which began in Southeast Texas and extended through the area to its terminus in Bryan (5 miles north).
Although no railroad depot existed at the time of Texas A&M's formal opening, H&TC made regular stops for incoming and outgoing college students and faculty. H&TC railroad conductor announcements referring to this stop as “College Station,” gave rise to the name of the surrounding community. The area was designated "College Station, Texas," by the Postal Service in 1877, the same year that the H&TC was sold to Charles Morgan, which brought the railroad under Southern Pacific control when that company acquired the Morgan interests in 1883. The City of College Station was incorporated in 1938. Although passenger rail service ceased in 1959, College Station and the railroad, now Union Pacific, have grown together.
Union Pacific and College Station were drawn together recently to celebrate the grand opening of "Trains: Tracks of the Iron Horse," on Nov. 7, 2005, at the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum. Union Pacific paid tribute to President George Herbert Walker Bush with a custom-painted locomotive. Number 4141, in honor of the 41st president, incorporated colors and elements of the Air Force One used during Bush’s presidency.
In 2013, the City of College Station celebrates its 75th anniversary with a series of events, including an exhibit at the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum from Oct. 21 to Jan. 4. Titled "College Station: A Community History," the exhibit features local memorabilia, artifacts and stories that capture the unique history of College Station from the time leading up to its incorporation to today. Unveiling the designation of College Station as a Union Pacific Train Town as part of the 75th anniversary celebration is a testament to the city’s heritage and a statement to the continuing relationship between the City and the Railroad.