The Houston East & West Texas Transportation Company was the first company to bring the railroad to the New Caney area in 1887. This new railway included a narrow gauge railroad track that ran from Houston, Texas to Texarkana, Arkansas. The choice of narrow gauge railway tracks was a blunder, and the entire system had to be converted to standard gauge tracks at great expense, just 7 years later. The railway name is often shortened to the HE&WT, and was nicknamed the "Rabbit," and is still called this today.
The new railway's primary purpose in the New Caney area was for the transportation of cattle, and trains stopped at the new Caney Station train depot
, built to welcome steam locomotives and their cargo.
In 1899, control of the HE&WT was transferred to the Southern Pacific Company, and then later merged with the Texas and New Orleans Railroad Company in 1934.
The new railway was critical to the growth and development of the New Caney area.