The Truman Area Community Network
A Community Information Source
supported by the Henry County Library
Timeline of Railroads in Henry County
Construction, operation, and abandonment:
- 1867 July: Construction work begun on the Tebo & Neosho RR (later MK&T).
- 1870 June: Track laying begun on the MK&T line from Sedalia.
- 1870 June 30: End of track on the MK&T reaches Windsor.
- 1870 July 18: End of track on the MK&T reaches Clinton.
- 1870 August 20: End of track on the MK&T reaches Montrose.
- 1870 August 23: Special excursion train to Clinton to celebrate opening of the Missouri Kansas & Texas RR
- 1870 September 10: End of track on the MK&T reaches Appleton City.
- 1870 October 26: End of track on the MK&T reaches Nevada.
- 1871 February 3: Last spike driven on the MK&T line between Sedalia and Parsons,
- 1872 December 24: MK&T line completed from Parsons, Kansas to Denison, Texas.
- 1873 June 20: MK&T line from Sedalia to Hannibal, Mo. completed.
- 1874 January 10: Bridge at Boonville completed, allowing through service from Chicago to Texas via Clinton.
- 1880 December 1: Missouri Kansas & Texas RR is leased to the Missouri Pacific Railway as their Kansas & Texas Division.
- 1883 May 6: First excursion run on the Kansas City &
Southern RR from North Clinton to End of Track.
- 1883 December: Kansas City & Southern (Blair Line) begins scheduled passenger service from North Clinton to End of Track near Brownington.
- 1884 August 13: First train to Brownington on the Kansas City & Southern (Blair Line).
- 1884 December (?): Kansas City & Southern (Blair Line) extends service from
Brownington to Lowry City.
- 1885 July 27: Kansas City Clinton & Springfield (Leaky Roof) begins scheduled passenger service from Clinton to Kansas City.
- 1885 September: Kansas City & Southern (Blair Line) completed from North Clinton to
East Lynne, forming a through route to North Osceola via Clinton.
- 1885 November 27: Kansas City Clinton & Springfield (Leaky Roof) begins scheduled
passenger service from Clinton to Springfield, forming a through route from Kansas City.
- 1887: St. Louis Kansas City & Colorado RR opened from St. Louis to Union.
- 1888 June 1: The lease of the Missouri Kansas & Texas RR to the Missouri Pacific Ry is canceled, and the MK&T resumes independent operation.
- 1888 September: Clinton Street Railway opens its horse car line in Clinton.
- 1888 December 10: Kansas City & Southern completes its own line from East Lynne
into Kansas City. Passenger trains operated over the Kansas City Belt Railroad from Sheffield to the Belt Railroad's depot at 15th Street near Askew in Kansas City, where a connection was made with the cable cars of the Grand Avenue Railway.
- 1889 April 8: Kansas City & Southern RR opens spur to new Green Street Depot.
- 1891 April 22: The Kansas City & Southern RR (Blair Line) is reorganized as the Kansas City Osceola & Southern Railroad.
- 1892 July: Kansas City Osceola & Southern Railroad (Blair Line) begins operating its passenger trains out of Grand Central Station at 2nd & Wyandotte. (Station owned by the Kansas City Suburban Belt RR, later Kansas City Southern.)
- 1895 March 16: MK&T begins through passenger service to St. Louis over its own rails, via Franklin and St. Charles.
- 1895: MK&T opens line from Bryson (Kansas City Junction) to via Leeton and Chilhowee to Holden, Mo., connecting with its existing line from Holden to Paola, Kansas. This provides a through (if roundabout) route from St. Louis to Kansas City.
- 1896 September 6: The Blair line's "Long Trestle" just north of North Clinton catches fire. Engine 4 headed north to investigate the fire but was unable to stop on the slick rails and fell through the burning trestle, killing two of those on board.
- 1897 March: Kansas City Osceola & Southern (Blair Line) completes a bridge over the Osage River at Osceola and extends its tracks into Osceola proper.
- 1897 ca April: Kansas City Osceola & Southern (Blair Line) replaces the "Long Trestle", extending about 3,000 feet from near 3rd Street to west of Water Street in Clinton, on the line from North Clinton towards Kansas City, with a fill and a short steel girder bridge over Town Creek. The "Long Trestle" had been a source of trouble ever since it was built in 1885, having suffered from a number of fires, including the disastrous fire of September 6, 1897 (see above for details).
- 1898 Early: Kansas City Osceola & Southern (Blair Line) begins work on extending the line from Osceola to Bolivar, under a traffic contract and guarantee by the St. Louis & San Francisco RR (Frisco).
- 1898 September 1: Kansas City Osceola & Southern RR (Blair Line) completes an
extension from Osceola to Bolivar, forming a through route from Kansas City to Springfield. Jointly with the Frisco begins operating through sleeping cars from Kansas City to Texas via Clinton and Springfield
- 1900 June 1: St. Louis & San Francisco RR (Frisco) purchases the Kansas City Osceola & Southern RR (Blair Line).
- 1901 May: St. Louis Kansas City & Colorado RR extended from Union to Bland.
- 1901 May: St. Louis & San Francisco RR acquires the Kansas City Fort Scott & Memphis Railroad system, which includes the Kansas City Clinton & Springfield RR (Leaky Roof).
- 1901 June 24: Frisco deposits the stock of the Kansas City Clinton & Springfield RR (Leaky Roof) in a trust with the stipulation that the trustees operate the road as an independent line.
- 1901 June 27: Kansas City Fort Scott & Memphis (Frisco) deeds the portion of its main line from ARcadia, Kansas to Springfield, Missouri via Ash Grove, Missouri, 85.0 miles, to the Kansas City, Clinton & Springfield RR. The KCC&S immediate leased the line back to the Fort Scott & Memphis for operations.
- 1901 August 23: Frisco leases the Kansas City Fort Scott & Memphis Railroad and begins operating that road directly.
- 1902 May: Chicago Rock Island & Pacific (CRI&P) acquires the St. Louis Kansas City & Colorado RR line from St. Louis to Bland, with the intent of extending the line via Eldon, Cole Camp, Windsor, and Chilhowee to Kansas City.
- 1902 May 9: The Fred Harvey restaurant at the North Clinton depot is closed, the Frisco having rerouted the through trains to Texas onto the Fort Scott line.
- 1903 July 24: Tornado blows down the old Blair Line roundhouse at North Clinton Yard, damaging the 4 locomotives inside, and temporaily trapping 3 of them under the debris. The old 6-stall wooden roundhouse was then replaced by a 3-stall brick house.
- 1903: Clinton Street Railway is abandoned and the tracks taken up.
- 1903 October : CRI&P extended from Bland to Eldon.
- 1904 July 1: Chicago Rock Island and Pacific's St. Louis line extended from Eldon to Windsor, and service begun to Kansas City using the MK&T between Windsor and North
Clinton and the Frisco (Blair Line) from North Clinton to Kansas City.
- 1905 January 1: Chicago Rock Island & Pacific extended from Windsor through Leeton and Chilhowee to Kansas City. Operation over the MK&T and Frisco lines via North Clinton is discontinued.
- 1906 November 1: The Kansas City Clinton & Springfield RR deeds the Arcadia, Kansas to Springfield, Missouri line back to the Kansas City, Fort Scott & Memphis Railroad.
- 1914: November: Frisco (Blair Line) and KCC&S (Leaky Roof) passenger trains begin
using the new Union Station at Kansas City.
- 1915 September: KCC&S (Leaky Roof) constructs machine shop and car repair shop near its enginehouse (north of Rogers Street, just west of present day Orchard Street, which at the time was not cut through to Rogers).
- 1917 March: Katy and Frisco inaugurate a joint passenger service from St. Louis to Texas, the Texas Special. MKT passenger service on the St. Louis line through Clinton, which had briefly hit 5 trains a day each way, shortly drops to 3 trains a day each way.
- 1917 November 30: C. C. Rogers, MK&T night towerman at South Tower, and school teacher Goldie Gieson, are married in a ceremony in South Tower. Check here for details.
- 1917 December 26: The United States government takes over operation of nearly all the railroads in the United States, under the control of the newly formed United States Railroad Administration. The Frisco, KCC&S, MK&T and Rock Island were among the railroads taken over.
- 1918: Kansas City Clinton & Springfield RR (Leaky Roof) passenger trains begin operating from the MK&T station at Clinton.
- 1918 November: Surveys are made to extend the Frisco (ex-Blair line) tracks from Green Street south to a connection with the MK&T side tracks near Main Street, to enable Frisco passenger trains to operate to and from the MK&T passenger station, which would thereby serve all passenger trains.
- 1919: With the end of World War I the plans to extend the Frisco tracks to the MK&T station were dropped. Before long the KCC&S (Leaky Roof) passenger trains also returned to using their own station, leaving Clinton once more with three working passenger stations.
- 1919 February: MKT installs electric lights at its passenger station.
- 1920 March 1: The United States Railroad Administration (USRA) returns the railroads of the United States, including the Frisco, KCC&S, MK&T and Rock Island, to private operation.
- 1924 December: Frisco formally acquires control the Kansas City Clinton & Springfield RR (Leaky Roof).
- 1925 November 30: Frisco assumes operation of the Kansas City Clinton & Springfield RR (Leaky Roof) under lease.
- 1926 January 31: After completion of a cutoff line from just north of Brownington to south of Deepwater (Deepwater Junction or Dejun), the Frisco reroutes trains on the former KCC&S line to use the former Blair Line tracks via North Clinton and Brownington. Trains are also rerouted onto the former Blair line tracks from Lowry City Junction south through Lowry City and Osceola to Harlan Junction and the former KCC&S trackage between those points is abandoned and dismantled in 1927.
- 1927 April 30: South Tower, guarding the crossing of the Kansas City Clinton & Springfield (Leaky Roof) and MK&T at South Clinton, is taken out of service.
- 1928 September 1: Frisco formally acquires the property of the Kansas City Clinton and Springfield RR (Leaky Roof).
- 1929: The Frisco abandons the former KCC&S (Leaky Roof) tracks between (South) Clinton and a point north of Deepwater.
- 1929 November 9: MK&T abandons the crossing guard shanties at Allen, Ohio, Grandriver/Main, Jefferson, Franklin, Green and Elm/2nd Streets, and installs automatic bells and flashing light signals at those streets, plus at Lincoln, Oak and 3rd Streets.
- 1930: Former KCC&S (Leaky Roof) tracks from (South) Clinton to Deepwater are
dismantled by the Frisco.
- 1933 (ca.) MKT passenger service through Clinton reduced to one train a day each way, the Katy Flyer.
- 1934: Former KCO&S (Blair Line) tracks from Brownington to Lowry City Junction are
dismantled by the Frisco.
- 1935 March: South Tower is officially retired. This is probably when the tower was moved from its original location at the KCC&S/MK&T crossing about 600 feet west north west to its current location behind a former hatchery building south of Rogers Street.
- 1935 May 28: Frisco abandons nearly all of the former KCC&S (Leaky Roof) line from
Belton to (South) Clinton and from Tracy Junction (near Vista) to Phenix (near Ash Grove). The Phenix - Ash Grove stub was retained for several years to service a quarry, and some switch track was retained at Harrisonville and Clinton.
- 1944 June: MK&T completes remodeling project on its station at Clinton, shortening the station by 56 feet, from 127 feet by 26 feet to 72 feet by 26 feet.
- 1952: MKT constructs a 7 mile long spur track from the south (west) end of the Ladue siding west to the new Power Coal Company tipple and washing plant, located 4 miles north of Montrose off Highway K.
- 1954 May 27: Frisco runs its last passenger train on Kansas City - Clinton - Springfield route. A daily except Sunday mixed train continues to operate between North Clinton and Kansas City's Centropolis Yard.
- 1957: A portion of the MKT's Power Mine spur is relocated because of the construction of Lake Montrose, a cooling lake for Kansas City Power & Light Montrose Power Plant, located 3 miles west of Ladue.
- 1957 August 30: The North Tower, guarding the crossing of the Frisco and MKT at North Clinton, is taken out of service, replaced by an movable locked gate.
- 1958: MKT abandons the branch line from Bryson through Leeton and Holden to Paola,
- 1958 April 30: The MKT discontinues the Katy Flyer, ending passenger service on the Katy line through Clinton.
- 1958 July: Montrose Power Plant unit 1 begins operating. Coal is supplied to the plant from the adjacent Power Mine. A 2 1/2 mile branch off the original Power mine spur runs south across Deepwater Creek and then east to a loading tipple south of Lake Montrose. A Peabody Coal Company diesel hauls the coal 6 1/2 miles from the loading tipple to the dumpers at the power plant.
- 1959: The MKT completes a 1 1/3 mile long spur from the main line just south of Calhoun to Peabody Coal Company's new Tebo Mine. Output from the mine is mostly hauled to the KCP&L's Montrose Power Plant, west of La Due.
- 1961 August: Peabody Coal Company dismantles the tipple/washing plant at the Power Mine. All coal was now being loaded through the tipple south of the Lake and transported directly to the KCP&L power plant, and the washer was no longer needed. It was re-erected at a Peabody mine near Columbia, Missouri.
- 1964 April: Montrose Power Plant unit 3 begins operating, raising capacity of the plant to 525,000 kilowatts.
- 1964 May: The Frisco round house at Clinton is demolished.
- 1967: The Frisco discontinues its mixed train service from Clinton to Kansas City. Freight service now consists of tri-weekly locals from Clinton south to Springfield and Clinton north to Kansas City.
- 1977: Fire destroys trestle on Frisco (former Blair Line) north of Blairstown. The Frisco north local is cut back to Harrisonville, with service as needed to East Lynne. The Frisco south local provides service to Blairstown as needed.
- 1978: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers files condemnation petition against the Frisco from a point about 3 miles south of Blairstown to a point just south of Osceola, due to the pending completion of Truman Dam and Lake.
- 1978 Summer: Fire destroys a trestle on the former Blair Line south of Blairstown, isolating that town.
- 1978 October 14: Last Frisco freight train leaves Clinton for Springfield. Frisco abandons and dismantles the portion of the old Blair Line from Bolivar through Clinton to East Lynne. (Since then the remainder of the line has also been abandoned.) The MKT took over several pieces of trackage in Clinton to continue service to various industries. The MKT moved its station agent into the former Frisco depot on Green Street.
- 1979 December 9: The former MKT station at Clinton is moved to a new location at the southeast corner of the square and remodeled to serve as the office of the Clinton Chamber of Commerce.
- 1980 March 23: CRI&P ceases all operation, including service on its St. Louis to Kansas City line via Windsor.
- 1980 October 20: CRI&P sells its line from St. Louis to Kansas City via Windsor to the St. Louis Southwestern RR (Cotton Belt), a subsidiary of the Southern Pacific. However, service has never been resumed on the portion of the line from Owensville through Eldon, Windsor, Leeton, and Chilhowee to Kansas City; the SSW instead operating over the Union Pacific (ex-Missouri Pacific) from Kansas City to St. Louis via Warrensburg, Sedalia, and Jefferson City. The track remains in place except at some highway crossings and the line has not been officially abandoned.
- 1982: Peabody Coal Company closes the Tebo Mine, near Calhoun. Not long afterwards the MKT dismantled the 1 1/3 mile long spur from its main line into the Tebo Mine.
- 1984: MKT Clinton station agent job abolished.
- 1986 October 4: Last MKT freight train operates over the "river line" from Sedalia to St. Louis via Boonville, Mokane, St. Charles and Machens. Flooding washed out several miles of the line, and trains were thereafter re-routed into St. Louis via the Union Pacific (ex-Missouri Pacific) line from Sedalia via Jefferson City and Kirkwood.
- 1987: MKT formally abandons its line from Sedalia to St. Louis in favor of running rights of the Union Pacific line. The old right of way from Sedalia to Machens was acquired by the state in 1988 for conversion into a walking/biking trail, the Katy Trail State Park.
- 1987: Peabody Coal Company closes the Power Mine, near Montrose.
- 1988: MKT and Peabody Coal remove all of the track of the Power Mine spur west of Conservation Commission's Dock 3 boat launch, west of the plant. This leaves about 4 miles of track in place.
- 1988 May 13: Interstate Commerce Commission approves purchase of the Missouri Kansas Texas RR by the Union Pacific RR.
- 1988 August 12: The Missouri Kansas Texas RR is purchased by the Union Pacific RR.
- 1989: Union Pacific, having rerouted the through freight that had previously used the MKT line to St. Louis, early in the year abandons the section of the former MKT tracks from FPE Siding (near YY and Highway 52 northeast of Clinton) through Calhoun and Windsor to Sedalia. Henceforth, freight service to Clinton is provide on an as needed basis, the trains coming up the old MKT line from Nevada. The right of way from FPE Siding to Sedalia is now part of the Katy Trail State Park.
- 1992 December: Former Frisco station purchased by the Henry County Library. In the
spring of 1993 it was dismantled and the site is now the main parking lot for the Library.
- 1992 December 13: Missouri & Northern Arkansas takes over operation of the former MKT tracks from FPE siding northeast of Clinton through Nevada to Fort Scott.
- 1997 Summer: Rails are removed from the MKT track from North Clinton to FPE Siding,
in preparation for inclusion of this part of the line in the Katy Trail State Park.
- 1997 August: The new Rotary Car Dumper and Loop Track at the Montrose Power Plant of Kansas City Power & Light is placed in operation. The new dumper can unload a train in 5 hours, against 32 hours for the old bottom dump equipment. Following the opening of the new car dumper, KCP&L's diesel switcher was sold. The 1 mile of track from the power plant west to the Comservation Commission Dock 3 boat launch remains in place, but is seldom used.
- 1998 Fall: Missouri Department of Natural Resources completes the roadbed for the Katy Trail State Park from Clinton (Sedalia Street) north to Sedalia.
- 1999 July: Missouri Department of Natural Resources completes installation of bridge decks and railings on the portion of the Katy Trail State Park from Clinton to Sedalia.
- 1999 September 12: Grand Opening of the Katy Trail from Sedalia to Clinton.
- 1999 October 11: The Union Pacific RR sells the former Rock Island trackage from Maryland Heights to Pleasant Hill, Missouri to the Missouri Central Railroad, a company 95% owned by by Ameren Corporation (formerly Union Electric).
- 2003 November: Missouri & Northern Arkansas completes rehabilitation of the spur line to the former Rival plant, including the relocation of the trackage at the plant itself. Lowe Champion installs oil tanks and facilities for loading and unloading oil and moves its processing operations into the former Rival plant. The new facilities end of the old practice of unloading oil at the Lowe warehouse at the old North Clinton Yard and trucking it over to the original plant on Price Lane.
- 2004 May: City of Clinton and Missouri & Northern Arkansas come to an agreement calling for the removal of the automatic crossing signals on the rail line through Clinton. M&NA trains will be flagged across the crossings by a crew member on ground.
- 2005 February - March: Missouri & Northern Arkansas removes the old telegraph poles and telegraph lines in Clinton.
- 2005 June - July: Missouri & Northern Arkansas removes all of the automatic crossing signals in Clinton, replacing them with simple cross-buck signs.