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Railroad Companies - Page 3

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Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad (1865-1988) - Familiarly called the M.K.T. and affectionately referred to as "Katy," the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad was created in 1865. First called the Union Pacific Railway, Southern Branch (unrelated to the Union Pacific Railroad,) the line was chartered by the State of Kansas to build from Fort Riley, Kansas, to the state's southern boundary. After receiving a land grant, the company began construction in 1869. After the federal government announced that a right-of-way would be given through Indian Territory and a liberal bonus of land given to the first railroad to first reached the Territory's northern border, other companies joined the race. But, on June 6, 1870, the Union Pacific Railway, Southern Branch won the race and officially changed its name to the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railway.


Winning the sole right to build south through Indian Territory, construction began southward and the company also acquired the Tebo & Neosho Railroad, that connected Sedalia, Missouri to Parsons, Kansas.


The "Katy," touted in advertisements as the Gateway to Texas, breached the Texas frontier near the site of present Denison, where the first regular train arrived on Christmas Day, 1872. Eventually, the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad grew to link Missouri's main cities, with Tulsa and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; as well as Texas' large cities, including Dallas, Fort Worth, Waco, Temple, Austin, San Antonio, Houston, and Galveston.




Missouri-Kansas-Texas train under several feet of water,1904

Missouri-Kansas-Texas train under several feet of water,1904.

This image available for photographic prints and downloads HERE!







The Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad was purchased by the Missouri Pacific Railroad Company (MoPac), a subsidiary of the Union Pacific Railroad in 1988. By that time, the century old company served six mid-western states with more than 3,377 miles of track. Today, it continues to operates as part of the Union Pacific Railroad system.


Missouri Pacific Railroad (1851-1982) - The Missouri Pacific Railroad, also known as the MoPac, was one of the first railroads in the United States west of the Mississippi River. The discovery of gold in California in 1848 ignited the need for more rapid and dependable transportation to the west and leaders in St. Louis, Missouri soon visualized a railroad all the way to the Pacific Ocean. These leaders soon secured a Missouri charter in 1849 for the Pacific Railroad which would extend from St. Louis to California. On July 4, 1851, the ground-breaking ceremony for the Pacific Railroad was held in St. Louis and the first section of the track was completed in 1852. Expansion of the railroad was interrupted by the Civil War, but afterwards was soon resumed and by 1865, it was the first railroad to serve Kansas City.


In 1872, the Pacific Railroad was reorganized as the Missouri Pacific Railroad, due to high debts. The following year, Jay Gould, an extremely controversial New York financier, began to invest in several western railroad, including the Union Pacific, Kansas Pacific, Denver Pacific and the Central Pacific. Seeing the Missouri Pacific Railroad as a threat, he bought controlling interest in the company in 1879 and became its president. Gould soon developed a system which extending through Colorado, Nebraska, Arkansas, Texas, and Louisiana. By the 1980s MoPac owned almost 11,500 miles of railroad and over 1,500 locaomotives, in 11 states from Chicago in the east, Pueblo, Colorado, in the west, Omaha in the north, and south to the Mexican border at Laredo, Texas.


Gould remained in control of the Missouri Pacific until 1915. Two years later the line was merged with the St Louis, Iron Mountain and Southern Railway (SLIMS) and reorganized. The company later acquired or gained a controlling interest in other lines in Texas, including the Gulf Coast Lines, International-Great Northern Railroad, and the Texas and Pacific Railway.


The railroad thrived through the early 20th Century until railroad traffic, especially passenger service, began to dwindle. In the mid-1960s, the Missouri Pacific aggressively began to discontinue passenger trains. On December 22, 1982, the Missouri Pacific merged with Union Pacific and Western Pacific Railroad companies to create the largest system at that time. The Missouri Pacific, though now a part of the Union Pacific System, maintained its own corporate and commercial identity until January 1, 1997.  


Northern Pacific Railroad, 1943Northern Pacific Railroad (1864-1970) - Chartered by the Federal Government on July 2, 1864, the Northern Pacific was the first northern transcontinental railroad in the United States. The federal charter and the completion of its mainline in 1883 were major factors in the opening of the northern tier of United States. Operating primarily in the north-central region of the United States, the railroad served a large area, including extensive trackage in Idaho, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin.


The company was first headquartered in Brainerd, Minnesota when it was granted some 47,000,000 acres of land to building rail transportation to undeveloped territories. Like other start-up railroad companies, the Northern Pacific struggled with financing during its first few years, as the costs of building a railroad into a vast wilderness were drastically underestimated. Organizationally, it survived numerous financial upsets, takeovers, reorganizations, financial panics, and lawsuits, but finally, the final spike was driven in at Gold Creek, Montana on September 8, 1883.


For the next two decades the railroad continued to build tracks and grow and by the turn of the century was famous for its passenger service throughout the northern United States. By the 1950s, the Northern pacific had almost 7,000 route miles in its system. However, after more than a century of operation, in March, 1970, the Northern Pacific merged with the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad, Great Northern Railway, Spokane, Portland and Seattle Railway, and their subsidiaries to become the Burlington Northern Railroad.



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