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Railroads in Kansas

Dwight, Kansas on the Rock Island Railroad

C. R. I. & P. -- Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad

C. K.& N. -- Chicago, Kansas and Nebraska Railroad

S. P. -- Southern Pacific

Route (as-built):


Cook County

Chicago (1852), Englewood, Normal Park, Hamilton Park, Auburn Park, Gresham, 95th Street, 99th Street, Washington Heights, Givins, 116th Street, Blue Island, Robbins, Midlothian, Oak Forest, Tinley Park, Summit,

Will County

Mokena, Gilletts, New Lenox, Gaugers, Joliet (1853), Rockdale, Bird's Bridge, Cherry Hill,

Grundy County

Minooka, Sand Ridge, Morris, Stockdale,

La Salle County

Seneca, Marseilles, Brickton, Ottawa, Utica, La Salle, Peru,

Bureau County

Spring Valley, Marquette, DePue, Bureau, Tiskilwa, Wyanet, Armo, Sheffield, Mineral,

Henry County

Annawan, Atkinson, Geneseo (1854), Green River, Colona,

Rock Island County

Carbon Cliff, Silvis, East Moline, Moline, Rock Island (1854/1856), Mississippi River,


Davenport, W. Davenport (1856), Farnan, Turnout, Wilcott, Stockton, Durant, Wilton, IA to Muscatine, IA, Moscow, Atalissa, West Liberty, Downey, Iowa City, Vernon (1862), Tiffin, Oxford, Homestead, South Amana, Marengo, Ladora, Victor, Carnforth, Brooklyn (1863), Randick, Malcom, Ascalon, Grinnell, Turner, Kellogg (1867), Amboy, Newton, Metz, Colfax, Cisco, Mitchellville, Altoona, Christy, Oakwood Station, Des Moines, Commerce (1869), Booneville, Van Meter, De Soto, Clucas, Earlham, Dexter, Stuart, Menlo, Casey, Adair, Anita, Wiota, Atlantic,

Marne                         |
Walnut                        |
Avoca                         | reroute 9/14/53 (RWY AGE 10/5/53)
Shelby                        |  Underwood
Minden                        |  Weston
Neola                         |
Rigg, Council Bluffs.


Wilton, IA to Muscatine, IA (1859), Fruitland, Letts, Fredonia, Columbus Junction, Cotter.

Ainsworth, -------------------+
Washington (1871),            |
Kay, -------------------------+
Brighton, E. Pleasant Plain, Perlee, Otero, Fairfield, Libertyville, Eldon, Laddsville, Floris,

Belknap, ---------------------+
Drakesville,                  |
Paris, -----------------------+
Unionville,                   |
Udell,                        |
Sharon,                       |
Centerville, -----------------+
Numa, Seymour, Kniffin, Harvard, Allerton, Clio, Lineville,


Mercer, Alvord, Princeton, Mill Grove, Spickards, Tindall, Cobb, Trenton, Lake, Hickory Creek,

Coburn, -------------------------------------+
Jamesport (1870),                            |
Blake                                   Lock Springs
Gallatin                                Nettleton
Highland                                Polo
Altamont                                Elmira
Winston (site of Jesse James holdup),   Lawson
Mabel                                   Excelsior Springs
Cameron (1871),                         Moseby
Keystone                                Stockdale
Turney                                       |
Lathrop                                      |
Holt                                         |
Kearney                                      |
Chandler,                                    |
Liberty,                                     |
Birmingham, ---------------------------------+
Randolph, N. Kansas City, Kansas City (1879).


...to Topeka, Kansas via Union Pacific trackage rights (see Kansas Pacific)

Shawnee County

Topeka (1887), Wannamaker (1887), Bishop (aka Sugar Works, Hansford), Valencia (1887), Willard (1887),

Wabaunsee County

Maple Hill (1887), Vera, Paxico (1887), McFarland (1887), Alma (1887), Edwin, Volland (1887), Ceila (aka Celia), Templin, Alta Vista (aka Cable City)(1887),

Morris County

Jones, Dwight (April 16, 1887), Baty, White City (May 1887), Latimer (1887),

Dickinson County

Herington (1887), Rishel (aka Redwood) (1887),

Marion County

Ramona (1887), Tampa (1887), Durham (1887), Waldeck,

McPherson County

Dolespark, Canton (1887), Galva (aka Gates?)(1887), McPherson, Groveland, Aiken, Inman (aka Superior)(1887),

Reno County

Medora (1887), Imogene, Slade, Hutchinson (1887), Morton, Whiteside (aka Sherman), Partridge, Arlington (1887), Janet, Langdon (1887), Turon (1887),

Pratt County

Williamsport, Preston (1887), Natrona (aka Olympia)(1887), Pratt (1887), Smalley (aka Smally), Cullison (1887),

Kiowa County

Wellsford, Haviland (1887), Brenham (1887), Greensburg (1887), Joy, Mullinville (1887),

Ford County

Bucklin (1887), Kingsdown (1887), Bloom (1887),

Clark County

Mineola (aka Minneola)(1887),

Meade County

Advance, Fowler (1887), Meade (aka--Meade Center)(1887), Missler (aka Jasper), Collano, Hobart, Plains (aka West Plains)(1887),

Seward County

Kismet (1887), -------------------------------------+
Arkalon (1888),                                     |
     bybassed by the Samson of the Cimarron project |
Cimarron River, ------------------------------------+
Shamrock, Hayne, Liberal (March 1888),

Courtesy/Copyright 1994 (C) Rock Island Technical Society (RITS)

Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, Texas, New Mexico.

The Rock Island did not get into Kansas City until 1879 when they got trackage rights on the Hannibal and St. Joseph from Cameron, MO to Kansas City.

Marcus A. Low, a lawyer for the Rock Island in Missouri, made the proposal to build the new road and he was given authority from the Rock Island Board of Directors to go full speed on the project.

The Chicago, Kansas and Nebraska Railway (formed in 1885) built the 1,388 miles of track, mostly in Kansas, from 1886 to 1888, for the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad. Marcus A. Low became the president for the C. K. and N.

Leavenworth is a termini of the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad which crosses the Missouri on the Kansas and Missouri (iron) bridge at Fort Leavenworth and connects with the Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad at Cameron, MO. The Leavenworth Branch runs the west end of the bridge at Fort Leavenworth to Leavenworth City (distance two miles).

April 16, 1887 "The Wasp" "The first locomotive on the Chicago, Kansas and Nebraska Railway reaches the city of Dwight." This marks "the completion of the Great Rock Island Railroad route to Dwight."

New two-story C. K. and N. Depot at Dwight: "Messrs. Harvey Bros. and Kinney, who have the contract to build 54 depots for the Rock Island Railroad in Kansas have already completed 14 and say this will be the handsomest.

The citizens of Dwight were grateful that the rail line was completed to their new town, so on Thursday, April 21, 1887 all the Railroad workers in the vicinity were invited to a banquet at the Grand View Hotel in their honor. There were so many workers and townspeople in attendance that there were three settings. There were 85 men fed at the first table setting, 50 at the second and 50 citizens of the town at the third.

Thursday, April 23, 1887 the first freight was unloaded at Dwight consisting of one car each of coal and lumber.

By May 28, 1887 there was an average of 12 trains daily at Dwight.

June 1, 1887 The Dwight station is now open for business -- daily passenger train service began.

By the time Joe Fuest was elected to the board of (Seward) county commissioners in the fall of 1891, the Rock Island Railroad had built through the south part of Seward County to Liberal, leaving Springfield high and dry and sealing the doom of Fargo Springs.

March 4, 1910 "The Spirit" "Work commenced on the new depot. Will be larger than the one destroyed by fire."

The flood of 1914 on the Cimarron River that washed out the Railroad bridges, and the decision by the Railroad officials to move the Railroad crossing down stream, was Arkalon's death blow.

April 8, 1915 "The Signal" "The Turks who have been employed on the Railroad here were relieved of their jobs and departed for St. Joe."

April 22, 1915 "The Signal" "The Rock Island Railroad has gone into the hands of receivers on petition filed by American Steel Foundries Company on a claim of $15,818 which the railroad has not paid.

L.E. Euler also came in 1916 as the "second trick" agent at Dwight and worked until sometime in the mid-'30's.

July 19, 1917 "The Signal" John Ussary became the appointed regular agent for Dwight in 1914 and remained at Dwight until he retired in 1946.

March 19, 1925 "The Dwight Advance" "Work on double track to begin soon. Contract let to Flick Construction Company. New track will run from Latimer to Doubling Spur east of town. It is possible trains will be running over it by fall."

May 21, 1925 "The Dwight Advance" "One hundred eighty-two men employed on railroad construction. More will be employed as work progresses."

May 26, 1925 "The Dwight Advance" "It is costing the Rock Island Railroad all the way from $92 to $200 an acre to secure needed right-of-way through Morris County."

June 14, 1928 "The Dwight Advance" "Rock Island Railroad goes to oil ---- Oil burning locomotives shortly will be substituted for coal on more than 1500 miles of Rock Island Railroad lines in Kansas. Rock Island Railroad will erect roadside oil stations to serve the 125 locomotives used in the territory at Herington, Pratt, Liberal, Bucklin, etc."

April 28, 1932 "The Dwight Advance" "New Rock Island Railroad Time Table" "Dwight is now served by only a single regular stop passenger train as a result of the new Rock Island Railroad line card which went into effect Sunday. Only No. 18, the noon east-bound passenger remains. No. 23, the morning westbound local passenger has been made a through train on this division."

February 1938 The Rock Island Railroad Rocket made its inaugural trip through Dwight, operating between Kansas City and Oklahoma City with one round trip each day. This train was pulled by a 1200 horsepower, sixteen cylinder Electro-Motive Diesel locomotive, capable of making 117 miles an hour. The cars were made of Budd stainless steel. The train was equipped with radio and telephone systems, air-conditioned, and with the most modem interior decorations. The train had a seating capacity of 136 persons. A diner served all meals.

February 10, 1938 "The Dwight Advance" "Next Sunday, Feb. 13, the Rock Island Railroad will place on this division one of their fast new streamline trains. This mechanical marvel of speed will whiz through Dwight at the unbelievable rate of 80-90 mph."

Swan Bolinder, who retired in 1940 had been Section Foreman at Dwight for over 35 years. Swan Bolinder was replaced by Calvin Rankin who retired 27 January, 1969.

March 28, 1946 "Alta Vista Journal" "John Ussary retires from Rock Island Railroad March 30, 1946 after 30 years at Dwight as depot agent. He was replaced by Fred Smith, Alma" who was agent at Dwight for many years.

The Dwight depot was closed in the mid 1960s

The CRIandP ran into serious financial trouble in the late 1960's and 1970's. Mismanagement and union intransigence added to the line's woes, and forced a bankruptcy.

The 'Great' Rock Island Railroad ceased to exist (liquidated) and on March 23, 1980 the Cotton Belt Line took over.

The SSW/Cotton Belt was a 99.95% owned subsidiary of the S.P. The remaining stock was in a trust with a stipulation that it never be sold to the S.P.

The Anshutz/Rio Grande bought S.P., and the remaining SSW/Cotton Belt stock was also acquired.


Seward County History, compiled by Seward County Historical Society, 1979

Dwight, Kansas -- The First 100 Years (1887-1987) "You have our permission to include excerpts in your article, if you will mention where you obtained the information." Dorothy L. Gallaway, P.O. Box 186, Dwight, KS 66849

"THE CHICAGO, KANSAS, AND NEBRASKA" by STEVE HILE. Rock Island Technical Society

"THE CHICAGO, KANSAS, AND NEBRASKA RY -- PART II: DISTINCTIVE "DESIGN NO. 3" DEPOTS" by John Matrow. From THE ROCK ISLAND DIGEST, VOLUME 10, published by the Rock Island Technical Society, 1992.

Andreas, Alfred Theodore. Illustrated Historical Atlas of the State of Iowa. Chicago: Andreas Atlas Co. 1875

Andreas, A. T. HISTORY OF THE STATE OF KANSAS. Chicago. 1883

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