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Dec 11

Kansas Railroads Information, 1861-1998

Posted on December 11, 2019 at 11:13 PM by Bill Sowers

Before the highways and air travel there were railroad tracks crisscrossing Kansas carrying goods and people to just about every corner of the state. Other then Amtrak the passenger trains have long disappeared and many of the smaller freight lines are gone as well.

In 1983 and 1998 the Kansas Corporation Commission published two books, "A History of Railroad Construction and Abandonment Within the State of Kansas" (1983), and "A history of railroad construction, ownership and abandonment within the state of Kansas" (1998), which took on the task of documenting the comings and goings of railroad lines and companies within the state. Prepared by V. L. Wenger, the author states in his introduction to the 1983 edition:

"This report is intended to be a complete history of Kansas railroads, indicating the dates when railroad main lines and branches were placed into operation and the dates when abandonments took place. It will be noted the roads have been grouped under the eventual parent or operating road whenever possible. Lines with independent ownership are included with the grouping to which they will subsequently belong."

Though primarily statistics and charts these books give the researcher a detailed look at the changes which have taken place as highways and air carriers have replaced part of what railroads provided to the people of Kansas for many years.

You can view these document in the State Library of Kansas' KGI Online Library here:

A history of railroad construction and abandonment within the state Kansas

A History of Railroad Construction, Ownership and Abandonment Within the State of Kansas