Missouri’s Home-State Railroad

By MICHAEL BUSHNELL
Northeast News
May 29, 2013

 

Postcard.5.29.2013

 

Published by the Missouri Pacific & Iron Mountain Railroad by Buxton & Skinner Litho, St. Louis. This promotional postcard bears the heading: “The Missouri Pacific between St. Louis, Kansas City and Colorado, the Highway to the Heights.”

The Missouri Pacific was born in 1852 in St. Louis at a festive groundbreaking attended by local dignitaries and a handful of businessmen. The railroad grew exponentially, capitalizing on the westward expansion that was taking the country by storm. By 1855, track had been laid as far west as Jefferson City, Mo., linking the “MoPac” with numerous smaller carriers in central Missouri. By 1858, the end of the line was extended to Tipton, Mo., then the eastern terminus for a new overland mail route to San Francisco.

The onset of the Civil War in 1860 caused the newly christened company to slow its growth dramatically as a good percentage of its line was destroyed by battles throughout the state. Shortly after the war, however, on Sept. 19, 1865, the last spike was driven connecting Kansas City and St. Louis. The following day a train departed from Kansas City at 3 a.m. and arrived in St. Louis at 5 p.m. The Route of the Eagles was born. Over the next 120 or so years, the railroad became the backbone of a network of lines throughout the Midwest and south.

By 1928, MoPac’s lines spanned Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana. Smaller spur lines connected smaller towns along the line and connections could be made with other rail carriers for destinations outside Missouri Pacific’s network. During the 1960s and 70s, passenger train ridership dwindled and the MoPac placed a heavier reliance on freight in order to survive. In 1980, the Missouri Pacific, the Western Pacific and the Union Pacific filed formal merger documents with the Interstate Commerce Commission. In 1997, The Missouri Pacific and Union Pacific filed formal merger documents making the “UP” the surviving entity of more than 140 years of rail history.

The card was never mailed. This postcard is significant to Missouri Pacific history as it recognizes the 1917 “merger” (acquisition out of receivership would be more apt) of the St. Louis, Iron Mountain & Southern Railroad by the Missouri Pacific. There’s really no way to tell where this specific section of track is located. The route from St. Louis to Kansas City largely followed the Missouri River to Kansas City. After departing Union Station, the route followed the old Santa Fe Trail into Kansas through Council Grove, then headed directly west through Kanapolis, Hoisington, Scott City and on to Pueblo, Colo., where it linked with the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad.

 

 

 

Comments are closed.

  • ‘One of the greatest playgrounds in America’

    April 26th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News The description inside this vintage 1930s Curt Teich linen postcard folder of the Lake of the Ozarks reads, “Lake of the Ozarks is formed by a huge dam


    Those were some postcards! (And that’s no exaggeration)

    April 19th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News William H. “Dad” Martin of Ottawa, Kan., is considered to be the father of the exaggerated postcard.


    We all went fishin’ with Harold

    April 12th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News “Gone fishin, instead of just a wishin.” Those once-obscure lyrics became Harold Easley’s theme song as he ventured weekly to various outdoor spots throughout the world to spotlight


    Sharp Building stood downtown

    April 5th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News This week’s postcard, published by the South West News Company of Kansas City, Mo., features a Real Photo postcard view of the Sharp Building on Petticoat Lane.


    Union Station image adorned with swastikas didn’t symbolize Nazis

    March 29th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News This week we feature a souvenir postcard published by long-time postcard publisher Max Bernstein in 1921.


  • Come on, ride this train

    March 22nd, 2016
    by

    Northeast News This week’s postcard collage shows the Kansas City Southern Lines Southern Belle – Sweetheart of American Trains.


    Sweet sound of St. Pat’s

    March 15th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News Postcards such as the one above have long been used to convey greetings to friends and relatives afar. The man who became St.


    Whizzo the clown, that’s who

    March 9th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News “Who’s always smiling, never sad? It’s Whizzo!/ Who makes the boys and girls so glad, Whizzo./ He’s a merry fellow with a big red shiny nose,/ dressed in


    West Terrace one of Kessler’s first works

    March 1st, 2016
    by

    Northeast News West Terrace Park was one of Kansas City’s first parks originally proposed by Landscape Architect George Kessler in his plan to develop a “city within a park” in


    Corby legend lives on in St. Joseph

    February 24th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News When John Corby passed through the trading post area of Joseph Robidoux on the Missouri River in 1843, he noted that the location would be an excellent place


  • Local Weather

  • What’s Happening

    Weekend Preview: Happenings around the Historic Northeast

    Northeast News April 29, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – It’s time for another weekend in Kansas City, and that means […]

    Looking for #1? It’s here in the Northeast

    Northeast News April 29, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – Two years ago Stephan Zweifler and Carl Markus pursued their dream […]

    KC Council takes streetcar test run

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News April 28, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – The KCMO City Council gathered at Union Station […]