Missouri’s Home-State Railroad

Northeast News
May 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.

  • Day of thanks develops into national holiday over 240 years

    November 25th, 2015

    Northeast News What we celebrate as Thanksgiving is traditionally tied to a three-day feast involving the Pilgrims after their first harvest in 1621.

    Tunnel gave thrilling ride from downtown to West Bottoms

    November 18th, 2015

    Northeast News Standing in the glass foyer of the State Street Securities building at Eighth Street and Pennsylvania Avenue and looking east along the Eighth Street corridor, it’s easy to

    Corner market did business on Ninth St.

    November 11th, 2015

    Northeast News Although there’s a vacant lot where Benedict L. Bredburg’s Metropolitan Grocery once stood, such “corner markets” were the rule rather than the exception in the fabric of communities

    Veterinary school thrives near turn of the century

    November 4th, 2015

    Northeast News What began in 1891 in two rented rooms in the Schutte Building near 11th

    Author Poe lives on through this postcard

    October 27th, 2015

    Northeast News This Halloween, we depart from our traditional Jack-O-Lantern or witching-style postcard and offer this literary postcard published by the Webb Freyschlag Company of Kansas City.

  • Kansas City’s first fire fighters honored in historic postcard

    October 20th, 2015

    Northeast News In March 1867, the Missouri Legislature granted permission to allow Kansas City to organize an official fire department.
    Later that year, an engine company was formed (McGee Hook and

    Sugar Creek’s original amusement park

    October 13th, 2015

    Northeast News Fairmont Park was developed in 1897 by early Kansas City railroad developer Arthur E.

    Kansas City’s first fire fighters honored

    October 6th, 2015

    Northeast News In March 1867, the Missouri Legislature granted permission to allow Kansas City to organize an official fire department.
    In August of that same year an engine company was formed

    Historic postcard offers glimpse of beautiful Penn Valley Park

    September 29th, 2015

    Northeast News The three-acre lake shown on the front of this black and white postcard was once part of an area of ramshackle shanties called Vinegar Hill and bordered OK

    School’s important part of Church’s history

    September 22nd, 2015

    Northeast News Established in 1890 as a school for girls, the Scarritt Bible and Training Institute was located at Harris (now Norledge) and Askew Avenues in Historic Northeast Kansas City.

  • Local Weather

  • What’s Happening

    Rep. John Rizzo to run for Missouri’s vacant 11th District Senate seat

    Joe Jarosz Northeast News Nov. 27, 2015 Kansas City, Missouri — Over the Thanksgiving holiday, John Rizzo, D-Kansas City, announced […]

    Urban Dirty rides in 2015

    Down and dirty along Cliff Drive. Last weekend, men, women and children of all ages took on a cycling course specifically designed to test their strength and stamina during the first

    Celebrate Whoville Holidays with the Grinch and Cindy Lou Who

    Northeast News KANSAS CITY, Missouri — ‘Tis the season for holiday Who-spitality” at the City Market. Whos of all ages are invited to Whoville Holidays, an annual tradition at the City Market.