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Old RR Grade That Bypasses Colbert OK

Posted by Brian556 
Old RR Grade That Bypasses Colbert OK
April 10, 2018 06:20PM
This grade is strange. It splits away from the current tracks, bypasses Colbert to the east, and rejoins them north of town. Anybody know the history of/ reason for this grade?

I had looked at all the old maps that are available online, and they offer no insight or clues.

Google Map Of Area
Re: Old RR Grade That Bypasses Colbert OK
April 10, 2018 10:02PM
I could be wrong, but it might be the old MKT (Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad) Katy since it more or less follows US 75 and passes through Durant. Below is a link to an old map at the Katy Railroad Historical Society (KRHS). Probably the best place for info.


[www.katyrailroad.org]

Edit: I'm 99% sure that is the MKT, I can follow it on your map.

Good Luck



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 04/11/2018 09:33AM by Frank.
Re: Old RR Grade That Bypasses Colbert OK
April 11, 2018 02:56AM
Could it possibly have to do with the service to the Prisoner of War Camp located near Springtown, Oklahoma utilized from 1942 until the end of World War II?

I am not completely useless, I can always be used as a bad example.
Re: Old RR Grade That Bypasses Colbert OK
April 11, 2018 06:07AM
Brian -

It was part of the same MKT, now UP, built in the early 1900's, providing a northbound double track, albeit widely separated, between Colbert and Springtown for a more gentle grade.

I've got a lot more details and photos. Abandoned about 1970, some bridges removed, and ROW built over for local roads in places.

PIA to post pics here since Photobucket changed its policy so will e-mail some to your later.

M C



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/11/2018 06:35AM by M C Toyer.
Re: Old RR Grade That Bypasses Colbert OK
April 11, 2018 07:14PM
I hate be one to correct people who are much more familiar with a subect than I, but on the maps I see (ST)ringtown is about 50 miles north of Colbert. Sorry to DallasCop2566 and MC.
Re: Old RR Grade That Bypasses Colbert OK
April 11, 2018 07:48PM
Thanks, MC
Glad that you are back on the forum. I knew you would know about this better than anyone.
I'm pretty annoyed with photobucket myself.
I know this grade has a cool one-lane tunnel under it on River Rd
Re: Old RR Grade That Bypasses Colbert OK
April 11, 2018 08:42PM
Brian -

You probably saw the River Road underpass of the abandoned line is dated 1906 and as I recall the whole line in OK was rebuilt when the double track was added. There is another bridge I haven't gotten to on the old Colbert Ferry Road so not sure of its status. A third, just south of OK 91 east of Colbert, was removed about 1970 and the land reverted to the owner. North of OK 91 the abandoned ROW is now a road.

You can see a trace of the abandoned line almost to Calera on current aerials.

The double track shows on some ca 1920-30s USGS maps and on the 1936 OK Highway Department county maps. The ca 1970's USGS TOPOs show the abandoned line. I'll send you the links by e-mail if you don't have them.

Did you stop by the city park in Colbert? They saved one span of the 1931 US 75 "free bridge." It was a short pony truss on the OK side, all the other four were through trusses, so they narrowed the pony to make it look taller.

I travel to Tulsa about once a month and have photographed many of the bridges and overpasses on the active MKT/UP line. Just east of the main Choctaw Casino parking garage south of Durant there is a real narrow steep incline arch bridge over the track that looks like its ready to fall.

M C



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/11/2018 08:58PM by M C Toyer.
Re: Old RR Grade That Bypasses Colbert OK
April 11, 2018 08:56PM
Frank Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I hate be one to correct people who are much more
> familiar with a subect than I, but on the maps I
> see (ST)ringtown is about 50 miles north of
> Colbert. Sorry to DallasCop2566 and MC.

Frank -

You are correct about the distance to Stringtown. I was writing from memory this morning and now that I've checked my maps the double track just ran from Staley to Calera. Maybe I confused Sterrett and Stringtown but the original plan in 1906 was to double track from Denison to Atoka

I've not found the abandoned separated double track on any MKT maps but as noted above appears on several USSG and county road maps from 1906-1975 and traces are very apparent on current aerials I've walked a good bit of it.

M C



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/11/2018 10:04PM by M C Toyer.
Re: Old RR Grade That Bypasses Colbert OK
April 11, 2018 10:00PM
Too much trouble to post the image so here is a transcript:
==============

DENISON TO ATOKA
Katy Expects to Get Work Started During May

Special to The News

Denison, Tex., - April 30, - It is probable that the contract has been let for the work to be done by the Missouri, Kansas and Texas between Denison and Atoka. It is known that management expects to get the work started during May and to have it well under way by the last of that month.

The bridge and building department is now constructing concrete culverts and is making them wide enough for a double track. From Red River to Sterrett, I.T., the old line will be used permanently, though a new line will be built. The new line will miss Colbert, I.T., by less than a mile. From Sterrett to Atoka the revised line will be built for two tracks. One track will be laid at once and after the roadbed has settled the old track will be moved over.

-----------------
The Dallas Morning News, May 6, 1906
================================

note: Sterrett was an earlier name for Cale Switch which became Calera. I'm not sure right now if the side by side double track from Sterrett (Calera) to Atoka was actually built then old section later removed when the separated double track from Red River to Calera was abandoned but there are currently side by side double tracks through Durant, Atoka and Stringtown - M C
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