Fairgrounds Branch Question

Discussion in 'The Fairgrounds Branch aka The Hill' started by ralphie79wi, Jun 30, 2013.

  1. ralphie79wi

    ralphie79wi Member

    Fellow Frisco Researchers--

    I've been researching the Fairgrounds Branch (and documenting here http://kcspur.blogspot.com/) and have run into a dead end. I haven't been able to figure out if or how the Frisco served the Battenfeld Grease Company (an industry listed in Mark Davidson's summary post).

    According to this 1957 Sanborn Map (http://tinyurl.com/m3us8ps), Battenfeld was west of Roanoke Road and served by a rail spur behind their various buildings.

    The spur goes north (http://tinyurl.com/l5gn8ta) and merges with another parallel to SW Blvd, crossing one that served Carthage Marble. It, however, ends short of Schutte Lumber (http://tinyurl.com/kw48sh3), with no apparent connection to the Fairgrounds Branch.

    The spur parallel to SW Blvd, also goes southwest, but runs off the map and into the state of Kansas and I've only been able to locate online Sanborn maps for Missouri. From this last location -- 31st and Bell Streets (http://goo.gl/maps/JpSxn) -- the Frisco is veering west around the MKT (away from SW Blvd), so maybe that parallel spur isn't Frisco track or it connects back farther southwest around Rosedale Yard.

    Anyone know more details about this area, happen to have track schematics or Sanborn Maps for the state of Kansas?

    --Rich Steenwyk
    Milwaukee, WI
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 1, 2013
  2. Oldguy

    Oldguy Member Frisco.org Supporter

    First, let me say that I know very little about that branch. However, looking at Google maps (from the link you provided), there is/was rail still extant in several places. It looks like it ended just east of where Roanoke and Karnes meet. There is a red pickup sitting on the old ROW and if one follows it north, there are remnants of an old switch. More trackage can be seen off 34th between Roanoke and Terrace.

    One can also see the trackage at Schutte Lumber and it looks like a spur went off at 30th through the lumber yard down to Carthage Marble and then to what is now Fisher Electric Co. (the blue bldg.).

    Don't know if this is what you are looking for.
  3. Oldguy

    Oldguy Member Frisco.org Supporter

  4. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Frisco.org Supporter

    Rich, Mark Davidson and I are going to get the Industry Schematics for the Fairgrounds Branch posted soon. I thought I had a scanned version on my computer but I do not. Mark is truly subject matter expert on the branch, however his frequency of visiting the site has dropped off. I'll give him a call.
  5. ralphie79wi

    ralphie79wi Member

    Thanks, I had come across that site later on, but unfortunately, their archives aren't any newer than 1908, which appears to be before the Rosedale area of KC was developed (or is just not in their collection).
  6. ralphie79wi

    ralphie79wi Member

    I think I found my answer. The spur in question -- the one parallel to SW Blvd southwest of Schutte Lumber -- is shown on a 1971 topo map from Historic Aerials (http://tinyurl.com/kguxoou). It crossed SW Blvd just shy to the south of the intersection of Eaton St and SW Blvd (even a current Google Maps view shows the fence line and parking lot for the adjacent lot cut off on an angle) and then formed the switchback to follow Roanoke Rd south behind Battenfeld Grease. Earlier aerial maps from that same site are hard to make out the detail on, but there are cars visible spotted next to the industries in 1966. The 1983 topo map is of a different resolution (doesn't show rail detail) and the tracks in question are gone in the 1995 topo.

    It isn't immediately clear if this is still Frisco track, but the city property data website (http://tinyurl.com/klvbefx) -- FWIW -- seems to indicate that the BNSF (nee Frisco) surrounded the UP (nee MKT) at the latter's Rosedale Yard. So Battenfeld Grease and the others on this switchback could've been Frisco customers but they were served from a spur originating closer to Rosedale Yard than from the traditional Fairgrounds Branch.
  7. Oldguy

    Oldguy Member Frisco.org Supporter

  8. RogerRT

    RogerRT Staff Member Staff Member Frisco.org Supporter

    Part of this line from 29th St. to 31st St. was constructed in 1873 by the Kansas City, Memphis & Mobile RR, which was later purchased by the KC & Southern RY, then the KC, Osceola & Southern RY. The problem was south of 31st. St. was the site of the Westport Tunnel which bankrupted the company before it was finished. The KCM&M also graded the line from Mill St. to Dodson, this line was later built as the KC Public Service Co., today's Trolley Track Trail. John Blair's KC&S intended to use the line as their entrance into KC but the cost of completing the tunnel & the heavy grade was too much so the KC&S built north from Dodson to Coburg instead. After the KCO&S was purchased by Frisco & as industry around Rosedale developed Frisco used the 29th St. Line to reach Coleman Highlands, but instead of completing the tunnel they built around it. I did see a newspaper article online regarding Blair's intent to use the 29th St. route, but can't find it offhand. Here is an interesting link about the tunnel, http://www.deanrealtyco.com/Downtown_Underground/History/

  9. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Frisco.org Supporter

  10. ralphie79wi

    ralphie79wi Member

    The track schematics posted on 30 August answer this question -- MKT had a spur originating in their yard, crossing SW Blvd and serving a few customers in the alley and then on a switch back west of Roanoke Road.
  11. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Frisco.org Supporter

    Last edited: Apr 8, 2016
  12. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Frisco.org Supporter

    Attached, thanks to Mark Davidson, is Drawing Number 6301-275 of the Fairgrounds Branch, scanned at 300 DPI as a tiff file. We believe it dates back to the 50's.

    I also have it scanned at 600 DPI, however it is a 1.3Gb file!

    Attached Files:

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