Fort Smith passenger station dates

Discussion in 'Passenger Operations' started by arkrail, Nov 7, 2011.

  1. arkrail

    arkrail Member Supporter

    Frisco originally operated from a passenger station at the foot of Garrison Avenue in Fort Smith. When Fort Smith Union Station opened (ca. May 1912), Frisco joined KCS in the new station. KCS ended train service to Fort Smith in 1941, in favor of shuttle bus service to their mainline in Oklahoma. At some point between June 1947 and August 1948, Frisco moved out of Fort Smith Union Station and back into their original passenger station on Garrison Avenue. Can anyone provide the date of that change, either from passenger circular, general order, or other railroad documentation?


    Update: Trains Magazine in September 1948 (p8) mentions that Frisco moved back into their own Fort Smith passenger station on July 1, 1948, after it not having been used as a passenger station for 36 years.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 7, 2011
  2. Coonskin

    Coonskin Member

    Can't help you with getting more specific with the return to the Garrison depot. However, this caught my eye:

    "Frisco originally operated from a passenger station at the foot of Garrison Avenue in Fort Smith."

    It's my understanding that the ORIGINAL depot was a brick two story depot not located on Garrison. However, I'm unsure as to where it was located. The Garrison depot replaced the brick one. Here's the only picture I have of of the original brick depot:

    Attached Files:

    mountaincreekar likes this.
  3. arkrail

    arkrail Member Supporter

    You are correct, and my wording of "original" depot is misleading. The Garrison Avenue station was constructed ca. 1903, I believe, and Frisco was obviously serving Fort Smith well before that date.

    Your photo of the brick station is most interesting, and the first that I have seen of any predecessor structures to the Garrison Avenue depot.
  4. Coonskin

    Coonskin Member

    Hi again arkrail:

    Like you, I wish I knew more about the Frisco Ft. Smith depot pictured.

    In the above picture, one can discern the river in the background. The passenger coach sets the mainline/siding(s) location. It appears to be a trolley track heading toward the camera.

    I have a 1903 map that is fuzzy, but it depicts the Frisco Depot being on the south west corner of North "A" street.

    I have attached the map below. Once the map is downloaded and expanded, one is somewhat able to discern the ornately scribed words "Frisco Station" on what appears to be North "A" Street.


    Attached Files:

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  5. john

    john Supporter


    A drawing of the original Fort Smith Frisco depot is now posted on Mike Condren's website. It is NOT in the new area where he has recently posted all the Frisco depot floorplans.

    To find the 1918 version of the original depot (it was still standing in 1918, in secondary use by Frisco) look underneath the heading Fort Smith/Van Buren Frisco Operations for a link labeled Ft. Smith/Van Buren Railroad Pages. Click on it and then on the link labeled ICC valuation reports.

    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2011
  6. I'm starting some track plans for my layout and I had some questions. So after Frisco moved back to the Garrison Ave. Station, was any other railroad using the Fort Smith Union Station? I know Missouri Pacific had there own depot across the tracks from the Frisco Garrison Ave. Station, but where did Midland Valley passengers(if there were any in the early 50's) board. Also I've seen pictures taken in the late 1950's of the KCS Dodger switching freight cars at the Union Station, Why were freight cars being switched at the passenger terminal that the KCS didn't even use(at that time)?
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 29, 2012
  7. arkrail

    arkrail Member Supporter

    Here is the notice about the return to the Fort Smith passenger station that appeared in the June 1948 issue of All Aboard. Fort-smith-June-1948-w.jpg
  8. Joe Lovett

    Joe Lovett Member

    Thank you Bill for your post!!! I always wondered when the depot was remodeled.

    mountaincreekar likes this.
  9. SteveM

    SteveM Member Supporter

    Looking at Andre's 2011 post, the assumed trolley line does look like part of a loop from the line in Garrison. So much to think about on the 1903 map. Looks like the MP accessed the tracks behind buildings on Garrison that are Zone 3 on the Frisco track charts??? Structure on the corner of C Street north of the depot that might be Miss Laura's?

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