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MisterPleasant
01-01-2008, 02:54 AM
Growing up in Enid, OK in the 1960s, I was able to watch Rock Island, Frisco, and ATSF trains on a daily basis. All three railroads had large yards in Enid at one time, no doubt to service the massive grain elevator complex that now sits mostly empty, as well as the long gone Champlin Oil Refinery. I moved away in 1979, and visits have become less frequent. Looking at current UP and BNSF system maps, it has become apparent that many of the branches that existed in my youth are now abandoned and removed.

I have a few questions about the abandoments. If anyone has any information regardings dates, and whether the track still exists, I would appreciate the information.

Frisco - Beaumont KS-Vernon TX line [NE-SW]. The line appears to be abandoned from Beaumont to Enid. Enid to Frederick, OK is now Farmrail.

Frisco - Tulsa OK-Avard OK line [E-W]. Intact cross-state line for BNSF.

ATSF - Kiowa KS-Guthrie OK line [NW-SE]. Abandoned?

Rock Island - Wichita KS-Fort Worth TX [N-S]. Intact, originally sold to OK&T, now UP's main N-S line in central Oklahoma.

Rock Island - Enid OK-Ponca City OK [NE]. Branched off of the Frisco-Beaumont KS line a few miles NE of Enid. Abandoned?

Rock Island - Enid OK-Watonga OK [SW]. This line originally cut off from the main N-S Rock Island tracks on the south side of town, passing by the Enid HS football field and through a neighborhood. The cut off was abandoned when I was a child, but the line west as far as Ringwood was still in use via a connection from the Frisco-Frederick line. This looks to be abandoned now.

Thanks in advance for any updates.

mkmarshall
12-16-2014, 11:16 PM
Hello, I also wanted to respond to this post since it involves the rail lines radiating from Enid that I'm researching.The southwest to northeast Frisco line is completely gone from Enid to at least Ark City, KS. You can still see the connection near 30th St. and Willow in Enid (the switch is still there where the main line took off for Beaumont). As you pointed out, Farmrail/Grainbelt still operates to the southwest out of Enid to Clinton and Frederick.
BNSF does still operate the line from Tulsa to Avard and has been doing quite a bit of work on it in the Avard area.
The ATSF line from Guthrie to Fairmont was sold two years ago by ODOT to an outfit called Montoff Transportation which made a feeble attempt to restore the line but ended up scrapping it. Montoff is notorious for scrapping lines and the State knew that but sold it anyway. I was a member of a group that made a proposal to ODOT to revive the line for both freight and passenger service but we were not given serious consideration.
The old Rock Island line running north and south is the main UP presence in Enid and the line recently was sold by the State back to the UP. The State has been steadily divesting itself of rail lines they purchased in years past. ODOT is not rail-friendly, choosing rather to make their bed with the paving contractors and lobbyists.
The old Rock Island line that curved east in North Enid and ran to Ponca City by way of Tonkawa is completely gone. Fortunately, this and most of the other old ROWs are still discernible and can be followed, to an extent, by automobile and certainly via Google Earth. Many sections of these abandoned lines, however, have been reclaimed by nature or farmers.
The old Rock Island line that ran due west out of Enid is also no longer there. I used to live just west of Enid High School and those tracks ran right behind our house. I don't recall seeing many trains at all on that line, however, even back in the early 1960's when we lived in that neighborhood.
My plan this coming year is to photograph all of these ROWs and, as I stated in my reply to your other post, produce a book chronicling the histories of all these lines in relation to Enid. If you have information you would be willing to share, I would be most grateful. I'll be glad to credit the source, of course. It's amazing to me that very few of the towns and cities along these rail lines have any historical information available concerning the construction and operation of the lines. Thank goodness for the internet! Mike Marshall