Arkinda and Ardmore Subdivisions - Brief History This line comprising the Arkinda and Ardmore subdivision stretched from Hope, Arkansas to Ardmore, Oklahoma via Hugo, Oklahoma, a distance of approximately 222.7 miles crossing the former Texas Main Line at Hugo, Oklahoma. The "A&A" also crossed the "new" Texas Main Line at Madill, Oklahoma and had a connection to the "new" Texas Main Line from Kiersey Jct., Oklahoma to Texas Jct., Oklahoma. This connection was removed in 1934.
At the beginning of the twentieth century there was a grand plan by the Frisco to expand in Texas, Louisiana and the adjacent Gulf Coast areas. The "A&A" was an integral part of that plan. To be sure parts of the "A&A" were incorporated before this grand plan, however, the final layout of the line was influenced in large part by this grand scheme.
From about 1896 to 1913 the Frisco, known at that time as the ST. LOUIS & SAN FRANCISCO RAILROAD COMPANY, was in the midst of a grand scheme to expand and consolidate the Coastal Lines (Gulf Coast Lines - New Orleans to Brownsville), the Trinity and Brazos Valley Railroad (Ft. Worth, Dallas to Houston, Galveston) and the Menard line (Ft. Worth & Rio Grande Southern), with a proposed North-South line down the west side of the Mississippi River from Memphis to New Orleans. This line, incidentally, was an extension of the River Division line between St. Louis and Memphis. Ancillary to this was a proposed line from the North-South Mississippi River line to Hope, Arkansas that would connect with an existing Frisco line then being built to Ardmore, Oklahoma. This new southern Oklahoma line, known as the ST. LOUIS, SAN FRANCISCO AND NEW ORLEANS RAILROAD CO, running from Hope, Arkansas to Ardmore, Oklahoma was intended to transport traffic originating in Colorado, south and west Oklahoma and northern Texas, to New Orleans. This line was designed to be extended either to Lawton, Oklahoma or Wichita Falls, Texas.
During these years the Frisco and CRIP RR (Rock Island RR) either operated as a single and powerful system or were very closely aligned and the above mentioned scheme was part of a plan to greatly expand these two railroads.
By 1911, practically every feature of this plan had been carried out except the line down the west side of the Mississippi and the link between the Mississippi River line and Hope, Arkansas and the extension westward from Ardmore. It is interesting to note that in 1913 the Oklahoma, New Mexico and Pacific Railway Company under the direction of John Ringling (member of the Ringling family of circus fame) was constructing west from Ardmore with the stated intent of reaching Lawton, Oklahoma via Waurika as a possible Western Terminus. This seems to fall in place with what the Frisco had planned, although I have no conclusive proof that the Ringling Line and Frisco were in any way connected. The Ringling Line was eventually purchased by the ATSF Railroad.
ST. LOUIS SAN FRANCISCO AND NEW ORLEANS RAILROAD CO.
The St. Louis, San Francisco and New Orleans Railroad Co. was incorporated August 31, 1895, as The Arkansas and Choctaw Railway Co. under the general laws of Arkansas. Control passed to Choctaw Construction Company, June 11, 1901. By amendment to its articles, filed in Arkansas on October 2, 1902, the name was changed to St. Louis San Francisco and New Orleans Railway Co. with an authorized existence of 99 years.
The company was controlled by the Central Coal and Coke Company of Kansas City, Missouri, until June 11, 1901, during which time its railroad extended from Ashdown, Ark to Arkinda, Arkansas, about 24 miles. On the last named date it was decided to extend the railroad from Ashdown to Stamps, Arkansas and from Arkinda to Wichita Falls, Texas and the Choctaw Construction Company was organized for that purpose. Control was passed to the Choctaw Construction Company on June 11, 1901, which in turn was controlled by executive committee of its stock holders, consisting of Richard H. Keith, president of the Central Coal and Coke Company, George A. Madill, a director of the St. Louis and San Francisco Railroad and John Scullin of St. Louis.
June 21, 1902 stockholders of the Choctaw Construction Co. agreed to sell their holdings to the St. Louis and San Francisco Railroad Co. A syndicate was formed by the St. Louis and San Francisco Railroad Co. to finance such purchase, under an agreement dated July 8, 1902, which provided for control of the Company to pass to the St. Louis and San Francisco Railroad Co. The construction plans were changed to provide for a line of railroad from Hope, Arkansas to Ardmore, Indian Territory and control of the construction was vested in the syndicate for account of the St. Louis and San Francisco Railroad Co., July 1, 1902. The latter company by virtue of the agreement of July 8, 1902, became the owners of all the company's Securities on January 1, 1904.
On April 30, 1907, the company executed a formal deed conveying its property, rights and franchises to the St. Louis and San Francisco Railroad Company. At that date it owned a standard gauge, single track railroad extending westerly from Hope, Arkansas to Frisco Junction, Oklahoma, about 210 miles with a branch extending from Kiersey, Oklahoma to Texas Junction, Oklahoma a distance of 9.2 miles. This property was being operated on the date of sale as the St. Louis and San Francisco Railroad Company. Actual construction took 20 months.
NOTE: In this history no mention is made of the CRIP RR or the line between Frisco Jct. and Ardmore.
(From Six-Part Valuation Docket No. 400 as required by the Interstate Commerce Commission, St. Louis, Missouri, dated Nov. 11, 1924. Pages 448 to 456)
<u>Valuation Section 3B</u> - beginning West of Madill Mile Post 637.822 to Frisco Jct. = connection with CRIP RY MP 649.238
<u>Valuation Section 3D</u> - Ardmore beginning at connection with CRIP RY to MP 661.597 connection with O.N.M.&P. Ry. Including an undivided one-half interest in R/W Frisco Jct. Ardmore. (my italics)
(From Frisco Index Showing the Mile Post and Station Beginning and Ending each Valuation Section by States, St. Louis Missouri, corrected to Sept. 1, 1919)
When working on this line I was told the portion from Frisco Jct. to Ardmore was originally CRIP and Frisco reached Ardmore by trackage rights. The Frisco took control when the CRIP abandoned their line east of Frisco Jct. I do not recall being told that the Frisco originally constructed a line between Frisco Jct. and Ardmore, Oklahoma. Most of what I was told came from people along the line.
According to "Railroads of Oklahoma" by Preston George and Sylvan R. Wood, subsequently updated by the Oklahoma Department of Transportation, the CRIP line was built by the Western Oklahoma Railroad Company from Branch Junction (off of the CRIP Memphis-Tucumcari line) through Tishomingo to Ardmore in 1902. The Choctaw, Oklahoma & Gulf acquired the Western Oklahoma Railroad Company the same year (and the CO&G became part of the CRIP). For all practical purposes this line was abandoned in 1938 and the 13.9 miles between Frisco Jct. and Ardmore was leased to the Frisco in 1938 and sold to the Frisco March 6, 1940. Since Frisco records show the Frisco as already owing a one half interest in R/W Frisco Jct. to Ardmore, it is more likely that the Frisco purchased the other one half interest from the CRIP March 6, 1940.
"Railroads of Oklahoma" also shows an original Frisco line, 12.3 miles, from Frisco Jct. to Ardmore as discontinuing operation in 1904 and removed in 1917. If this is true then the Frisco used the CRIP trackage to reach Ardmore, Oklahoma after removal of the original Frisco trackage
I do not remember the exact point where the two lines came together, but I do remember there was no significant curve or abrupt change from one route to another. The CRIP line came in from the Northeast, the Frisco came from the East and the vacant (for want of a better word) roadbed I believe was on the South side of the Frisco. I do not recall any other abandoned roadbed other than the one parallel and adjacent to the Frisco and I am not sure that roadbed extended all the way to Ardmore. It could be possible that both roads operated side by side. It is also possible (and this seems more plausible) that since the CRIP and Frisco were controlled by the same people and even operated as one railroad about this time period, it was decided to use joint track and eliminate one redundant line.
The October 1909, Frisco Public Timetable does not list Frisco Jct. or show the station on the system map. This map is labeled:
Rock Island - Frisco Lines
Chicago and Eastern Illinois RR
All three railroads are on the map. It looks as if the Rock Island and Frisco converged just east of Ardmore or in Ardmore and it shows to be a Frisco line. Also, on this map a line is projected Westward from Ardmore to Byers, TX (East of Wichita Falls) via Waurika with a projected branch off of this line at a place called Cornish, Oklahoma to Oklahoma City. Cornish is between Waurika and Ardmore.
In the May, 1927, and Jan, 1931, Frisco Public Timetables Frisco Junction is listed as a station on the Hugo to Ardmore passenger schedule. Frisco Junction is 12.6 miles east of Ardmore. The CRIP is not shown on the map of either timetable.
I am assuming that the mileage difference between the two railroads (Frisco 12.3 vs. CRIP 13.9) Frisco Junction to Ardmore in "Railroads of Oklahoma" by Preston George and Sylvan Wood was due to different terminal facilities in Ardmore. Since both companies constructed their lines about the same time (1902 - 1903) and since the Frisco owned an undivided one-half interest in the Right of Way it is entirely possible that they built side by side or that one of the railroads never actually constructed a line. I am inclined to believe that it was never constructed.
Also, it is interesting to note that the ATSF acquired 1.1 miles of track in Ardmore in 1914 from the Frisco retiring it January 17, 1940. This would further indicate that after the CRIP-Frisco joint trackage agreement was consummated the Frisco still owned tracks in Ardmore.
In any event ultimately the only two railroads serving Ardmore were the ATSF and the Frisco and now only one railroad serves Ardmore, the BNSF.
Construction of the Denison Dam and creation of Lake Texoma along the Texas - Oklahoma state line required the abandonment of 16.6 miles of the Ardmore Subdivision from Mead to Madill in 1942. Subsequently, 4.1 miles of new track was constructed from Mead to a connection on the Sherman Subdivision named Lakeside, Oklahoma. At which point the Ardmore Subdivision crews used the Sherman Subdivision to reach Madill, Oklahoma. An interesting aspect of this segment of track is that it was one of the earliest segments of trackage on the Frisco to be converted to Centralized Traffic Control with the operator at Madill controlling the CTC panel.
Train Operations, Facilities:
There were large paper mills at Ashdown and Valliant, Arkansas, a cement plant at Foreman, Arkansas and later a coal powered generating plant went on line at Ft. Towson, Oklahoma as well as pulpwood loading at various locations and other local business. Interchanges with the Missouri Pacific & L&A at Hope, Arkansas, GNA & KCS at Ashdown, Arkansas, TOE at Valliant, Oklahoma, MKT & KOG at Durant, Oklahoma and ATSF at Ardmore, Oklahoma. Hugo, Oklahoma was the crew change point and operating hub. Account of the grades between Hugo and Ft Smith traffic to and from the huge Campbell Soup Plant at Paris, Texas as well as other online traffic moved to and from Madill, Oklahoma rather than north to Ft. Smith. Therefore, the line between Hugo and Madill was more heavily traveled than that east of Hugo.
Passenger train service on this line was of a branch line nature with service for the most part provided by daily motor cars between Ardmore and Hugo and between Hope and Hugo. These motor cars made connection with the daily passenger train between Ft. Smith and Paris, Texas. For some excellent pictures of these motor cars see page 258 of "Frisco Power" by Joe G. Collias and pages 90 & 91 of "Frisco Southwest" by John McCall & Frank A. Schultz, III. The Motor Car between Hugo and Hope was discontinued September 8, 1951 and the Motor Car between Hugo and Ardmore was discontinued November 8, 1953. The Motor Car between Ardmore and Hugo was the last Motor Car service on the Frisco.
Train operations in the 1970s. Freight Trains 738/739 ran daily between Hope, Arkansas and Cherokee Yard (Tulsa, Oklahoma) vial Madill, Oklahoma. These trains performed local work as necessary, delivered and received from interchanges, industries and the yard at Hugo. Between Hope and Hugo trains 738/739 performed local work not handled by the Ashdown Roadswitcher and delivered and received as follows. At Hope, Arkansas delivered to and received from the L&A and Missouri Pacific, Ashdown delivered to and received from the GNA, KCS & Roadswitcher, Valliant delivered to and received from TOE and at Hugo delivered to and received from the Paris, Texas Roadswitchers. Between Hugo and Madill trains 738/739 did not perform on line work. Local work between these two points was handled by trains 3911/3910. Trains 3911/3910 operated as tri-weekly locals between Hugo and Ardmore picking up and setting out shorts, switching local industries and working the KOG (TP) and MKT interchange at Durant and the ATSF interchange at Ardmore. Local 3910 worked Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday Hugo to Ardmore and Local 3911 worked Monday, Wednesday and Friday Ardmore to Hugo. The Ashdown Roadswitcher known as train 4031 worked between Ashdown and Hope, Monday through Saturday.
The "A&A" between Lakeside and hope was shortlined shortly after the Frisco merged into the BN and is now operated as the Kiamichi RR. The portion between Madill and Ardmore is abandoned.
SOURCE: Frisco files and publications as noted above, August 1964, All Aboard, Frisco Operating Data Sheets.