Arthur Sub - Mansfield, AR Branch

Discussion in 'Arthur Subdivision' started by qaprr, Dec 18, 2001.

  1. qaprr

    qaprr Guest

    Arthur Sub, Mansfield Branch, Little Rock & Texas Railway Company

    Known as Arthur Sub, Mansfield Branch, originally was the Little Rock & Texas Railway Company. Line extended from Jenson, Arkansas, Mile Pole 429.899 to end of property in Mansfield, Arkansas at Mile Pole 448.327 a distance of 18.428 miles.

    The Little Rock & Texas Railway Company was incorporated March 28, 1887, under the laws of the state of Arkansas to construct, own and maintain a railroad from a point on the western boundary of the state of Arkansas near Hackett in a general easterly direction to Little Rock, Arkansas, a distance of about 150 miles. Incorporation was granted March 30, 1887.

    All construction work was performed by the SLSF for the accounts of the Little Rock & Texas Railway Company. Construction began January 1, 1887, and 18.428 miles of track was constructed from Jenson, Arkansas to Mansfield, Arkansas and placed in operation by October, 1887. At Mansfield the Little Rock & Texas Railway Company used .6 mile of CRIPRR trackage including facilities.

    Syndicating, banking and other financial arrangements were handled by the SLSF and the property was controlled by the SLSF though ownership of the entire outstanding capital stock. From the date of placing the road in operation it was operated by the SLSF. October, 1887, until April 30, 1907, trackage was operated by the SLSF without a formal agreement. On April 30, 1907, an agreement for a 99-year lease was made. As of 1918, there were 18.428 miles of main track (Jenson to Mansfield) and 17.195 miles of yard and industry tracks for a total of 35.623 miles of track.

    Following were the major industries served early on.
    Banner Coal Spur at MP 431.189, .379 Mile of track
    Banner Coal Spur at MP 431.568, 1.791 Miles of track
    Central Coal & Coke No. 5 at MP 443.207, 1.825 miles of track
    Central Coal & Coke No. 6 at MP 443.207, .379 mile of track
    Central Coal & Coke No. 6 at MP 443.873, 1.791 miles of track
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 21, 2005
    Ozarktraveler likes this.
  2. tomd6 (Tom Duggan RIP 2/11/2018)

    tomd6 (Tom Duggan RIP 2/11/2018) Passed Away February 11, 2018

    The attached right of way picture was taken at Hackett, AR on the former Frisco Mansfield Branch. Hackett was the site of a large coal car yard that at one time served the numerouus mines along the Branch. The yard is still visible to the south of Oak Street in Hackett.Because Hackett was the car supply point the depot was manned up until 1966. The depot was removed from Hackett and has been restored as a private residence in the Bonaza area.
    The Mansfield branch had shrunk to 14.7 miles by the time the Burlington Northern obtained ICC approval to abandon in December 1983. The last customer on the Mansfield branch was an explosives manufacturer located near Midland, AR. that received ammonium nitarte shipments from Louisiana.

    Attached Files:

  3. john

    john Supporter

    Mansfield was the terminus of the Mansfield Branch and a Frisco interchange with the Rock Island. It was the site of "three Frisco depots". The original "first" depot can be identified on the 1902 map. The second and third depots were on and joint with the Rock Island. The second depot burned during or shortly after the First World War and was replaced with a brick structure which lasted until the end of the Rock.

    The link above connects to a number of old Mansfield photos including three of the 2nd depot. One of them with the Frisco "Slicker" and one with a Rock Island passenger train there. (both - as in the records below - using the same track at the depot)

    Some indication of how the interchange was setup in the early days can be found in records of a Rock Island - Frisco collision which took place in 1914 killing two Frisco brakemen. The records are ICC accident report No 52 (page 56) and a 1916 lawsuit, CRI&P v. SCOTT. "This yard is operated under a joint contract, both roads using any and all of the tracks with the yard limits, there beiing regular designated tracks for delivering cars to both lines. However each road has a separate track for entrance to the station, but it appeared to be customary for the Rock Island to use the track assigned to the Frisco while switching in this yard."

    Either railroad could probably have prevented the accident if their crews had paying any attention to rules and common sense. It is especially difficult to understand why the Rock Island would run into a train that they already knew was there or why the Frisco was pushing a car on a curved, tree lined, joint track with the brakemen on the front of the locomotive rather than the car where they could have seen the oncoming CRI&P locomotive.

    Attached Files:

  4. Coonskin

    Coonskin Member


    Missed this until tonight. Thanks for the link to the Mansfield page as well as your info. I have harvested several pictures for reference when I start creating my virtual version of Mansfield!
  5. john

    john Supporter

    Addition to earlier post: I finally got around to asking my step-father (who is 101 years old, and from Mansfield - they have good water there) about the original Frisco depot. He verified something I had read earlier today... although it was not used as a station after ca.1905 or so the original Frisco depot was not torn down until the 1940's.

    He also informed me that, to the best of his memory, the Choctaw (1st Rock Island) depot didn't burn but was just torn down and replaced. He could remember the brick building on the Rock Island under construction, probably at around the date I gave earlier. According to him the Slicker was still using the brick Rock Island structure (they apparently called it their "union depot") in the late 1920's and early 1930's.

    The brick "union depot" was torn down in the early 1970's.

    Attached Files:

    SteveP likes this.
  6. john

    john Supporter

    Here's some Mansfield Branch station photos which were taken in August 1932.

    Hackett: For many years Hackett was the only remaining station on the Mansfield Branch. This building was the 3rd Frisco station at Hackett. The first (on the Hackett Branch) burned and was replaced with a new depot on the Mansfield Branch. It was replaced with this building in 1910.

    Midland: Retired late 1932. This building was also built in 1910 but was larger that the Hackett station. The platform and foundation remain to this day, just north of Midland.

    Huntington: Station contents and signals retired late 1932. Depot building retired 1940. Water station retired 1945 and replaced with a new steel tower at the end of the branch at Mansfield. This was an original station building (note the gable roof) which was erected in 1887 and then greatly enlarged in 1909 with the construction of a new freight room.

    Attached Files:

  7. Coonskin

    Coonskin Member

    Hi John!

    Thank you very much for sharing your findings with us! All of the latest pictures have been saved to my "FriscoLine" Arthur Sub folder!
    Ozarktraveler likes this.
  8. john

    john Supporter

    I was prompted in part to post them because they are a great example of a Frisco austerity paint scheme during the Great Depression years (see Karl's speculation about depot building paint schemes). Hackett and Huntington both seem to have relatively fresh paint (whitewash?) jobs. That at Midland might be somewhat older?? The boarded up condition of Midland is somewhat of a surprise but you have to consider the very isolated location of the building.

    Ozarktraveler likes this.
  9. SteveM

    SteveM Member Supporter

    I have been remiss in not searching the older posts for branch info, since I am in process of adding a "representation" to my layout. Extreme compression of the 18 miles and probably an exaggeration of the traffic in 1980. Also have to admit I have not finished reading John's book on coal mining in South Sebastian County.
    Now I need to work the Choctaw depot into the plan; my intent was to have some Rock interchange.
    Thanks, John, although now there are more questions I need to come down and ask you sometime.
    Ozarktraveler likes this.
  10. john

    john Supporter

    Steve, you might have noticed that two of the station photos had coal mines in the background.
    Ozarktraveler likes this.
  11. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Makes me wonder if it was a really long time between visits from the B&B gang.

    Thanks very much for sharing, John; not only are the Hackett and Midland depots nice examples of a good classic standard Frisco depot, but the flavor of the overall scenes are great examples atmosphere in and around a depot. The white "stakes" that separate the platforms from the automobile areas are an especially nice touch that can be easily modeled with a bit of scrap wood.

    Best Regards,
    Ozarktraveler likes this.
  12. Jason Hurt

    Jason Hurt Member

    Joined today and was looking over the Arthur sub forum (local to me being as I live in Mansfield) and happened to click on the link John provided to find that was my post on TreasureNet!! I'm 72Cheyenne on that forum, and I have posted a lot of photos and maps of Mansfield and the west central Arkansas area (mainly Sebastian county). Very cool to see my post being shared in other forums!
  13. Coonskin

    Coonskin Member

    Welcome aboard, Jason! I have a sneaking suspicion that Mert and wife Jan are your parents. If I'm right... next time you see them you tell them Andre said to behave themselves and quit that running wild.

    Ozarktraveler likes this.
  14. Jason Hurt

    Jason Hurt Member

    You guessed it!
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  15. Jason Hurt

    Jason Hurt Member

    Andre, I mentioned you to Dad and he started bringing up memories of racing motorcycles up on BlackJack and the place you used to live up there. Said it makes it a small world when you can find people you know on an internet forum.
    modeltruckshop likes this.
  16. tripphd

    tripphd Member

    Andre or Jason where was Blackjack? I remember two motocross tracks, one west of Jenny Lind (the community) and the other on top of a hill just south of Hwy 10 and Hwy 71 Jct. Was it one of those?
  17. Coonskin

    Coonskin Member

    Just saw this thread had some replies that I missed.


    Your dad was responsible for me getting into dirt biking back in spring of '69! He let me ride his bikes as well as him and Larry Joe carting me off to motocross races with them! After I got my own bike we rode together quite a bit.


    No, the Black Jack track was up on my family's 90 acre ranch atop Black Jack Mtn/Ridge near Abbott, AR. The track was in operation from summer of '69 to sometime in the early 1970s. The Mansfield/Huntington/Abbott riders formed the "Black Jack Scramble Riders" association after my dad had granted permission to use the eastern 10 acre field for a track that was called the "Black Jack Scrambles Track". You can view where it was located using this link:,-94.16577&z=15&b=t&o=r&n=0.25

    The lat/lons are:


    Here's one of the handful of (poor) pics I have of the track:

    LtoR JrRitter BillWomack Roger Barnes Jim Carter Tom Wheeler WagonHill 67or68.jpg

    mountaincreekar likes this.
  18. tripphd

    tripphd Member

    Mom lived at Mansfield at some point in her early childhood. One of her older brothers would go honky-tonking over to Montreal apparently. She said there were several little joints there in the thirties.

    I have been wanting to ask you about the remains of the railroad north of Cass. When it leaves Combs going south, does it follow the road for a ways? Once it cools down some, I am wanting to go up to the remains above Cass and look at the pilings and such. I have wondered around there some, the last time I was there I left Cass on FR1520. At the five way jct took FR78 to FR79. Followed it past the old school. After that FR79 becomes FR2 which becomes FFR4275 which ends at Combs. There is an old foundation with a vegetable cellar just north of the five way on FR79. How close are the remains of the south end of the railroad at this point?

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