Leaky Roof?

Discussion in 'General' started by Coonskin, Dec 30, 2018.

  1. Coonskin

    Coonskin Member

    I'm very illiterate about the lines that ran from KC down to Springfield via Osceola, MO. Judging from the 1905 map found at this site, there appears to have been TWO(?) lines that headed south/southeast out of KC, passed through Harrisonville, then down to Osceola toward Springfield.

    Is one of these lines the one that is referred to as the "Leaky Roof" line? What were these lines originally and what dates (start up/completion/etc) are we talking about?

    I would assume the St.L&SF had control of both the lines by 1905, for both lines are labeled as belonging to the St.L&SF.

    Can anyone point me in the right direction to learn more about these lines?

    Thanks for any input.

    Joe Lovett likes this.
  2. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Frisco.org Supporter

    Andre, the Leaky Roof is another name for the Kansas City, Clinton and Springfield Railroad. The other parallel road was the Kansas City, Osceola and Southern Railway, also known as the High Line. There is lots of information on this site about both.
  3. Coonskin

    Coonskin Member

    Thanks Keith!

    Now that I know the name of them, I can search for more info!

  4. William Jackson

    William Jackson Bill Jackson

    Everyone called it "the high line" when I went to work in 1970. Their was not much traffic then, I am thinking mainly locals. I hi railed it a time or two. It was flooded for Truman Lake sometime around 1975. It was light rail and not in good shape. A real beautiful area.
    Joe Lovett likes this.
  5. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Frisco.org Supporter

    Very Briefly...

    The KCC&S, a Memphis Road subsidiary, remained "independent" until October 24, 1924, when it was officially absorbed into the Frisco. It became the Osceola Sub. Immediately after the merger with the Memphis Road, the Frisco found itself with three KC-Springfield lines. To avoid the appearance of a monopoly, the KCCS "operated" the Ash Grove Sub between Arcadia, KS and Springfield. Thus, the only Frisco through route between those KC and Springfield was technically speaking the Highline. This practice lasted until the 1912 bankruptcy. Not long after the merger, the Frisco began the rationalization process, and began abandoning service as early as 1902-1904. The end of the Osceola Sub came during 1935, when most of it was abandoned. The Ash Grove - Phenix segment remained until 1942, and pieces of the KCCS remained in Belton, Harrisonville, Clinton until the end of the Highline. A segment of the KCCS remains in Olathe, it and now serves as a cutoff between the former Frisco and former Santa Fe main lines. It see traffic never envisioned by its builders. A KCCS depot is extant in Ulrich, MO. The attached maps may be of interest.

    There is a small group of us who are avid fans of the Leaky Roff, and as Keith mentions, we have posted quite a bit about this line on this site.
    Historical Development of the KCCS and KCOS
    Clinton and Osceola Subdivisions circa 1929

    BNSF freight on the former KCCS. Train has left the former ATSF main line and is headed for the former SLSF KC Sub and Ft Scott.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2019
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  6. Coonskin

    Coonskin Member

    Okay, if I'm understanding the map correctly, looks like the first KC-Springfield line through Clinton down to Springfield would have been 1886 via Ash Grove?

    What mess of lines in that map, and not real easy to interpret!

    Reason for my sudden interest in the lines of that region: I'm looking into the fun of proto-lancing a line in the 1880s from Springfield to the Arkansas River via Harrison, AR/etc. The earliest of of the KC-Clinton-Springfield RR's to arrive at Springfield would become a "friendly" connection for my concept, and thus a partner for through traffic to/from KC-Arkansas River valley along with connections with the St. Louis, Iron Mountain & Southern/etc.

    SO... was the KCC&S the FIRST of the lines on the Missouri side to access Springfield?

    Joe Lovett likes this.
  7. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Frisco.org Supporter

    Yes, The KCCS beat the the KCOS and Frisco to Springfield. The caduceus-like map of the Highline and Leaky is a mess. The two lines crossed at grade at Belton, Harrisonville, and Lowry City Jct. and crossed via grade separation at at Vista. Aside from the previously named locations, the lines served the same communities at Clinton, Osceola, Lowry City, and Walnut Grove.

    Both roads built to Clinton because of the coal deposits, which were in the vicinity. Dickey Clay quarried clay at Deepwater and manufactured clay tile and clay pipe. Dickey Clay was established during 1889. The limestone quarry at Phenix began operations during 1888.
    Ozarktraveler likes this.
  8. Coonskin

    Coonskin Member

    Thanks Karl.

    Looks like the late 1880s for a north/south connection at Springfield with a prototype road.

    Wonder how/when the Missouri Pacific (or predecessor) got to the Springfield area?

  9. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Frisco.org Supporter

  10. Coonskin

    Coonskin Member

    Ah... so the construction of the White River Line was actually their access to Springfield?

    What a profusion of lines criss-crossed the region!

    Thanks for the Mop date, Karl.

  11. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Frisco.org Supporter

    Built under the corporate aegis of the Springfield and Southwestern. Incorporated during 1903, and completed during 1907.
  12. I once toyed with a similar concept. The KCC&S and the M&NA were key parts of my hypothetical scheme, with E.H. Harriman as the catalyst.

    I recall reading in some book now lost in storage (maybe a biography of Harriman, or a history of the KCS?) that when he died in 1909 he was looking for a friendly connection for Gulf- and southeast-bound traffic that his UP lines in Kansas hauled into Kansas City. What if, I mused, he had had that idea circa 1901, when the Frisco was under anti-monopolistic pressure from the State of Missouri to disgorge one of the three lines between KC and Springfield that it controlled after its acquisition of the KCFS&M? What if the Frisco had been compelled to sell one of them as a condition of that merger? And what if E.H. Harriman had muscled in on the action at that critical point, grabbed the struggling North Arkansas line while he was at it, and built enough new track to connect the two and link his UP lines at Kansas City with his Illinois Central at Memphis or Helena?

    No doubt the Frisco, the MoPac, and every other line in the area, along with every politician under their influence, would have fought such a scheme tooth and nail. But it would have been an interesting railroad. Maybe getting a preferred share of UP-originated Kansas-to-Gulf and Kansas-to-Southeast traffic, along with an infusion of Harriman cash for rebuilding and upgrading, could have made a viable through line of the woebegone KCC&S and M&NA. But it would have been a tough go. Even E.H. Harriman might have had trouble rebuilding the M&NA, with its winding curves and endless 1.75% grades, into an efficient UP-style moneymaker.
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  13. The Frisco's St.Louis-to-southwest line was already there before 1880, and the KCFS&M line from KC via Fort Scott and Ash Grove was the next. The KCFS&M kept building southeast toward Memphis, then a few years later built the KCC&S as a subsidiary branchline to collect traffic from the area around Clinton. The KCC&S reached Springfield (and, for that matter, Kansas City) only over trackage rights on its corporate parent.

    Meanwhile the Kansas City Osceola & Southern terminated at Osceola throughout the 1880s, and didn't make a connection with Springfield until after the Frisco bought it out and built the connecting trackage ca 1898. The "high line" was the Frisco's only direct access to Kansas City from 1898-1901, and for this brief period it seems to have operated as a main line, complete with through Pullmans from KC to the southwest, according to Official Guides. This through traffic was rerouted via Fort Scott after the Frisco acquired the KCFS&M in 1901.

    The MoPac, as Karl has described, didn't get into Springfield until later in the 1900s, as part of George Gould's project to link the two "branches" of his MoPac/Iron Mountain system via the White River line. It does seem to have had thoughts of connecting Springfield to Jefferson City at some point -- possibly by extending the Jefferson City Lebanon & Southwestern, which had reached Bagnell by the mid 1880s, to Lebanon, then reaching Springfield by some means (possibly using some of the right-of-way of the graded-but-never-completed Laclede & Fort Scott between Lebanon and Buffalo). This never happened, of course, and the JCL&SW remained merely the bucolic Bagnell branch of the mighty MoPac.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2019
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  14. Coonskin

    Coonskin Member

    Thanks again, Karl!


    Great to see you here! It's been a while.

    THANK YOU for just supplying me with a bunch of fun mental fodder for my silliness.

    You see, I have decided to dovetail my TOC19 fetish onto my mythical Kansas City & Gulf diesel era modeling by using the same layout to host either era as desired. I think you have just provided me with a needed backstory as to one of the reasons why the KC&G started for the Gulf in the 1890s. I will now seriously consider the UP being the KC&G's most profitable interchange partner at KC for my early-mid 1960s KC&G layout theme.

    When I use the layout to cater to my TOC19 fetish, it will be a predecessor to the KC&G (One of the lines that the KC&G purchased on the way to the Gulf in the mid-late 1890s.) Currently contemplating naming my TOC19 theme the "Ozark & Arkansas River", or "Ozark & Southern". (Something along those lines.) During the era I'll model (likely the late 1880s or very early 1890s) my Ozark will be an independent line that's hooked up with the KCC&S to provide rail service to/from KC to the heart of the Ozarks, as well as connection with the Little Rock & Fort Smith and steam boats on the Arkansas River somewhere between Ozark, AR, and Russellville, AR. (To be determined.)

    Lands I have a ton of fun with the mental shenanigans that goes along with concocting this stuff!

    You know,the more this dual era idea is gelling, the more it sounds like it's going to allow me to have the best of the two worlds I like most in railroading: TOC19 and the end of transition between 1st and 2nd generation diesels.

    Thanks again Bradley for pitching in your thoughts in this thread!

    All fer now.

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  15. Coonskin

    Coonskin Member

    Okay... I think I've got a bit of an understanding concerning the essentials of what RR, and when, arrived at, or through, Springfield back the early days. In addition to what's been discussed here in this thread (for which I again thank you) , I've also turned to my two books (Mr. Stagner's book and Mr. Collias' book), as well as Google produced sources to help me get a handle on this. Here's what I THINK happened. If I'm in err and you've got better sources or better understanding than I, please feel free to inject your info/interpretation.

    * In the late 1860s, the South Pacific railroad built through Springfield as a 5' gauge line and had reached Pierce City, which is west of Springfield. (Note: The South Pacific was an eventual successor to the original line that built southwest out of St. Louis.)

    * (1) October of 1870, the South Pacific was conveyed over to the Atlantic & Pacific. At the time of the conveyance, the former South Pacific consisted of 239 miles from Franklin (just west of St. Louis, later renamed "Pacific") to Pierce City. The A&P changed the gauge to standard gauge during late 1870 - early 1871, and soon continued west and southwest. The A&P went into bankruptcy and was acquired by the newly formed the St. Louis & San Francisco in 1875.

    ADDENDUM to the above two points: In the book "The St. Louis - San Francisco Transcontinental Railroad - The Thirty-fifth Parallel Project, 1853-1890", the author (Craig Miner) states that re-gauging to standard gauge was authorized in 1866 and "done on the South-West Branch (ed: The name of the endeavor at the time) in twenty-four hours, but not until 1869." Thus, in regards to WHEN the line was made standard gauge: Take yer pick.

    (1.) The above gleaned from Lloyd Stagner's book "Steam Locomotives of the Frisco Lines", Chapter 1, pg 1, and Joe Collias' book on Chapter 1, pg 3.)

    * (2) The Missouri River, Fort Scott & Gulf started south out of KC in 1868. By 1870 the MR, FS & G reached Fort Scott. In 1879, the line became the Kansas City, Fort Scott & Gulf railroad and acquired the Springfield & Western line in April 1879, and by 1881 the ends were connected to give the KC, FS &G access Springfield. In 1882, the line continued southeast out of Springfield toward Memphis, reaching Memphis by July(?) of 1883. This railroad became the Kansas City, Fort Scott & Memphis Railroad in 1888.

    * (2) The Kansas City, Clinton & Springfield RailROAD reached Ash Grove in 1884 (or 1886 if you prefer the above map to online research sources) which became the Kansas City, Clinton & Sprinfield RailWAY in 1885. I'm still not understanding by what line, or when, they accessed Springfield. (Trackage rights over the KC, FS, &G?)

    * (2) The Kansas City & Southern line reached Oceola in 1885. The KC&S became the Kansas City, Oceola & Southern in 1891 and reached Boliver in 1898 where it connected with the Springfield & Northern, the S&N being built northwest out of Springfield in 1884.

    (2.) The above from Google search sources, and comparing and studying the map posted to this thread.)

    WHEW! What a mess!

    ANYWAY... armed with the above, I can now concoct the history of my fictitious Ozark & Southern line!

    My head hurts.

    Last edited: Feb 8, 2019
  16. palallin

    palallin Member


    I see you've figures out a way to do both eras; congrats! I glad someone else is working with TOC19 without limiting it to Colorado! I knew you'd end up satisfying both your desires. A dual era layout is a great way to do it.

    Have you started on the benchwork yet?

    My own O3R/On30 layout is posited a couple decades after TOC and to the south of yours. Following real silver strikes @ Marmaros, Breadtray Mtn, and a few other places, I have rearranged the Frisco and MoPac routes through the White Rive area and somewhat harsher topography than real history to take advantage of the traffic. I have a complex backstory written down.

    I have toyed with the idea of dual era for the layout--in the Ozarks, precious little would have to change except for the engines, the cabeese, and the vehicles (and not even them on the backwoods NG)!--but I haven't brought myself to like diseasels enough yet ;-)

    Steve Allen
    Frisco, MoPac, and T&P near Rolla, MO
  17. Coonskin

    Coonskin Member

    Hi Steve!



    Yup, once I decided to leave a funky-fantastic Colorado theme behind, then the possibility of one layout catering to both of my era's became much more feasible. Previously, the elements I wanted for a Colorado TOC19 layout (funky fantastic, steam power/etc) and the elements I like about diesels (set in a more realistic Ozark setting) just weren't compatible. By returning to my steam roots (which was Ozark bred, just like my love of diesel era mountain railroading) then it all became much clearer and much more attainable.


    Funny you should mention that! Just this morning I purchased locally the first two A-C yellow pine plywood sheets. They are sitting edgewise over in the only available corner I have for building materials storage. From my hometown, I headed to Southerland's at Fort Smith and picked up all the L-brackets they had on hand. From Southerlands, I found a place from which I can order Homasote. Then it was off to Home Depot to learn that I will have to online order the fold-able saw horses I want and pick them up when they arrive. I don't foresee being able to have all the needed items on hand to start the benchwork this week... but we'll see. (AND it's supposed to start raining, so I don't want to transport Homasote in the bed of a pickup in the rain.)

    Your concept:

    I learned something about the Missouri portion of the Ozarks I didn't know! Namely, the rumored silver mine at Bread Tray Mountain, and the marble mining town of Marmaros! The Ozarks are vast, and there is a lot of history therein.

    I can understand your hesitancy to embrace narrow gauge diesels. I would never be interested in narrow gauge diesels. IF I was going to model narrow gauge, knowing me, that would definitely have to be free lance "funky fantastic" and based in the Colorado Rockies.

    All fer now!

    Joe Lovett likes this.
  18. Joe Lovett

    Joe Lovett Member

    Andre, I'm like you about the Ozarks, love them!!! You can see shear cliffs that are hundreds of feet in the air and tons of trees every where you look. Overall the Ozarks are very beautiful and close to home. I was born in Albuquerque but raised in southwest Missouri around Aurora and Neosho.

    mountaincreekar likes this.
  19. Coonskin

    Coonskin Member


    I've loved them since I was but a lad back as early as I can remember. Way back when (1950s thru the 1960s), we used to pass through them on old 71 highway and on old 59 highway when on our way from KC (where I was born/raised) to visit dad's family, most of which still lived near the Ozark region (north of the Arkansas River).

    I began to know them even better in '72 when I began to ride off-road motorcycles among them. From those times, I've explored extensively in autos, SUV's, and pick up trucks. Even lived in the heart of them for a while (Huntsville, AR), railroaded in them, and still view them on an oft basis. I never grow tired of them.

    I feel almost the same way about the Ouachita Mountains, too. I live among the Ouachitas now, and we even live on the side of Cavanal Mountain! (Cavanal Mountain peaks at 2385' elevation.) There are more pines in the Ouachitas, and there were more railroads, too. BUT... I still love those Ozarks. Factoid: There is only ONE railroad tunnel that I know about that's in the Ouachitas, that one just north of Jensen, OK, on the former Frisco "Texas" line (Arthur Sub). But I can think of something like 7 in the Arkansas Ozarks alone! (One on the Frisco at Winslow, AR, one on the North Arkansas near Eureka Springs, and 5 on the former Mopac's White River line.)

    All fer now!

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  20. Coonskin

    Coonskin Member

    In the interest of sharing my historical diggings/findings with those interested, note that I read some conflicting information concerning my chronological-oriented post above, and have added an "ADDENDUM" so noting.



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