Winding Stair Mountain Profile: June 30, 1909

Discussion in 'Arthur Subdivision' started by Karl, Jul 21, 2007.

  1. Coonskin

    Coonskin Member

    During that time, I was on one of my unauthorized "training runs". This particular incident, I was in the caboose of a BN train, having just left out of Poteau with a train of gons loaded with scrap from the Hugo line. I distinctly recall the GP15 was still in orange and white. It was a sad time to see the line being pulled up.

    One of my long-time Frisco "trainers", Ralph "Mac" MacAdams, tried to get me to go with him over the "South Line" as it was called (he was Engineer on the Hugo/Ft. Smith train), but the overnight stay at Hugo just kept it from happening. Besides, that line would be there for several more years, right? Alas, I put it off until it was too late.

    Small world: Very likely you (William) were on the gang that was pulling up the steel and stockpiling it for pick up, and I was on a train hauling it off.

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  2. Dave

    Dave Member

  3. Dave

    Dave Member

    At the time we abandoned this I was 'Manager of Rail Trains' and in charge of the rail pick-up units. The things I remember best is, how pretty/interesting working in the Boston Mountains was and second how slow it was.

    They wanted to salvage all of the steel bridges so whenever we got it abandoned back to one of them, we would have to stop, get the rail train out and the bridge crane & B&B gang would go in and remove the bridge. It took the B&B from days to weeks to jack each bridge out. First time ever spent much time with a bridge crew and the first time I ever walked across a bridge on the steel which didn't have a deck on it.

    I did 3 major abandonments on the Frisco and this one was the most beautiful and technically challenging. The hardest was probably the AT&N between Aliceville and York, because the center-turn-span bridge just south of Alliceville fell in and the track had been laying there unused for 7 years as I recall. It was severely washed out in many, many places and we had to start on the South end and work our way north fixing them to get to the end to start loading the rail. The easiest and maybe the most fun, for me at least, was the QA&P from Floydada back to Quanah. All 3 of them were done with the aid of the 2 Frisco steel gangs who dismantled the track so we could load the rail.
  4. William Jackson

    William Jackson Bill Jackson

    Thanks Dave, glad you piped in, that was slow work for sure. I was their for a little of that. Good Times.
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  5. john

    john Supporter

    Original Fort Smith and Southern (Frisco) survey for Compton area from National Archives. View attachment 26937

    Attached Files:

  6. Coonskin

    Coonskin Member

    Great find, John! Saved to my Arthur Sub folder!
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  7. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member Staff Member

    I understand you guys had a job to do, and were having a real good time on the job, I understand that. But for me it wasnt much fun to watch 70-80 years of QA&P RR being torn up, and a few guys future and jobs going away. The Staggers Act provided for this fun, but was the kiss of death for many communities along this route.
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2016
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  8. William Jackson

    William Jackson Bill Jackson

    Of course for us the work is fun, but we lost track job's also. I hated taking up tracks and the sale of the track through Windslow was a killer. David Cheek was the last Frisco Roadmaster on the line, I always had high hopes of getting that job, but it worked out for the best.
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  9. Jason Hurt

    Jason Hurt Member

    First post on this forum!

    I know this is an older thread, but alas it gave me some excellent information I was looking for. Today, coming back to Mansfield, AR from a work trip in Durant, OK I found myself traveling up OK Hwy 2 where the Arthur sub parallels the hwy off and on for many miles. I stopped at a hwy pull off that had the old ROW hidden behind the tree line (plus there wasn't a fence or posted signs in this area) and took a short walk down the old road bed. Being a glass insulator collector in addition to a RR history buff, I was looking to see if I might still find a glass insulator laying around an old pole sight. Within 5 minutes I had found a clear Hemingray 42 along with the pole stump, guy wire, and a cross arm brace. This was an easily accessible area so finding this laying in plain view spurred my interest to possibly hunt insulators along this line (where it isn't trespassing obviously). Once back at the vehicle I started checking google satellite maps on my phone to get a better idea of where the old road bed went. I immediately noticed the cut through Winding Stair. This brought me to taking Hwy 82 north from Talihina to the Compton area that Karl has posted about. I didn't have a lot of time today so I didn't take the dirt road down the old ROW road bed, but would love to do this as some point, and then park once the drivable part ended and walk the remainder of the road bed through the Rock Creek Valley south towards Talihina. In Karl's pictures he noted that some of the telegraph poles still remain, and even if they have been salvaged, 9 out of 10 times they leave the insulators laying. I've got a large collection, so I'm not looking to take everything found. I'm only looking for those I don't have. Whether anything was found or not, I just enjoy exploring the history of the railroad.

    I'd love to share this adventure with someone, so if anyone wants to meet up sometime over the winter while the foliage and critters are at a minimum, hit me up and let's make a plan to do so. I'm fairly local to the area (just over the state border in Mansfield Arkansas) and would be willing to provide the vehicle.
  10. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    Neat auto box in the photo of SLSF 1332 going over the bridge. Any ideas of what the auto box car number series was? Do we have a car diagram?
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  11. Ron Hall

    Ron Hall Member

    I remember a USGS survey marker near the Siding at Compton. I believe that we stopped southbound for a wait order in the late 1960s. I would like to go up there and try to find it. I moved to Fayetteville to work and start school in 1978, so I missed the demolition of the Arthur Sub. Great write up and photos.
    Joe Lovett likes this.
  12. Ron Hall

    Ron Hall Member

  13. john

    john Supporter

    Look at all the buildings/structures at Lamberson on a 1908 USGS topo map.

    Attached Files:

  14. Coonskin

    Coonskin Member

    Hi John! Good to see you posting here again.

    Re: Buildings at Lamberson...

    That's curious, isn't it? It would be interesting to know what they were. Residences? Company buildings? All of the above?
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  15. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Supporter

    I'd wager that there was a tool house, section house, carman's house, carman's tool house, coal house, and privys.
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  16. john

    john Supporter

    Karl, I'm sure all of that was there and more but most of that is small structures that I don't think would be on a map of this scale. On this map farms just show 1 square (house) and no out-buildings. I was thinking it looked like a small community - a few (company owned?) houses and maybe even a small store?
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  17. Coonskin

    Coonskin Member


    Works for me! Next time I piddle with my 1880's "Frisco Line" V scale route, I shall properly adorn Lamberson to become notably more than I what have depicted it as. (Currently just a hand car shed there!)
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  18. Ron Hall

    Ron Hall Member

    I can remember some talk about mining near Lamberson. Eric Standridge, who is a historian of Leflore County, said that he has read of Navaculite mining in that area until the 1920s. On the maps you can see Crusher Holler. I don't know if they loaded any to rail or not.
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