Oklahoma railroad system maps, past and present

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1917TulsaRailMap.jpgToo tired tonight to do much more than link. I've been working on a post about the Oklahoma City Union Station rail yard / I-40 relocation controversy, but it's not ready. For now, here are links to some maps and other information about the history of the state's rail network, from most recent to oldest:

From the Oklahoma Department of Transportation's website. (Note how much of the network is owned by ODOT and leased to various railroads, including the entire Frisco route from Tulsa to Oklahoma City.)

University of Alabama collection of historical Oklahoma maps. The browser is annoying, and you can't download high res copies, but there's some very interesting material here, including:

Note the interurbans connecting Bartlesville to Dewey, Nowata to Coffeyville, Oklahoma City to Norman, El Reno, and Guthrie, Lawton to Ft. Sill, McAlester to Hartshorne, Shawnee to Tecumseh, and Miami to the rest of the Tristate mining region. As far as I can tell, only Tulsa's interurban lines -- Sand Springs and Tulsa-Sapulpa Union (originally the Oklahoma Union Traction Ry.) -- remain in operation, as freight-only short lines.

OkGenWeb's 1915 state map with a list of railroad names and abbreviations -- high res scan

Doug Loudenback's high res scan of a 1905 map and gazetteer of the Twin Territories.

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Paul said:

Was Rudd on the Katy Railroad near Harvard Avenue where a spur connected to the fairgrounds? Was Rudd a small community?

Based on some other maps, I'm inclined to think it was closer to Yale. There was at least one other spur just west of Yale, connecting to a lumber yard on the north side of the expressway. (There was a traffic light to stop cars on the BA when the spur was in use.) I've never heard of a community called Rudd. That would also have been an active coal mining area at the time, so Rudd may be the name of a mining company.

Paul said:

I'd never heard of Rudd, either.

I think Reid Spur was near to what is currently the northeast corner of 31st and Yale. "RUDD" appears in larger lettering between Reid Spur and Kendall, so I was guessing that Rudd might have been associated with another spur which ran along the west branch of Joe Creek from the main Katy line just east of Harvard toward 21st and Pittsburg.

Carol McKelvey said:

My gggrandparents were killed in a train wreck in Oklahoma Nov 21, 1941. I cannot find any information about this accident. I think it was in the Stillwater area. Does anyone know what rail line this might have been?

Mark said:


Stillwater Oklahoma is located on what was formerly the Eastern Oklahoma Railway a subsidary of the Atchison,Topeka & Santa Fe Railway. This branch was sold by the Santa Fe in 1998 to the Stillwater Central Railroad a subsidary of the Watco Companies. Stillwater News Press is the local newspaper. Hope this helps.

Nancy Bauder said:

My grandfather listed his home address on his 1917 draft registration as Bisbee, OK. I found a site which listed Bisbee as a place on a rail line, maybe the C,O, & G. Does anyone know where this was? They tended to live in the OKC to Shawnee area.

Frank Patterson said:

In approx. ~1870-1875 my great grandfather is believed to have owned stables of mules leased out to work on(construct)an OK railroad near the Red River. If this makes sense to anyone I'd like to fit the pieces of history together.

That was the period in which the Missouri, Kansas, & Texas Railroad was building the first railroad across Indian Territory, starting on the Kansas border and building toward Texas, following the Texas Road. US 69 parallels the line through most of its length in Oklahoma. Near the Red River it passes through Durant, Oklahoma, and Denison, Texas.

Rachel said:

I'm curious about the history of railway development around Owasso. I'm doing a research project for a site on East 76th Street North, and it appears as if it is bordered by a segment of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway, though it is tough to tell how long that railway has been there just by looking at old topographic maps and aerial photos. I know from my readings that in 1897, the Kansas, Oklahoma Central & Southwestern Railway Company acquired right-of-way approximately three miles northwest of the Elm Creek Settlement, which I think could potentially be my site. And additional information you might have would be appreciated.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on May 5, 2009 12:26 AM.

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