The Oklahoma Central Railway
The Oklahoma Central Railway was incorporated in 1904 as the Canadian Valley and Western Railway Co. Construction commenced in Lehigh, OK, (Coal County) in 1905 and was completed to Chickasha, OK, in 1908. The route was primarily constructed to transport coal from the mines at Lehigh to Purcell in order to service steam locomotives on the Santa Fe. Primary sources of revenue included passengers and express, coal, cotton and its by-products, livestock, and building material.
Towns served by the OCR were thriving communities in the early days of Oklahoma statehood. Cities along the route included Lehigh, Frisco, Stonewall, Vanoss, Byars, Rosedale, and Stratford.
According to Meade's Manual, the City of Ada was reached by backing down a 1.8 mile spur. Trains were turned on the Frisco wye at $1.00 per train. The OCR depot (later Santa Fe) still stands at the corner of Main and Johnston.
The OCR was merged into Santa Fe in 1918. Much of the line was dismantled in the 1930s, but the line from Byars to Ada was operated as a branch until September, 1971.
Thanks to Terry Hall for contributing information.
|Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway|
|Docket: 26397||10/22/1970||Section: 1(18)|
|Application for authority to abandon a line of railroad between Pauls Valley, Garvin County, Oklahoma, MP 183/88.8 and Ada, Pontotoc County, Oklahoma, MP 40/2969 3, a distance of approximately 39.78 miles.|
|Length: 39.780 miles||Citation:|
Also under this filing: Shawnee to Pauls Valley
I grew up in Blanchard and remember many of the "oldtimers" talking about the OCRR and the towns depot. Some of the foundation stemwall of the depot is still visible. I'm delighted to see any information on this fine old road. Thanks!
I recently found a photo of Harper's Camp on the OC & CV RR. Not sure where Harper was.
I have 2 maps of Blanchard,1st one is 1906 Blueprint of Dorset Carter President of Central Ok. Railway Co.requesting permission to build 10 miles of rail thru Blanchard, (Indian Territory)from the Dept of the Interior; 2nd is 1926 blueprint of where every building and all tracks were in town of Blanchard,down to smallest detail, pipelines,water,gas,etc.
Used to see abandoned RR tracks between Ada and Atoka when traveling to granny's house. Always wanted to know the history. Thanks
I used to hike the A A and SF tracks from the switchback switch area going West. It went East for a bit from the switch and then went to just ties and then nothing. The tracks went under a high bridge which carried the Frisco track and then over another bridge that crossed the highway that went to Sulfur. We found an abandoned set of bridge posts back in the woods south of where the highway now runs.
Does anybody have any photos of the turning wye or steam engines on these tracks? I can remember when I was a small boy seeing a Baldwin steam locomotive at the station off of Main Street. I can also remember a steam switcher going across the high bridge where Mississippi Street goes under it. Has anybody done a historical book of the trains of Ada Pre 1960s?
Just went to town and found the old concrete slab where the train station was and what looks like some old refueling tanks or water tanks not sure u can also tell from the cutout in the hill where it was just so everyone knows its on the hill east of the high school football field very very cool. I'm guessing the city knows about it that's why its still there but no signs posted saying what was there or anything
Does anyone have any information on where the depot was in Blanchard, and if tracks were laid, where the location is? Very fascinated.
Stacey, I'm not from OK but have some information that might help you a little. Here's a site you can go to for old maps and aerial photos of Blanchard - https://www.historicaerials.com/
Just click on the button "show me some aerials" and type in "Blanchard, OK" on the next page for location. A list of available Topo maps and aerial photos will display on the left. For Blanchard, the oldest Topo dates to 1966. On it you can clearly see the old RR grade noted, running generally NW to SE through the SW part of town. I then selected the 1962 (oldest) aerial and could clearly see the abandoned grade as it wound through the area. Doesn't really answer your question about the depot but you can see exactly where the tracks used to be.
David, thank you so much for the lead to the aerial maps! It actually was a big help, and the only official mapping I have seen online to trace out where the railroad ran through Blanchard. For the longest time, I didn't think one ever existed through here, and even though it was so long ago, it was interesting to find out otherwise. A mural on an old building in town included a railroad, but I always questioned it, since visibly there are no tracks. The place where the depot is suggested only holds a brand new concrete slab and some odd-looking pumps, but I couldn't visibly see any signs of the old foundation. Doesn't mean it wasn't there, but any remanants are long gone. I really appreciate the lead on the aerial maps. Hopefully, I'll find some sort of artifact that I can snap a photo of--one of my new favorite hobbies--finding and photographing old abandoned bridges and railroads. Thanks again!