Cape Girardeau to Jackson

The Cape Girardeau Northern Railroad

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(Forwarded from the Cape Girardeau & Chester Railroad)

The primary intent of this railroad line, built by Missouri railroad tycoon Louis Houck, was to connect Cape Girardeau with towns to the north which he believed would benefit economically from a railroad connection. Poorly constructed, the original Cape Girardeau & Chester Railroad floundered, so too did the subsequent railroad with the name of the Cape Girardeau Northern Railroad.

Built in 1905, the line ran from Cape Girardeau, on the Missouri/Illinois border, to Jackson, and a connection with the Missouri Pacific. Initially, the line did well; however, financial struggles overcame any profits gained by the line, and the railroad came close to bankruptcy.

Talks with the Saint Louis & San Francisco Railway (the "Frisco") to acquire the line fell short (due to the Frisco's own financial woes) in 1913, and the CGN soldiered on without help.

As money dwindled, service along the line was truncated to only the tracks in and around Cape Girardeau. By 1925, the line was saved by the Missouri Pacific Railroad, who only saw value in the line as a short industrial spur in Cape Girardeau proper, cutting service beyond. Within the city, street running along the ill-maintained line proved troublesome to both the railroad and motorists alike. Finally, the MP pulled the plug on the line in 1986 and removed the tracks shortly thereafter.

Little exists of the CGN today, and it is difficult to locate on maps. A lone viaduct stands in the Cape, half buried in the ground, motorists passing over without further thought of the railroad that once passed under.

Thanks to Robert Barnes for contributing information about this route.

Additional history of the CGN can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Trains/ICC_valuations/Cape_Girardeau_Northern_Railway Enjoy!

Randy Bosma
Cook County, IL
3/28/2012

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If you look at historical USGS quad maps from the 20's you can trace this road much farther. I have a rough google earth route put together if you'd like to see it.

Patrick
DeSoto, MO
12/16/2015

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I would love to see that.

Robert Brandon Barnes
Cape Girardeau, MO
12/17/2015

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I don't think I can attach the .kmz, or if I can I don't know how. I can email it to you however.

Patrick
DeSoto, MO
12/24/2015

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A email will be fine.

BBarnes005@charter.net

Robert Brandon Barnes
Cape Girardeau, MO
12/24/2015

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Little exists today. My father owned acreage South of Perryville city limits. Just West of I 55. The RR footprint was evident in the woods and across the pasture. And the creek bed was home to some concrete footings for the trestle.

I imagine they still exist today. Also a small culvert was near by.

Been 40 years since I was there last. We used to find spikes and glass insulators. We still have the glass.

C Taylor
Washington, MO
4/5/2016

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Patrick - is there any chance you could forward me the link as well? zach@gobblerridge.com

Zach
Dexter, MO
9/25/2016

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Shortened Link: http://a-r.us/s2j
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