The Nash Subdivision
The Nash subdivision was a branch line on the Frisco (SLSF) in southeast Missouri. Frisco's mainline on the River Division ran from St. Louis 110 miles south to Chaffee, Missouri, which was where all crews and operations in the area occurred. 3 miles north of Chaffee in a tiny community called "Nash", a local line was split off to service communities away from the mainline from Nash to Poplar Bluff and beyond. The Nash Subdivision handled passenger as well as freight traffic in the early to mid-1900s. It eventually continued south and reconnected to the Frisco mainline running from Springfield, MO to Memphis, TN at Hoxie, Arkansas.
The Nash line headed southwest from Nash (which was 6 miles southwest of Cape Girardeau) through Delta, Missouri. Delta was a unique town because it only had 500 citizens, but was crossed by 4 railroads on 3 lines. The Frisco's Nash line, the Iron Mountain and Southern's branch line from the Missouri iron areas southeast to Charleston, Missouri, and then the busy Cotton Belt line which the SSW shared with the MP to bring over 50 trains a day on. The Nash line continued southwest from Delta through Arbor, and on to Advance where industrial spurs are seen. From Advance the line curved south and serviced the lumber rich areas of Puxico and Mingo. Hauling wood accounted for a good portion of the Nash line in the early years.
As the years advanced, the Nash sub was eventually cut in half when the Corps of Engineers build a large reservoir lake. Like many branch lines, it struggled along but really couldn't produce the needed traffic to justify its existence and in the 1960s the line was abandoned.
Thanks to Doug Sanders for contributing information.
I can't recall when the line was built to Hoxie, however I do know that the main line to Memphis, TN was completed in 1883, and the connecting line from Mingo to Willow Springs in 1889. The line to Willow Springs operated through traffic until 1938. Officially, the line from Nash, MO to Pocahontas, AR was abandoned by the Frisco on December 1, 1965. The line was incrementally trimmed further south as a branch line operated North out of Hoxie until just a few years ago...
This was actually the mainline of the Cape Girardeau and Southwestern Railway, which was built by local railroad tycoon Louis Houck in the 1860's or 1870's. When the Frisco built its St. Louis - Memphis line, they converted the six-mile stretch from Nash to Cape Girardeau into their mainline, which is in use today. The rest was converted into a branch line, extended to Hoxie but eventually pulled up. About 500 feet of the original line has survived as an overgrown siding in Delta, Missouri, though this will likely be pulled up in the future.
The surviving stretch in Delta has been pulled up as of several months ago. Sad to see it go. When I was young, their was a tourist passenger train that would run from Jackson, MO to Delta. The train would stop and let folks stop and eat at a local cafe. Hate to see it go.
I remember the Frisco engine switching many different railcars in and out of their respective destinations in and around the Hoxie - Walnut Ridge area back when I was a very young boy . As the NASH line left the main Frisco line there was a wye so the trains could enter or exit from either direction . After approximatly three city blocks after leaving the Frisco main the NASH split into a main and a siding which was mostly used for storing various rolling stock until needed . About a half mile on down the line the track went back to a single main . A quarter of a mile (approx. distance) later there was a right side track cut out that led beside a concrete dock which was the same heith as the boxcar floor door opening to load cotton bails which were compressed at this location for many years which was just across the city property line from Hoxie . As the line extended on the engine would drop off or pick up a lumber car on a side track cutoff . Less than 500 feet from the lumber yard was a Propane Gas Company which at the time recieved large tanker cars that would be unloaded into two tanks mounted on concrete supports . Some two or three miles north of town as the NASH line heads north there was a wye that cut to the east approx. two miles to a fertilizer plant which was served also .
Is the Hoxie to Walport Trail built on the right-of-way? God bless.
As an addition to my last commentary I would like to add that the old right-of-way of the NASH sub has successfully been converted to a blacktop walking trail with no motorized vehicles of any kind allowed . The southern trailhead begins about a hundred feet or so from the main line of BNSF railway right-of-way and has handicap accessable parking . The trail continues on north about five miles then turns east approx. a mile and ends at the Walport area at a blacktopped county road . This trail has only been opened a few years and is very well maintained .
This is the Frisco's Hoxie Sub. It wasn't ever called the Nash Sub.