Cotter to Carrollton


Map submitted by Dr. R. Zane Price.

GOOGLE MAPS no longer available: With apologies, I am unable to continue showing Google Maps. Google has forced my hand by increasing their map usage fee from nothing/free to OVER $300 A MONTH for the Abandoned Rails website! This is an expense that I simply cannot afford. Rest assured I am looking at available open source alternatives, so maps should be back online soon!

Greg Harrison

(Forwarded from the Chicago, Burlington & Kansas City Railroad)

The Chicago, Burlington and Kansas City Railroad was constructed through Carroll County in 1884. Originally, the railroad turned south in the central part of the county (at a point later referred to as Cotter) and headed south to Carrollton where it terminated. Along the path of the new railroad, the town of Bogard was platted on August 4th of 1884. The only towns along this portion of the line were (from north to south):

  • Cotter (where the railroad eventually split in 1953)
  • Bogard (a near ghost town)
  • Carrollton (County seat of Carroll County)

The Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad acquired the CB&KC some time between 1904 and 1912; the CB&KC mainline became a part of the Centerville Division of the CB&Q.

Bogard was a booming town in the mid-1920s, and in 1926 every store building was occupied and there were less than three vacant homes in the town. During this peak, rail traffic on the line consisted of two passenger trains in each direction daily (a total of four trains), along with two freight trains. Trains 7 and 8 ran from Burlington, Iowa, to Carrollton every day except for Sundays. Trains 9 and 10 ran between Centerville, Iowa and Carrollton each day with a return trip. The "Carrollton Local", consisting of trains 11 and 12, ran between Brookfield, Missouri, and Carrollton on everyday aside from Sunday.

In the latter 1920s a slump in freight business led to the removal of a siding and loading pens at the Archibald Farm, three miles north of Carrollton. During the 1930s single-unit motor cars called Doodlebugs were used as a way to lessen the cost of three car passenger train service. Two Doodlebugs were in service between Carrollton, Missouri, and Burlington, Iowa, during the 1930s but the number fell to one by 1940. From 1940 to 1945, one Doodlebug and two local freights ran the rails. In 1945, the local freight became a mixed-use train.

A new station was built at Carrollton on 1949, the same year that the railroad announced it would be building a new mainline from Brookfield, Missouri, to Kansas City, Missouri, via the right-of-way of the Centerville Division to a point 3.4 miles north of Bogard. From this point, called Cotter, the railroad would proceed southwest through Tater Hills to the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad, near the Ray-Clay County line (between Orrick [Ray County] and Excelsior Springs Junction [Clay County]). The line east from Cotter to Hale was significantly straightened and flattened to allow for a "hot-shot mainline" in order to high-ball freights between Chicago and Kansas City.

In October of 1953, the Burlington Northern Railroad completed its mainline bypass at Cotter and the previous southern portion of the line (passing through Bogard en-route to Carrollton) became a trunk line. In 1970, The CB&Q merged along with several other railroads to form the Burlington Northern Railroad. Although the line from Cotter to Carrollton was active in 1970, it had ceased service by 1981 when its rails were removed.

Thanks to Dr. R. Zane Price for contributing information about this route.

It seems like the line was abandoned in 1983. I grew up near the tracks and would frequently ride bikes and hike from Carrollton to Bogard with friends and family.

Mark Randolph
Carrollton, now Columbia, MO


Are there any updates on the soy powder plant near Cotter/the north end of this former line? It looked like the BNSF had done dirt work to build a circle switch track around the plant.

Mark Randolph
Carrollton, now Columbia, MO


Shortened Link:

Do you have any pictures or information about Cotter to Carrollton? Please . You will get credit for anything you contribute.