Clinton to Moberly
This abandoned railway was once the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad's mainline between Texas and Chicago (via a connection with the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy at Hannibal, MO). The original line was built by the Tebo and Neosho Railroad between Clinton and Sedalia in 1870. The T&N was purchased by the MKT later that same year. Northward from Sedalia, the line to Hannibal was built in 1873.
By 1920, the MKT had moved its target from Chicago to (much closer) Saint Louis. Selling the line between Moberly and Hannibal to the Wabash (which is still active today) meant that the end of the MKT line was now in Moberly -- a dead end, and thus a victim of the MKT's abandonments in the 1970s.
The line north of New Franklin was abandoned in two segments: Fayette to Moberly was abandoned in 1975, with the rest of the line north of New Franklin gone in 1978. After MKT successfully sought trackage rights on the nearby and parallel Missouri Pacific line to Saint Louis, which provided a much faster and direct route, traffic on the now-redundant line between Clinton and Sedalia tapered off until it was abandoned by Union Pacific in 1991.
Clinton Sedalia New Franklin Fayette Moberly
1870 | |--- T&N ----|
1873 | |------------------- M-K-T ------------------|
1975 | |- abandoned -|
1978 | |-- abandoned --|
1991 | |------- abandoned ---------|
Today, the southern portion of the route between Clinton and New Franklin serves as the Missouri's Katy Trail, the longest rail-trail conservancy project in the country.
Definitely the track was gone by 1993, from at least Green Ridge to just north of Clinton. As I mentioned on another former Katy section, track remained in place, close to one of MFA's facilities, between Lewis and Clinton until about 1994. Union Pacific had even parked a caboose just before the end of the track until sometime around 1994, certainly before summer 1995. The Katy Trail does indeed provide a very nice pathway going through Clinton, Calhoun, and Windsor and at the very least all the way to Boonville.
In the mid to late 60's thru the mid 70's I spent time with my Grandparents during the summertime in Moberly.A short distance west of their backyard were the Katy and the Norfolk and Western lines.They ran side by side for distance thru Moberly.The Katy line ended about a half mile north from the house.I think there was an industry called Stamper Feeds in Moberly that the Katy served.I remember getting really excited watching the red Katy engine when it came into town.You could view trains passing behind the house by looking out of a back window.Back then it seemed like there was 6 or 7 tracks between both of the lines.The last time I was in Moberly(2 yrs ago)I think there was just one track left.I have memories of the big train station(long since gone)as well.I also remember following the Katy tracks on our trips to Higbee this was the town my Grandmother was born in.Higbee is about 10 to 15 miles SW of Moberly.