The Hamilton and Kingston Railroad

Hamilton Junction to Kingston, Missouri

A blank pass for the Hamilton & Kingston Railroad. (Submitted by Ed Roling)
The "back side" of a blank pass for the Hamilton & Kingston Railroad. (Submitted by Ed Roling)
This page captured from book published in 1950, depicting the depot in Kingston (click to see larger image). (Submitted by Stan Hendrix)
One of the major setbacks for the HH&K was a bridge washout that, along with other factors, led to its demise. Here is a picture and story of that bridge (click to see larger image). (Submitted by Stan Hendrix)

In 1885, a spur from the Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad was built at Hamilton Junction to the Hamilton Coal Mine. which was located about a half-mile west and two miles south of Hamilton, Missouri. It was soon decided to extend this line to Kingston and include stops at the Tom Creek Mine and Dripping Springs Coal Mine. This short railroad, named the Haines, Hamilton and Kingston Railroad, was the result primarily of the town of Kingston's desire for a railroad. On Dec. 5, 1890, the first train steamed into Kingston where a large crowd had gathered for a celebration.

The HH&K was controlled to a large degree by the H&StJ by rental of the rails at $1,000 per year and the general fixing of the freight rates. Later a new company was formed, the Hamilton and Kingston Railroad, but they soon concluded that the road was a losing proposition. An added expense, within a few years after it started, was the Shoal Creek bridge which was washed out by flood.

The H&K had no turnaround on either end of the road. This caused some merriment and nicknames for the road as it was required to go forward one way and backwards all the way back!

Hard feelings by the community were expressed against the H&StJ when the H&K was discontinued near the beginning of the century. As evidence that the road did considerable business, the 1901 shipping figures are in car lots:

CommodityCar Loads

Total freight in less-than-carload lots was 971,623 lbs. In addition, many passengers were hauled.

As of 2007, no trace of this railroad remains.

Source: The Orr Family — Then and Now quoted in "Caldwell County History".

—  User Comments  —

I have an original blank trip pass #303 for the Hamilton and Kingston Railroad.

My mother was raised in Hamilton and her family was from the Kidder/Cameron/Hamilton area. Not sure how it was acquired or why it is blank, but it is the real deal.

Ed Roling
Raleigh, NC
Thanks for providing pictures of the pass, Ed!   —Greg Harrison, Abandoned Rails

Thanks for sharing this information. My great-great grandfather and his brother worked on this railroad in 1890 and it's very nice to learn about the history. Thanks again!

San Jose, CA

I just stumbled across an article from the Cameron Daily Observer dated March 31, 1892. It says "The Hamilton and Kingston Railroad will soon be repaired. 1000 more ties put in and the track placed in good shape."

Stan Hendrix
Cameron, MO