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:
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".
Thanks to Tom Bridges for contributing information about this route.