Junction City to Concordia

The Junction City and Fort Kearney Railroad

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Railroad junction of the Kansas Pacific and Junction City and Fort Kearney Railways in Junction City, Kansas. Courtesy Southern Methodist University, Central University Libraries, DeGolyer Library. Photo by Robert Benecke, 1873.

The Junction City and Fort Kearney Railroad, a subsidiary of the Kansas Pacific Railway, was incorporated in Kansas in June 29, 1871. Construction started on its line at the Kansas Pacific mainline at Junction City and advancing north to Clay Center, completed on March 12, 1873. There, the JC&FtK connected with the Leavenworth, Kansas & Western Railroad.

In 1878, the line was extended further north to Concordia and a connection with the Missouri Pacific and the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroads. Following on May 29, 1899, the JC&FtK, along with the Kansas Pacific, was merged into Union Pacific Railroad, who continued using the line under the name of the Junction City Branch (or also the Fort Kearney Branch). For most of its length between Clay Center and Concordia, the JC&FtK ran parallel and adjacent to the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad.

In 1884, the JC&FtK was extended once again, this time between Lawrenceburg, on the line east of Concordia, northwards to Belleville. This was known as the Belleville Branch under the Union Pacific.

The Clay Center-Concordia segment was formally abandoned in 1933 by the Union Pacific when they decided to utilize trackage rights across the LK&W to Miltonvale and then over the Athcison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad north to Concordia (as submitted in the ICC filing below); this abandonment filing also included the branch line to Belleville. The remainder of the line between Junction City and Clay Center was abandoned by Union Pacific in 1964 when Milford Lake was dammed over the right-of-way just north of Junction City.

Historic ICC Abandonment Filings

UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD
ATCHISON, TOPEKA & SANTA FE RAILWAY
Docket Number: 10060 Date: 7/1/1933 Section: 1
Application of Union Pacific Railroad for certificate to (1) abandon (a) that part of its Leavenworth-Western Branch from Knox to Clay Center, Kansas, a distance of 143.156 miles; (b) that part of its Junction City Branch from Clay Center to Concordia, Kansas, a distance of 35.81 miles; (c) all of its Belleville Branch from Lawrenceburg to Belleville, Kansas, a distance of 17.15 miles; (2) to operate under trackage rights over the line of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway between Miltonvale and Concordia, Cloud County, Kansas, a distance of 20.06 miles; and (3) to construct a connecting track 800 feet in length at Concordia, Kansas.
Length: 196.116 miles Citation:  
Also under this filing: The Leavenworth-Western Branch   
Docket Number: 10060 Date: 7/1/1933 Section: 1
Application of Union Pacific Railroad for certificate to (1) abandon (a) that part of its Leavenworth-Western Branch from Knox to Clay Center, Kansas, a distance of 143.156 miles; (b) that part of its Junction City Branch from Clay Center to Concordia, Kansas, a distance of 35.81 miles; (c) all of its Belleville Branch from Lawrenceburg to Belleville, Kansas, a distance of 17.15 miles; (2) to operate under trackage rights over the line of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway between Miltonvale and Concordia, Cloud County, Kansas, a distance of 20.06 miles; and (3) to construct a connecting track 800 feet in length at Concordia, Kansas.
Length: 196.116 miles Citation:  

I would like a map of the abandoned Belleville Branch of the AT&SF Railroad. Can you tell me how to get one or where to find one. Thanks!

Jack
Salina, KS
2/18/2011

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I know the route well having hunted evidence down where I can: what stations there were, where grade crossings existed, etc. But, I have never seen a proper printed map other than an old map of the city of Belleville itself which can be found at the Republic County Historical Museum in Belleville.

Todd
Marysville, KS
12/28/2011

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I have been looking at this line on google earth, and have plotted the old route as best I can (acurate except for maybe a mile or two between clyde and condordia. If you are interested in getting the kmz (google.earth) file I made, just email me. j-tremblay@hotmail.com

Jared
Manhattan, KS
6/12/2012

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Does anybody know if any of the track still exist or has it been removed over the years?

Ryan F.
Kansas city , MO
9/10/2012

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Shortened Link: http://a-r.us/1dr
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