Libourn to Bird's Point
— User Comments —
I'm guessing there was a car ferry at the end of this line? And the same goes for the Sikeston to Bird's Point line, right?
Great Article on Bird's Point, including the railroads there, the purpose it served, and the date of abandonment:
Mitch, that would be correct. Bird's Point was a ferry landing that crossed the river to Cairo to connect with the IC and other eastern railroads. Not sure on the year, but the ferry landing was moved to IllMo Missouri (Scott City) and eventually the Illinois & Missouri Bridge Company was created to build the Thebes bridge. That move pretty much let the railroads bypass Cairo, that combined with interstate 57 allowing cars to bypass Cairo as well, is at least a contributing factor to its current state.
I'm originally from Chicago now I live in Wyatt, MO. I was wondering when did they remove the rails from Wyatt to Birds Point?
The rails between Wyatt and Birds Point were abandoned on October 9, 1938 per ICC order. An oil pipeline was laid on this right of way in late 1941. See Fred Frailey's book Blue Streak Merchandise p.22. A small oil tank farm was located adjacent to the abandoned right of way south of Birds Point. The oil was transloaded onto barges for movement up the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers.
My research into Birds Point and Wyatt is ongoing. A note here about the WW2 oil pipeline. It may have been placed a bit earlier in 1941. A Cotton Belt employee time table shows a yard at Wyatt starting in May 1941, where none had been shown before. The crude oil that Fred Frailey wrote about came from Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas to Wyatt by tank car. There were four vertical tanks behind Rafferty's Store in Wyatt that may have been the original oil storage tanks. The oil was piped from Wyatt to Birds Point, still checking on more pipeline details. It was then shipped by barge from Birds Point to Mt. Vernon, Indiana and then piped again to refineries in Ohio. Some additional data has been written to the Birds Point wiki page about the oil tank farm at Birds Point and when it was destroyed.
The vertical storage tanks in Wyatt were grain silos. I measured the diameters last month. The one farthest to the west was 25 feet and the two eastern ones were 21 feet.