The Oklahoma Central Railway was incorporated in 1904 as the Canadian Valley and Western Railway Co. Construction commenced in Lehigh, OK, (Coal County) in 1905 and was completed to Chickasha, OK, in 1908. The route was primarily constructed to transport coal from the mines at Lehigh to Purcell in order to service steam locomotives on the Santa Fe. Primary sources of revenue included passengers and express, coal, cotton and its by-products, livestock, and building material.
Towns served by the OCR were thriving communities in the early days of Oklahoma statehood. Cities along the route included Lehigh, Frisco, Stonewall, Vanoss, Byars, Rosedale, and Stratford.
According to Meade's Manual, the City of Ada was reached by backing down a 1.8 mile spur. Trains were turned on the Frisco wye at $1.00 per train. The OCR depot (later Santa Fe) still stands at the corner of Main and Johnston.
The OCR was merged into Santa Fe in 1918. Much of the line was dismantled in the 1930s, but the line from Byars to Ada was operated as a branch until September, 1971.
Thanks to Terry Hall for contributing information about this route.