Lehigh to Chickasha

The Oklahoma Central Railway

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This abandoned trackage was once an old Frisco siding dating back to 1903. The Sante Fe depot is to the right of the photo. Photo by Terry Hall.

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.

Historic ICC Abandonment Filings

ATCHISON, TOPEKA & SANTA FE RAILWAY
Docket Number: 9776 Date: 12/23/1932 Section: 1
Application of Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway and Oklahoma Central Railway for certificate to abandon lines of railroad extending from Lehigh, Coal County, Oklahoma, to Ada Junction, Pontotoc County, Oklahoma, a distance of 39.88 miles; and from Byars Junction to Purcell, McClain County, Oklahoma, a distance of 21.11 miles; a total length of 60.99 miles.
Length: 60.99 miles Citation: 193 ICC 793  
ATCHISON, TOPEKA & SANTA FE RAILWAY
Docket Number: 26356 Date: 9/23/1970 Section: 1(18)
Application for authority to abandon a line of railroad between Ada, Pontotoc County, Oklahoma, MP 86/4053 and Tupelo, Coal County, Oklahoma, MP 103/4957, a distance of approx. 17.17 miles.
Length: 17.17 miles Citation:  
ATCHISON, TOPEKA & SANTA FE RAILWAY
Docket Number: 26397 Date: 10/22/1970 Section: 1(18)
Application for authority to abandon a line of railroad between Pauls Valley, Garvin County, Oklahoma, MP 183/88.8 and Ada, Pontotoc County, Oklahoma, MP 40/2969 3, a distance of approximately 39.78 miles.
Length: 39.78 miles Citation:  
Also under this filing: Shawnee to Pauls Valley   

I grew up in Blanchard and remember many of the "oldtimers" talking about the OCRR and the towns depot. Some of the foundation stemwall of the depot is still visible. I'm delighted to see any information on this fine old road. Thanks!

Bob Kemper
Oklahoma City, OK
6/30/2011

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I recently found a photo of Harper's Camp on the OC & CV RR. Not sure where Harper was.

Paula Trahan
Taloga , OK
4/18/2013

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I have 2 maps of Blanchard,1st one is 1906 Blueprint of Dorset Carter President of Central Ok. Railway Co.requesting permission to build 10 miles of rail thru Blanchard, (Indian Territory)from the Dept of the Interior; 2nd is 1926 blueprint of where every building and all tracks were in town of Blanchard,down to smallest detail, pipelines,water,gas,etc.

Sonny
Blanchard, OK
6/27/2013

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Used to see abandoned RR tracks between Ada and Atoka when traveling to granny's house. Always wanted to know the history. Thanks

FRED S
OKC, OK
4/16/2015

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I used to hike the A A and SF tracks from the switchback switch area going West. It went East for a bit from the switch and then went to just ties and then nothing. The tracks went under a high bridge which carried the Frisco track and then over another bridge that crossed the highway that went to Sulfur. We found an abandoned set of bridge posts back in the woods south of where the highway now runs.

Does anybody have any photos of the turning wye or steam engines on these tracks? I can remember when I was a small boy seeing a Baldwin steam locomotive at the station off of Main Street. I can also remember a steam switcher going across the high bridge where Mississippi Street goes under it. Has anybody done a historical book of the trains of Ada Pre 1960s?

Kent Meyer
Ada, OK
2/6/2017

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Just went to town and found the old concrete slab where the train station was and what looks like some old refueling tanks or water tanks not sure u can also tell from the cutout in the hill where it was just so everyone knows its on the hill east of the high school football field very very cool. I'm guessing the city knows about it that's why its still there but no signs posted saying what was there or anything

Daniel
Blanchard , OK
2/9/2017

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