Riverdale to Bell Plaine
This 6-mile Missouri Pacific line from Riverdale to Belle Plaine, KS, was abandoned in the 1980s, but remained intact until about 2006. However, ties are mostly still in the ground.
James adds: I was traveling up to Wichita a couple of weeks ago and passed by the area out of curiosity. The couple of spots I could check, I found the rails lifted as far as I could see. With the trees and it being mostly inaccessable, it is hard to tell if all tracks are gone, or just what was convenient.
Thanks to James Riley for contributing information.
In the early part of my RR career as a UPRR Conductor, I ran on the line from Riverdale to Belle Plain, Kansas. This on the Mopac and we were running from Conway Springs to Dexter, Kansas. We ran over the Santa Fe RR from Belle Plain to Mulvane and then to Winfield where we got back on the Mopac. Our goal was to make connection with the train out of Coffeyville, Kansas.
This line was deeded back to the landowners a few years ago. I own land on both sides of the old tracks and have the new deeds. Most if not all of the tracks and rails have been removed as well as the bridge that crossed the river.
I'm a big fan of rails-to-trails and recently spotted this abandoned railroad from the turnpike and was excited to get home and look it up. Glad I was able to find it listed here.
Thanks to those who provided info on it.
Does anybody know how the Mopac was operating this line up to abandonment? I assume that this line was still being used to serve the large co-op elevator in Belle Plaine and possibly the Riverdale elevator as well. Was the line from Riverdale to Conway springs abandoned later, or was access to this line just from the ATSF track in Belle Plaine by this time?
When I was in high school, I worked at the elevator in Belle Plaine. We received and shipped grain on the MOPAC in 1970 & 1971. By then the rails east of town had been removed. The train came in from Conway Springs then left for Winfield via Mulvane on the Santa Fe tracks. The alfalfa mill also shipped via MOPAC.