A Choctaw Route slideshow.
The Choctaw, Oklahoma and Gulf Railroad's "Arapahoe", a rare 2-2-2 steam locomotive built by Baldwin.
Choctaw, Oklahoma and Gulf Railroad
The Choctaw, Oklahoma and Gulf Railroad (CO&G), known informally as the "Choctaw Route," was an American railroad in the states of the Arkansas, and Oklahoma. The company, originally known as the Choctaw Coal and Railway Company, completed its main line between West Memphis, Arkansas and western Oklahoma by 1900. In 1901 the CO&G chartered a subsidiary company, the Choctaw, Oklahoma and Texas Railroad, to continue construction west into the Texas panhandle, and by 1902 the railroad had extended as far west as Amarillo.
The CO&G came under the control of the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad (the "Rock Island") in 1902, and was formally merged into the Rock Island on January 1, 1948. The Memphis-Amarillo route remained an important main line for the Rock Island, hosting local and transcontinental freight traffic as well as passenger trains such as the Choctaw Rocket from 1940-1964.
The Choctaw Route today
Ownership of the Choctaw Route's railway components were split into numerous pieces as a result of the dissolution of the Rock Island Railroad in 1980. Some segments of the former CO&G were abandoned; others remain in use by the Union Pacific Railroad and various short lines. As of 2014, the former Choctaw Route can be described from east to west as:
Memphis, Tennessee to Brinkley, Arkansas: active; owned by Union Pacific
Brinkley to the eastern side of Little Rock: abandoned, with rail removed
Little Rock to Danville: active; operated by the Little Rock and Western Railway
Danville to Howe, Oklahoma: abandoned, with rail removed; owned by the State of Oklahoma
Howe to McAlester: active; owned and operated by the Arkansas–Oklahoma Railroad
McAlester to Shawnee: disused, with rail in place but most road crossings paved over. Owned by the UP, last operated by Union Pacific in 1996
Shawnee to Oklahoma City: active; owned by Union Pacific, operated by the Arkansas-Oklahoma Railroad
Oklahoma City to El Reno: active; owned by Union Pacific, operated by Union Pacific and AT&L Railroad
El Reno to Geary: active; owned and operated by AT&L railroad
Geary to Watonga Spur: active; owned and operated by AT&L Railroad
Geary to Bridgeport: Active; Owned by the State of Oklahoma, operated by AT&L Railroad
Bridgeport to Weatherford: Out of service; owned by the State of Oklahoma. Rails are still in place for most of this segment, but several sections are washed out.
Weatherford to Erick: active; owned by the State of Oklahoma, operated by the Farmrail Corporation
Erick, Oklahoma to east end of Amarillo, Texas: abandoned, with rail removed.
Little Rock Passenger Depot
Choctaw, Oklahoma and Gulf Railroad Overview
Locale: Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Texas
Dates of operation: 1888–1948
Successor: Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad
Headquarters: South McAlester, Oklahoma
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Text: wikipedia.org. Images: Public Domain; http://www.commons.wikimedia.org (unless otherwise specified) and 17 U.S. Code § 107 fair use. References: Lewis, Robert G. The Handbook of American Railroads. New York: Simmons-Boardman Publishing Corporation, 1951, 2nd Edition 1956. Site Map Contact webmaster HERE.