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 Post subject: Midland Valley Depot in Pawhuska, OK
PostPosted: Mon Apr 4th, 2011 am30 9:00 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 20th, 2011 pm31 10:33 pm
Posts: 251
Location: Ralston, Oklahoma
Midland Valley Railroad was incorporated on June 4, 1903, to construct a right of way in regions of Indian Territory and Kansas already served by railroads that had been completed 10 to 20 years earlier. Construction was backed by Philadelphia industrialist C. Jared Ingersoll who had coal mining interests in the Northeast region of Indian Territory . Ingersoll originally intended to use the new railroad to carry coal.

There were two depots in Pawhuska, the much more popular Sante Fe, which exists today as a museum, and this one. This is what the depot looked like in 1963.

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As it looks today.

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Construction began in Arkansas in 1903, with the route completed in 1910 upon reaching Wichita, Kansas. Headquarters and shops were established in 1904 in Muskogee, Oklahoma. While coal loadings remained important to the railroad, its most profitable years were the result of large oil deposits in the region directly served by the railway as railroads provided the primary means of transporting crude oil before the establishment of pipelines. In addition to shipping oil the Midland Valley also profited from ladings of equipment and supplies related to oil production, and later an online refinery constructed in Barnsdall, Oklahoma.

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After construction was complete the Midland Valley stretched 335 miles. It roughly paralleled the Arkansas River and hence the slogan "Arkansas River Route" was often used. The Midland Valley was the shortest route between Wichita and Fort Smith.

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Early on the Midland Valley had a reasonably sized passenger fleet, and even featured some Pullman equipment. Passenger revenues peaked in 1920 and was discountinued by 1934 with the exception of an occasional faired passenger in a caboose.

The Midland Valley was bought out by the Texas & Pacific in 1964. The T&P, in turn, merged in 1964 with the Missouri Pacific, which was itself merged into Union Pacific in 1983.

The main entrance and passenger area.

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The cargo area and loading dock.

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This fenced area is shown in the old photos. I'm assuming it's purpose was decorative. The tree, like the depot, is long dead.

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There was another building just to the north of the depot that appeared to have been for cargo only. It was a burned out shell.

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The Midland Valley was bought out by the Texas & Pacific in 1964. The T&P, in turn, merged in 1964 with the Missouri Pacific, which was itself merged into Union Pacific in 1983. I'm not sure when the tracks and depot where abandoned. Many of the railways in the area where decommisioned in the 70's. It appears it's last use was as a feed store. The roof has partially collapsed, and will completely fall shortly. The shell will probably stand for some time, as there appears to be no demand for the property.

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"Ruins, the fate of all cities."


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