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Nostalgia & History > Interested in information on the CRIP line to Watertown, SD


Date: 01/10/17 15:27
Interested in information on the CRIP line to Watertown, SD
Author: todude

This is a bit of a long shot, but there is much knowlege here on train orders, so just throwing this out there.  The Rock Island,who had very little presence in South Dakota, built a line from Ellsworth IA to Watertown SD.  From what I have been able to put together, there was a "Y" junction on the east side of Watertown SD, where the Crip and the M&St.L merged, and shared trackage and shared the M&St.L depot in Watertown. The line from Clear Lake SD to Watertown was abandoned in the early to mid fifties, but I think that it lasted to Clear Lake SD at least in to the 70's.  This is such a remote, and far removed piece of trackage from their system, that I am just curios if anyone out there can shed any light on their reason to build out this way, and any details on any kind of operations at any time during this sections existense.  I live an hour away from Watertown SD, and up until about 15 years ago or so, the wye  still existed on the east side of Watertown, and was used by the CNW, and later DME in switching moves at the Dacotah Cement terminal.   All trackage has since been removed.   You can easily follow the grade SE of Watertown, and there are still some concrete abutments, and other easily discernable features between Watertown, and Clear Lake SD, despite that part of the line being gone now going 60 plus years.  

Thanks for taking time to read this.
Steve



Date: 01/10/17 15:50
Re: Interested in information on the CRIP line to Watertown, SD
Author: todude

If you go to google earth, the wye is stiil easily discernable, and if you follow the SE leg of it, you can follow it if you look closely most of the way.
Steve
 



Date: 01/10/17 17:36
Re: Interested in information on the CRIP line to Watertown, SD
Author: Kenny_Blankenship

Interesting Topic!

Gary, SD was the entry point for the first railroad in South Dakota so MSTL built from the east through Gary to Clear Lake then on to Watertown. The Gary Historical Society has some neat artifacts and records of the railroad era in the city.  Gary is also known as the "Gate City" as in the railroad gateway to South Dakota.

There are some large bridge abutments along Railroad Ave in Gary and a full stone arch bridge to the west of town heading toward Clear Lake.  The old yard in Gary is now home to a grove of trees to the east of the Gary grain elevator.  Gary was the end of the line for a period of time but expanded west as the area developed.

My family settled in Gary when it was a boom town. The city has contracted over the years but has had a resurgence in the last decade as wind energy and tourism has brought new life to the town.  I lived there for a few years after college while I was working for a local wind energy company. When I could i enjoyed hunting for railroad right of ways, remaining buildings, and other artifacts of the railroads that passed through the area.
 



Date: 01/10/17 17:39
Re: Interested in information on the CRIP line to Watertown, SD
Author: mamfahr

Hello Steve,

I can offer a few things to help out.  In short, the extension to Watertown was part of an effort in the late 1800s to increase coordination, and integrate routes, with the M&StL which the RI had an ownership interest in at the time.  If you'd like more info, send me a private message and I'll send some book excerpts that provide more details.  As far as operations are concerned, I have a couple of dispatcher's sheets from that area from 1907 and several dozen from various years in the 1970s that would show how RI ran trains on those lines. 

Take care,

Mark

 



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