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Western Railroad Discussion > Past & Present --- Herington, KS


Date: 10/24/09 19:28
Past & Present --- Herington, KS
Author: JoCoLB

Hardly anywhere in the country has the scene changed more than it has in the vicinity of Walnut Street and the north-south railroad tracks in the small town of Herington, KS (population approx. 2,600). The tracks were originally owned by the Rock Island Railroad. The St. Louis and Southwestern Railway (Cotton Belt), owned by the Southern Pacific, came to town in 1980 after taking over this Kansas segment from the bankrupt Rock Island. The SSW/SP trackage was later absorbed by the Union Pacific. Meanwhile, he "south line" was operated a few years by the Oklahoma-Kansas-Texas Railroad, a subsidiary of the old Katy line. That line was taken over by the U.P. when it absorbed the Katy.

It's the physical changes that should mostly be noted since Aug. 29, 1987, when Picture One was taken. What contrasts.

The stone buildings at right (the former RI/SP depot and freight house) were demolished by the SP in 1988. The privately-owned buildings at left were removed in 2007/2008 as part of a major grade separation project, which eliminated the Walnut Street crossing. The new overpass, which passes over the exact site of the old depot building, was dedicated in June of 2008.

Picture Two was taken on Friday, Oct. 23, 2009, showing how remarkable the changes have been.

Both views are looking north. The track at the left is the old Golden State Route that curves to the southwest and carries U.P. traffic east and west. The straight track in the foreground is the line that runs south to Wichita and points beyond. The old freight house siding is also long gone, but the crossover track remains, allowing trains to use either of two main line tracks while passing through the Herington switch yard.

It should also be noted that these pictures don't show all of the change relating to railroad property in Herington. The SP also demolished an old RI roundhouse and yard office building in the far background. The yard office was replaced with a modern one-story office building and was inherited by the U.P. with the SP merger.

There have been so many stark railroad changes around the country in past decades. Recent posts prove it. I don't now how the judges are going to determine the winners of the TO Past & Present Contest. In recent days, I've had a lot of fun comparing many photos I have taken in the Eastern half of Kansas over the past 40 years. These two stand out in my mind.






Date: 10/24/09 20:46
Re: Past & Present --- Herington, KS
Author: chico

Is that a Rock tri-light signal on the left in the last photo?

chico
http://www.heartlandrails.com



Date: 10/24/09 21:19
Re: Past & Present --- Herington, KS
Author: rich6000




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