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Nostalgia & History > The big and little MoPac depots at El Dorado, KS


Date: 12/23/11 18:26
The big and little MoPac depots at El Dorado, KS
Author: JoCoLB

The former Missouri Pacific Railroad had two different depots at El Dorado, KS, on a freight-passenger line that ran east from Wichita, KS, to Eureka, Yates Center, Durand, Iola, Moran, Bronson and Fort Scott, KS. There was a large brick passenger depot building close to downtown El Dorado, which has been nicely preserved. There was also a small depot known as East El Dorado on the east edge of town. I'm curious. What was the purpose of the rather small East El Dorado depot? Did the MoPac have any kind of connection track with the ATSF Railway at El Dorado prior to the ATSF becoming the BNSF? Both of the posted photos were taken in 1957.






Date: 12/23/11 19:02
Re: The big and little MoPac depots at El Dorado, KS
Author: Rathole

The smaller building appears to be just a train order operator's shanty rather than a passenger depot.



Date: 12/23/11 19:37
Re: The big and little MoPac depots at El Dorado, KS
Author: Evan_Werkema

thtinc41ed Wrote:

> Did the MoPac have any kind of connection track
> with the ATSF Railway at El Dorado prior to the
> ATSF becoming the BNSF?

Before the line change, Santa Fe ran up Gordy St. in El Dorado. The connection track and line north of the MP is still in place for a ways, though the diamond and trackage to the south is gone.

http://g.co/maps/3hnse
http://g.co/maps/bg38h

Santa Fe's El Dorado depot was a brick affair similar to Florence, Garden City, Iola, and a number of other Kansas and Colorado county seats. It no longer stands, but Santa Fe's freight depot at Locust and Gordy was extant at last report:

http://g.co/maps/b2vr7

Those two photos are also Howard Killam shots according to the Kansas State Historical Society site.



Date: 12/24/11 06:41
Re: The big and little MoPac depots at El Dorado, KS
Author: mopacrr

If you will notice there is no train order signal at the Eldorado depot,but there is at East Eldorado, so East Eldorado must have been the T/O office. When Iwas working over there in 72 I could see the outline of the small yard office /depot there,but never knew there was asign of East Eldorado on it. Looks like one of Howard Killam's photos.



Date: 11/24/13 19:45
Re: The big and little MoPac depots at El Dorado, KS
Author: chrisfrommactown

This is so cool. I was born in 1957, the same year the picture of the Yard Office was taken. Dad went to El Dorado in 1960 as second trick Carman in those yards. He stayed until 1969 when his job was abolished and he had to go to the North Wichita Yards until his retirement in 1978. I spent a lot of time in that yard and in that yard office. I don't recall the Semaphore train order signal or the East El Dorado sign on the building. Ironically, the main depot which didn't have a train order signal acquired one in the seventies. I even got to ride in the cab of the engine while they switched the yard a couple of times. i remember going out on that bridge over the Walnut River scared the crap out of me because you could not see the bridge from the cab and it looked like forever down to the river below. Other memories from those days were of the Santa Fe trains going over the via-dock at the west end of the yards and an old abandoned Bridge and Building crew saw mill in the woods at the end of the RIP track. Power had been supplied by an old model A pickup up on blocks with a rubber belt from the rear wheel. As I recall, the two daily trains east and west through El Dorado were the 111 and the 110 as well as the six days a week McPherson Local that ran out of the yard. Ironically, I moved to McPherson in the Nineties and now lives one block from the terminus of the old MOPAC McPherson Local line. The line and yard tracks are still there although the tracks were tore out from just east of the river bridge to Duran following the mid 90's abandonment of the line. The yard office is gone too. So sad. I think the UP still runs one or two trains a week over from Wichita to exchange cars with the BNSF.



Date: 11/24/13 19:51
Re: The big and little MoPac depots at El Dorado, KS
Author: chrisfrommactown

This is so cool. I was born in 1957, the same year the picture of the Yard Office was taken. Dad went to El Dorado in 1960 as second trick Carman in those yards. He stayed until 1969 when his job was abolished and he had to go to the North Wichita Yards until his retirement in 1978. I spent a lot of time in that yard and in that yard office. I don't recall the Semaphore train order signal or the East El Dorado sign on the building. Ironically, the main depot which didn't have a train order signal acquired one in the seventies. I even got to ride in the cab of the engine while they switched the yard a couple of times. i remember going out on that bridge over the Walnut River scared the crap out of me because you could not see the bridge from the cab and it looked like forever down to the river below. Other memories from those days were of the Santa Fe trains going over the via-dock at the west end of the yards and an old abandoned Bridge and Building crew saw mill in the woods at the end of the RIP track. Power had been supplied by an old model A pickup up on blocks with a rubber belt from the rear wheel. I also loved to follow dad around with his long neck oil can as he checked the oil in the journal boxes and occasionally changed brake shoes and air hoses. As I recall, the two daily trains east and west through El Dorado were the 111 and the 110 as well as the six days a week McPherson Local that ran out of the yard. Ironically, I moved to McPherson in the Nineties and now live one block from the terminus of the old MOPAC McPherson Local line. The line and yard tracks are still there although the tracks were tore out from just east of the river bridge to Duran following the mid 90's abandonment of the line. The yard office is gone too. So sad. I think the UP still runs one or two trains a week over from Wichita to exchange cars with the BNSF.



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