Home Page Forums Prototype and Historical General Bagnell branch out of Jefferson City

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    David Boeschen

    Does anyone have knowledge of why the Mopac abandoned this branch in 1962 and did it have anything to do with the construction of a four lane Hwy. 50 through Jeff City at that time?? Thanks.

    G Michels

    David, It was lack of traffic. Roads in general, just the availability to use trucks, were the reason. It became unfeasible to maintain track and trains on this line. It happened all over the system about this time. The Warsaw Branch, the Versailles Branch, and later the le4xington/Sedalia Branch. I think it was nothing new for a railroad to prune uneconomic branches from the very beginning. Abandonments in the last 75-50 or so years are probably more noticeable to us these days, but if you look at old maps of the MoPac (say the 1920s) you’d see a lot of branches that have been gone for a long time. Also, keep in mind that 1962 was the beginning of the Jenks era, and he was very interested in making the Mopac an efficient railroad. He trimmed branches and passenger trains. If general, if it didn’t make good economic sense, it went away. I think Craig Miner’s book “The Rebirth of the Missouri Pacific” probably give the best account of the impact the Jenks regime had when it came to power. Generally, perhaps not nostalgically, it was a good move for the railroad.

    Jerry Michels

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