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Dodge City to Topeka 7/10/2022

by Chris Guenzler

Elizabeth and I woke up at the Best Western in Dodge City and after doing our Internet duties, checked out and walked over to the International House of Pancakes for breakfast, after which we started our day of stations and steam engines. We did not have to go far for the first one.

The Santa Fe station from Sitka, 53 miles south of Dodge City, built in 1930.

Interior view of the Sitka station.

Santa Fe 2-6-2 1139 built by Baldwin in 1903.

Boot Hill Special Santa Fe 2-6-2 1139 sign.

Santa Fe caboose 999014 built by the railroad in 1942 as Santa Fe 2178.

Santa Fe Dodge City station built in 1886. An addition was made between 1907 and 1909 to the first and second floors on the west end to add hotel rooms. An addition built between 1912 and 1914 to first and second floors of the east end added railway employee offices and sleeping spaces, and expanded the Harvey House lunchroom and dining room. The north facade was changed and a basement added for Harvey House food preparation and storage between 1924 and 1925. The station is of two stories with a three-story center section, constructed of stone, red-brick and terra cotta. The station was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2000 for its historical significance in the growth of Dodge City and its association with the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe, and for its architectural significance as the finest example of Romanesque design in Dodge City.

Dodge City sundials. Next we drove north to a farm in Wright.

Santa Fe Burdett station built in 1910. The owner of the property let us take pictures of the station. On the way out of town, we came across a nice surprise.

Right Cooperative Association GP9 101, originally Norfolk and Western 519, built by Electro-Motive Division in 1958 and rebuilt as a TC-10.

Right Cooperative Association GP9B 1702, originally Northern Pacific 326, built in 1957.

Right Cooperative Association GP9 101 and GP9B 1702. Our adventure continued as we made our way to Spearville.

Santa Fe Spearville station built circa 1890. We continued east but saw a headlight and pulled off the road.

BNSF 4164 West with DPU BNSF 4601 and 7395, which was Elizabeth's first train along the line. We then made our way to Kinsley for a steam engine.

Santa Fe 4-6-2 3424 built by Baldwin in 1921 and donated in 1956.

This sign was of great interest as Kinsley is the mid-point between New York and San Francisco. We next drove to Stafford where our timing could not have been better.

BNSF 3275 East at Stafford.

Santa Fe Stafford station built in 1911. Our eastward travel continued to Hutchinson.

Rock Island Hutchinson station built in 1951.

We then found the Rock Island freight house.

Union Pacific 6948 East with DPU Union Pacific 2594.

The Arkansas Valley Interurban station built in 1915. Construction began in 1910 on the first 17.8 mile long section from Wichita north to Sedgwick. On November 19, 1910 the line from Wichita to Valley Center was officially opened and service was extended to Sedgwick on December 17. In 1911, construction began on the Sedgwick to Newton segment, which was opened on October 9, 1911. With the completion of the line to Newton work began on the line to Halstead, which branched off of the Newton line at Van Arsdale Junction and headed straight west for five miles. This section opened late in 1911. It was not until 1915 that construction began on extending the Halstead branch another 24 miles to reach Hutchinson, but work commenced in April of that year and the first AVI car ran to Hutchinson on December 20, 1915. The only other branch operated by the AVI was a short line north from Newton to Bethel College which opened in 1913 and was abandoned in 1925. The Great Depression affected the AVI as it did all interurban lines, and revenues declined due to the economy as well as increased automobile use. On July 31, 1938, all passenger service on the AVI was abandoned, but the line continued hauling freight using its electric locomotives and box motors. In November 1939 the line was sold, changing its name to Arkansas Valley Railway. Dieselization came within a year, and the last electric operation was made on October 20, 1940 by a trio of interurban cars held in storage since abandonment of passenger service. Following this run the wires came down and all freight was hauled by diesel. This only lasted a year and a half; in July 1942 the War Production Board requisitioned the line for scrap and the track was torn up.

Santa Fe Hutchinson station built in 1954 which is also the Amtrak stop for the Southwest Chief. I then drove us to Burrton.

Arkansas Valley Interurban Burrton station. From here I drove us to Halstead.

Santa Fe Halstead station built in 1917.

Arkansas Valley Interurban Halstead station built in 1922.

Arkansas Valley Interurban is celebrating 100 years in 2022. Our next stop was Newton.

Santa Fe yard slug 3952 created from Union Pacific GP9 267, built by Electro-Motive Division in 1954.

Ferromax SD70ACe 4029 in the new paint scheme at the fuel racks.

Santa Fe Newton station built in 1929.

Ferromax SD70ACe 4029 in the new paint scheme. I then drove us to Florence and our next station.

Santa Fe Florence station built circa 1906.

The Santa Fe Florence Harvey House, also known as Clifton House, is the original Harvey House and is now a Harvey House Museum.

The Kansas Historical sign about the building.

Santa Fe caboose 1659 built by American Car and Foundry in 1929. I next drove us to Strong City.

Santa Fe caboose 999248 built by the railroad in 1942.

Santa Fe Strong City built in 1913. We continued on to Emporia for our next item.

Santa Fe 2-6-2 1015 built by Baldwin in 1921.

Santa Fe caboose 999262 built by American Car and Foundry in 1931 as Santa Fe 1983.

An Emporia scene. I then drove us to Osage City.

Santa Fe Osage City station built in 1912.

Santa Fe caboose 999737 built by International Car in 1978. Elizabeth then drove us to Perkins Restaurant in Topeka where we had dinner and afterwards to the Ramada Inn where we stayed that night. Our sixth floor room overlooked the Topeka BNSF shops.