Midland Railway Historical Association

Phone (913) 721-1211
Depot (785) 594-6982 Answered during operating hours
1515 High Street, Baldwin City, KS 66006-0005

About Midland Railway Association

About Midland Railway Association

The Midland Railway operates excursion trains on the first railroad line south of the Kansas River, originally constructed in 1867 by the Leavenworth, Lawrence & Fort Gibson Railroad.   The Leavenworth, Lawrence and Fort Gibson Railroad Company (LL&G RR Co.), headquartered just southwest of Baldwin City in the small town of Prairie City, KS,  was originally chartered in 1858 to build a railroad from Leavenworth to the south Kansas boarder.  Construction began in late 1867 and on New Years day of 1868 track had been laid to Ottawa. Construction resumed in the spring of 1869 and reached Coffeyville, KS in 1871. Making a total distance of 143.83 miles for the railroad line.

On March 5, 1875 the LL&G RR Co. went into receivership and was sold under foreclosure. Struggling to survive, the railroad was sold October 22, 1878. The new owners changed the name to the Leavenworth, Lawrence & Galveston Railroad Company.

In 1879 the Leavenworth, Lawrence & Galveston Railroad Company name was changed again to the Kansas City, Lawrence and Southern. The quickly growing Santa Fe Railroad took control of the stock in November of 1880, but ran it under the name of the Kansas City, Lawrence and Southern Railroad Company.

During 1880’s the highest rate of speed allowed for express passenger trains was 25 – 35 mph. The highest rate of speed allowed for mail and freight trains was 15 mph.  In December of 1880 the Kansas City, Lawrence & Southern Kansas RR, Ottawa & Burlington RR, and the Kansas City & Olathe RR Companies were consolidated under the name of the Southern Kansas Railroad Company

From the first of May in 1882, until the mid 1970’s, the line ran under the name of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway Company until it was abandoned from Lawrence to Baldwin City, KS.

In 1987, several investors put their money together and purchased the line from Baldwin City, KS to Ottawa, KS from the Atchiston, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway Co, starting the Midland Railway Historical Association, a not for profit organization.  The Midland Railway now offers train rides, featuring an over-20-mile round trip from Baldwin City via “Norwood, Kansas” to Ottawa Junction, Kansas, traveling through the scenic Eastern Kansas farmlands and woods via vintage railway equipment just like the original LL&G RR Co.


Your Support Helps Preserve the Past

The Midland Railway Historical Association’s primary goal is to obtain and restore historically significant railroad artifacts and equipment to foster the public’s awareness and appreciation of railroading, both past and present.  Our organization utilizes this equipment in the operation of a common carrier demonstration passenger excursion railroad entirely volunteer-staffed and operated. The Midland Railway Historical Association is a not-for-profit, educational, charitable IRS 501(c)(3) tax-exempt corporation.

Become A Member

Being a member of the Midland Railway offers you the opportunity to work on a unique project that promotes the preservation of railroad history through the operation of an actual railroad. Membership Information>

Make a Donation

The Midland Railway Association accepts gifts online through PayPal. Gifts are tax-deductible.




Corporate Sponsorship

Your business or organization can support our mission by becoming a corporate sponsor. For more information, contact us.

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Midland Railway Historical Association

 

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