Re: the implications of how the CRIP Choctaw Route was kill ed


A bit more on the Katy possibility.  Some years back I had some very informative exchanges with a former management person in the MKT operating department.  Katy was apparently close enough in their planning that they had actually identified which of their people were going to be assigned as operating officials (Supt., Asst Supt, etc.) in Little Rock.  The MP-UP merger was going down at the same time and the Katy was also posturing to be included in that merger or else have a lot of protective conditions imposed.  Reportedly Harold Gastler (MKT President) got word from D.B. Jenks (MP) that the way to play ball was to let the Memphis line go.  MKT had already gotten a taste of other MP "cooperation" when they were supposed to get reciprocal switching of Wichita industries by the OKT (a similar arrangement was expected to prevail with all the Little Rock Rock Island industries).  All that plus the somewhat tenuous condition of parts of the Sunbelt line was enough to make MKT walk away at the last minute.  At every opportunity, it appears that MP and SSW representatives were there to make sure their position prevailed.  As a result, industrial development in a large area of western Arkansas is permanently stunted, much as happened along the line of the M&NA/M&A/A&O decades earlier.  In Oklahoma its a little better, but not much.  Long branchline railroads with no overhead traffic just do not have a great long-term prognosis.

Bill Pollard

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