It was not long after the Sand Springs Railway opened that it began to
develop a large amount of freight business with, as mentioned before, a
number of industries constructing plants along its route. It is also
interesting that even though the interurban served only Tulsa and the
suburb of Sand Springs it continued to carry a fairly substantial amount
of traffic for many years. Its early wooden cars
were later replaced with secondary equipment from neighbor
Tulsa-Sapulpa Union (then known as the Oklahoma Union Railway) as well
as the Cincinnati, Lawrenceburg & Aurora. Another fascinating point
in the company's history was with the passing of Mr. Page who gave the
interurban away to a local orphan's home in an attempt to help the organization through the income the property generated.
Just after World War II, in 1947 the Sand Springs finally gave up on passenger services altogether and focused exclusively on freight operations, the last in the state of Oklahoma to do so. Until 1955 it still operated electrically when the catenary was pulled down in favor of small EMD switchers. By that time the company's freight operations were so profitable that it was generating $742,000 annually. Fifteen years later the shortline was still operating its 10-mile main line as well as 22 miles of yard and industrial tracks, totaling 32 miles in all (which is still the case today).
Sand Springs Railway Diesel Locomotive Roster
|EMD||SW900||100||1956, Bought New||1|
|EMD||SW900||101||1956, Bought New||1|
|EMD||SW900||102||1956, Bought New||1|
Its connections then, in 1970,
included fellow former interurban Tulsa-Sapulpa Union and Class Is, St.
Louis-San Francisco (Frisco), Santa Fe, Texas & Pacific (Missouri
Pacific), and the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad (Katy).
Today, the Sand Springs Railway operates in much of the same
fashion as it always has, serving local industry along its lines and
interchanging with a handful of railroads. It is currently owned by
Gerdau Ameristeel and continues to operate EMD switchers. Its traffic
base includes steel, pulpboard, paper scrap iron, petroleum products,
plastics and lumber. The railroad does not have a website.
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Sand Springs Railway