Kansas City, Mexico and Orient Railway

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Kansas City, Mexico and Orient Railway
Locale Mexico/United States
Dates of operation 1900–1928
Successor Chihuahua al Pacífico/Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Length R
Map of the proposed KCM&O and the companies controlled by Edwin Hawley, between which a traffic arrangement was made

The Kansas City, Mexico and Orient Railway, started in 1900 by American railroad entrepreneur Arthur Edward Stilwell, was the predecessor to the Chihuahua al Pacífico railroad in Mexico. It was intended to reach the Pacific Ocean at Topolobampo, Sinaloa.[1]

The United States portion was incorporated in 1900 as the Kansas City, Mexico and Orient Railway, and completed between Wichita, Kansas and Alpine, Texas. Grading took place between El Dorado, Kansas and Bazaar, Kansas. Primary shops were first located in Fairview, Okla. In 1910 the Fairview shops were destroyed by fire and the shops were then reestablished in Wichita. It was forced into bankruptcy in 1912, but its receiver William T. Kemper was to make a fortune when oil was discovered under its tracks.[2] In 1914, it was reorganized as the KCM&O Railroad. Another reorganization in 1925 returned it to its original name. It was popularly called The Orient railroad.[3]

The KCM&O was acquired by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway in 1928, mainly to gain access to the west Texas oil fields. The Santa Fe then sold the Mexican portions. Operating rights on the portion (South Orient Rail Line) from San Angelo to Presidio later were awarded to Texas Pacifico Transportation.

At the end of 1925, KCM&O and KCM&O of Texas together operated 738 miles of road on 859 miles of track; they reported a total of 330 million net ton-miles of revenue freight and 8 million passenger-miles.

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