Sand Springs Railway

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The Sand Springs Railway (reporting mark SS) is a class III railroad operating in Oklahoma. It began in 1911 as an interurban railway providing passenger service between Tulsa and Sand Springs. It soon developed a freight hauling business between the two cities. Passenger service was discontinued in 1947, but the railroad has continued to operate until the present. In 2014, Gerdau Ameristeel announced that it had acquired complete ownership of all of the railroad.

It provides freight rail service between Sand Springs and Tulsa over a 32 mile route. The company primarily hauls steel, pulp, scrap iron, scrap paper, petroleum products, plastic, and lumber. It interchanges with the Union Pacific Railroad, BNSF Railway and the South Kansas and Oklahoma Railroad.[1]

History[edit]

The Sand Springs Railway was founded by Charles Page and incorporated on February 6, 1911. It began service between Tulsa and Sand Springs on 8.6 miles of track that May. Passenger service was initially provided by two gasoline-engine rail cars, which were soon replaced by electric trolleys.[2] The Tulsa passenger terminal was at the corner of Archer Street and Boston Avenue.[3]

Soon after the railroad line opened, it began to develop a freight hauling business, generated by various businesses emerged near the track between Sand Springs and Tulsa. The freight business was so profitable that in 1947 the railroad discontinued passenger service.[4]

The railroad was powered by electricity until 1955, when it discontinued passenger service and changed over to diesel locomotives as a freight line. At that time, it was the last interurban operating in Oklahoma.[2] The railroad was acquired by HMK Incorporated in 1987. In 1993, it was bought by Sheffield Steel, which operated a melt shop and rolling mill in the city of Sand Springs, later declared bankruptcy. The railroad was then was bought by a subsidiary of Gerdau Ameristeel Corporation in 2006.[5] Operations ceased in 2009 for a two-year planned shutdown.[1]

On May 28, 2014, it was announced that the railroad would be acquired by OmniTRAX, with operations commencing no later than July 31, 2014[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Short Line Railroad Directory. "Sand Springs Railway Company SS #707." Retrieved January 2, 2012.[1]
  2. ^ a b Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, "Sand Springs" Accessed May 6, 2011.[2]
  3. ^ Bates, Michael. Bates Line. "Greenwood's streetcar: The Sand Springs Railroad." December 18, 2008. Retrieved January 2, 2008.[3]
  4. ^ American rails.com. "Sand Springs Railway Company."
  5. ^ Gerdau Ameristeel Corporation press release. "Gerdau Ameristeel Announces Closing of Sheffield Steel Acquisition." June 12, 2006. Retrieved August 24, 2014.
  6. ^ "OmniTRAX Affiliate Acquires Sand Springs Railway Company". OmniTRAX. Retrieved 23 August 2014.