Morgantown and Kingwood Railroad

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Morgantown and Kingwood Railroad
Reporting mark M&K
Locale Monongalia and Preston Counties, West Virginia, United States
Dates of operation 1899–1920
Successor Baltimore and Ohio Railroad
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Length 47.9 mi (77.1 km)
Headquarters Morgantown, West Virginia

The Morgantown and Kingwood Railroad (reporting mark M&K) was a railroad in West Virginia in the United States. It extended from the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O) junction in Morgantown in Monongalia County via Masontown, Kingwood and Rowlesburg to the M&K junction with the B&O in Preston County, a distance of 47.9 mi (77.1 km).[1][2] The M&K also operated approximately 5 mi (8.0 km) of branch lines along the route.[3]

The M&K was completed in three stages: Morgantown to Bretz was completed in September 1903, Bretz to Kingwood in March 1906, and Kingwood to Rowlesburg in July 1907.[1] The route followed the course of Deckers Creek to Kingwood. The M&K had shops and a yard at Sabraton.[4]

The line primarily carried coal, building stone, glass sand and lumber.[1] By 1906 the line provided a twice-daily passenger service to Kingwood.[4] It was a key stimulus in the economic development of the region at the turn of the 20th century.[3]


George Cookman Sturgiss created the Morgantown and Kingwood Railroad Company which took out a charter for the M&K Railroad on 10 January 1899.[5][6] Sturgiss had previously been involved in several failed attempts to build the line and was in possession of much of the proposed right-of-way.[6] 8 mi (13 km) of the route were graded by September 1899.[7] Tracklaying began on 19 September 1899,[8] and 3 mi (4.8 km) was laid by November with 10 mi (16 km) graded.[9] 12 mi (19 km) were complete by December 1901.[10]

Stephen Elkins purchased the M&K Railroad Company in 1902.[3] The 18 mi (29 km) stretch to Masontown along Deckers Creek was completed by September 1902.[6] 2.5 mi (4.0 km) of track was laid between Bretz and Reedsville in 1904,[11] and the railroad reached Reedsville during 1905. [3] The Railroad Gazette page 23 July, 1905 indicates the line from Bretz to Reedsville is complete and the Morgantown and Kingwood is now constructing the 12 and a half miles from Reedsville to Kingwood. The company is also asking for bids from Kingwood to Rowlesburg. The section between Reedsville and Rowlesburg was under construction by 1906. 9 mi (14 km) of track was laid in 1905.[12]

The B&O gained control of the M&K in 1920 and operated it as a subsidiary.[13]


  1. ^ a b c Hennen, Ray V.; Reger, David B.; White, I.C. (1913). West Virginia Geological Survey: Marion, Monongalia and Taylor Counties. Wheeling, West Virginia: Wheeling News Lithograph Company. 
  2. ^ Kennedy, Robert F. (2008). "The B&O's M&K Branch: Tapping the Deckers Creek Valley" (PDF). The Sentinel. Baltimore, Maryland: Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Historical Society. 30 (4): 3–5. ISSN 1053-4415. Retrieved 27 January 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d Morton, Oren Frederic; Cole, J.R. (1914). A history of Preston County, West Virginia. 2. Kingwood, West Virginia: The Journal Publishing Company. OCLC 6336571. 
  4. ^ a b Venable, Wallace; Venable, Norma (2007). Around Morgantown. Images of America. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7385-4393-2. 
  5. ^ Acts of the legislature of West Virginia, at its twenty-fourth regular session, commencing January 11th, 1899. Charleston, West Virginia: Press Butler Printing Company. 1899. 
  6. ^ a b c Callahan, James Morton (1912). Butcher, Bernard L, ed. Genealogical and personal history of the upper Monongahela Valley, West Virginia. 3. New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company. 
  7. ^ "Construction". The Railway Age: 576. 4 August 1899. 
  8. ^ "Construction". The Railway Age: 724. 29 September 1899. 
  9. ^ "Construction". The Railway Age: 827. 3 November 1899. 
  10. ^ "Construction". The Railway Age: 767. 27 December 1901. 
  11. ^ "Railroad built in 1904". The Railroad Gazette. 37 (29): 681. 30 December 1904. 
  12. ^ "Construction". The Railway Age: 451. 23 March 1906. 
  13. ^ Mundy, Floyd W., ed. (1922). "17th issue". Mundy's earning power of railroads. James H. Oliphant & Company. 17: 224.