Fort Smith and Western Railroad

Infobox SG rail
railroad_name=Fort Smith and Western
locale=Arkansas, Oklahoma
hq_city=Fort Smith, Arkansas
The Fort Smith and Western reporting mark|FS&W was a railroad that operated in the states of Arkansas and Oklahoma.

The railroad's main line extended convert|197|mi|km, from Coal Creek, Oklahoma to Guthrie, Oklahoma, with an additional convert|20|mi|km of trackage rights over the Kansas City Southern Railway between Fort Smith, Arkansas and Coal Creek. Guthrie was the territorial capital of Oklahoma, and a junction point with the Santa Fe Railway. Fort Smith and Western owned a subsidiary, St. Louis, El Reno and Western which began operating convert|42|mi|km between Guthrie and El Reno, Oklahoma in June 1904.


The Fort Smith and Western Railroad was incorporated in Arkansas in 1899 and began construction westward through Indian Territory and Oklahoma Territory. On November 1, 1903, the railroad was opened between Fort Smith and Guthrie. The capital of Oklahoma was moved from Guthrie to Oklahoma City in 1910, and in 1915, the FS&W acquired convert|32.5|mi|km of trackage rights over the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad from Fallis, Oklahoma to Oklahoma City.

The U.S. District Court in Fort Smith placed the Fort Smith and Western Railroad in receivership on October 9, 1915, on petition by the Superior Savings & Trust Co. of Cleveland, Ohio. The company emerged from receivership as the Fort Smith and Western Railway on February 1, 1923, only to re-enter receivership on June 1, 1931. Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad withdrew trackage rights between Fallis and Oklahoma City in January 1939 after FS&W defaulted on rental fees, and the Fort Smith and Western ceased operations on February 9, 1939.

The route of the FS&W served no major population centers, but did serve major coal mining operations in eastern Oklahoma at Coal Creek, Bokoshe, and McCurtain. Other towns served included Crowder, Weleetka, Okemah, Boley, Prague, and Meridian. A major portion of the road's freight traffic was metallurgical-grade coal from San Bois Coal Company mines near McCurtain. As coal traffic declined, an oil discovery near Okemah brought additional traffic, which postponed the abandonment of the railroad.

After the FS&W ceased operation, the trackage between Coal Creek and McCurtain was purchased by the Fort Smith and Van Buren Railway, a subsidiary of Kansas City Southern Railway.


*"Poor's Manual of Railroads - 1919", Poor's Publishing Co., New York, New York.
*Drury, George H. (1985) "Historical Guide to North American Railroads", Kalmbach Publishing Co., Milwaukee, WI. ISBN 0-89024-072-8
*Hull, Clifton E. (1988) "Shortline Railroads of Arkansas", UCA Press, Conway, AR. ISBN 0-944436-00-5
*Hofsommer, Donovan L. (1982) "Railroads of Oklahoma", Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City, OK. ISBN 0-941498-27-1

External links

* [ Fort Smith and Western vs. Mills, 253 U.S. 206 (1920)]
* [ Oklahoma legislation permitting railroad construction in Choctaw and Creek Nations.]

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