Missouri Pacific Railroad's Bagnell Branch

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Prototype information on the branch

4-6-0 2620 on turntable at Bagnell, Missouri in1930.

The Bagnell Branch was originally built in two segments. The first segment was named Jefferson City, Lebanon and Southwestern Railway. This company was incorporated under the board of directors of The Laclede and Fort Scott Railroad January 24, 1871 as a branch of the Laclede and Fort Scott RR.  After purchase of this line by the Missouri Pacific Railway in 1884, the line was extended from Cooper to Bagnell 5.79 miles the end of the line.   Bagnell had a 75’ turntable where the locomotives were turned for the reverse trip.   After the Bagnell dam (creating Lake of the Ozarks) was constructed, the town of Bagnell was flooded and a wye was built at Aurora Springs to enable locomotives to be turned.  In 1946 the track and wye were removed and the mainline extended only 1.5 miles south of the RI crossing in Eldon.   It is assumed when the wye was removed in 1946 the line would have been dieselized.
A 1938 photograph (Harold Vollrath collection) shows a 9000 class diesel-switcher at Eldon depot. The Mopac abandoned the branch in 1962.
The Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad (RI) was built through Eldon in 1903 and small line segments are still operated from St. Louis and Kansas City areas.

Miller County history of the Bagnell Branch.

Click here to take a 46 mile walking tour of the Bagnell Branch by my friend "Eb" Eberhart.

Photo album from Eb's hike.

Map of Bagnell Branch


Mopac local sitting in front of the MP depot in downtown Eldon circa 1934.  The  Rock Island boxcar was probably pulled off the interchange and a suburban combine is being used as a caboose.  Photograph by Ray Blackburn.  I recently learned that Mr. Blackburn was a RI employee that lived in Eldon and took many photographs of Mopac engines in Eldon and Jefferson City in the 1930's.

5524 (4-4-2) was somewhat a rare locomotive to work the Bagnell Branch. Shown here in Eldon in ....

My wife's former family farm near Mary's Home, Missouri. Osage River in behind the tree line.

Mopac's depot in Eldon circa 1930.

MP's Eldon depot in 1948


Early diesel assigned to the local at Eldon in 1938.  Ray Blackburn photo.


Last train to operate on the branch shown here coming south off the house track in Eldon.