Early railroad's tracks not up today's standards


Read about the first cross-state rails of the Hannibal & St. Joseph Railroad, circa 1857, as described in the Chillicothe Constitution-Tribune on Feb. 11, 1929:

"Perhaps the track would cause the section bosses of 1929 to blush for their profession, but it served its purpose. The roadbed was not ballasted, and the right of way was not fenced. The rails were iron, of the chairback variety. They were fitted together by notches, and were not bolted. The weight of an engine sometimes forced down a tie, causing the end of a rail to fly up. That was one of the hazards that kept the early engineers from becoming bored."

Artwork: Steve Chou collection

Story: Chillicothe Constitution-Tribune

Feb. 11, 1929 newspapers.com

Read about the timeline for riding across Missouri on the H&St.Jo in 1859. Click here

 Recent Posts