Friday, June 19, 2020

Helena's Namesake Railroad


HELENA SOUTHWESTERN RAILROAD

The railroad of the Helena Southwestern Railroad Company, hereinafter called the carrier, was a single-track, standard-gage, steam railroad, located in eastern Arkansas.

The main line extended southwesterly from West Helena to Helena Southwestern Junction, a distance of 2.321 miles. The carrier also owned 3.249 miles of yard tracks and sidings. Its road thus embraces 5.570 miles of all tracks owned and used.

The carrier had trackage rights over 57.80 miles of track owned by the Missouri and North Arkansas Railway Company from West Helena, Ark., to McClelland, Ark.; over 219.75 miles of track owned by the Missouri Pacific Railroad Company from Helena Southwestern Junction, Ark., to DeGruy, La., and Barton, Ark., to Chimile, La.; and over 2.88 miles of track owned by the Chicago Mill and Lumber Company, from Alsatia, La., to West Alsatia, La., and DeGruy, La., to West Somerset, La.

This is an industrial railroad operated in the interest of the Chicago Mill and Lumber Company, owner of a large sawmill at West Helena, Ark., and extensive timber holdings in that region.


CORPORATE HISTORY
The carrier was incorporated November 7, 1913, under the general laws of Arkansas to construct a railroad from West Helena in a southwesterly direction to a point in Phillips County, Ark. It was organized November 29, 1913.

DEVELOPMENT OF FIXED PHYSICAL PROPERTY
 
The road owned, 2.321 miles, extending from West Helena to Helena Southwestern Junction, Ark., was acquired by purchase from the Chicago Mill and Lumber Company, by deeds dated December 30, 1913, and May 1, 1914.

The property had been constructed by the Chicago Mill and Lumber Company in 1913 and construction work completed about the time it was acquired by the carrier. During 1916, the carrier acquired certain railroad property in Prairie and Woodruff Counties, Ark., from the Chicago Mill and Lumber Company. The extent of such property is not indicated by the records obtained. It was retired
in 1920.

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