Kansas City Wyandotte Northwestern Railroad

The Kansas City, Wyandotte Northwestern Railroad came through Bancroft, Kansas, in 1887, providing rail transportation to many smaller towns and cities between Kansas City, Missouri, and Virginia, Nebraska. The "Northwestern" as it was commonly known, provided a direct route into the Kansas City market for farm products, and also provided passenger service to and from the largest metropolitan area adjacent to northeast Kansas.

Financing and building of the line was a prolonged and tumultuous affair, plagued with many difficulties. Raising funds locally was not easy, resulting in promises being made by promoters that were difficult and/or expensive to keep. The August 18, 1887 issue of a local newspaper (The Goff News, Railroad Rumblings column) reported that some 20 or 30 suits had been filed against KCNW saying amounts assessed at $20 per acre were unsatisfactory. Construction was sometimes delayed because workers quit when not paid. Sometimes other operating lines already occupied the most feasible route so it was necessary to spend time and money obtaining trackage rights. These reasons and many more were to bring the line into receivership in 1894, whereby it was bought by the Missouri Pacific Railroad and renamed the Kansas City Northwestern Railroad, the "Wyandotte" having been dropped in the process.

The line struggled for years, most of which it did not show a profit. Many railroad authors state it was treated like a "stepchild" by the parent railroad, never given the proper management and financing to make it a growing and going concern. Service was totally halted in October of 1919, and the line taken up sometime in the mid-1920's.

Missouri Pacific Northwest, a history of the Kansas City Northwestern Railroad, by I.E. Quastler, is an interesting and informative text for those wanting more information.