History of the W&PS Railroad

Warrensburg is a college town and a train town

Today

The new Warrensburg & Pertle Springs Railroad (W&PSRR) is proposed as a reconnection between downtown Warrensburg and Pertle springs but with many important distinctions and improvements from its predecessor a century ago. 

 

W&PSRR rolling stock will be modern replicas of the original line’s open-sided passenger cars and tiny locomotive to provide the streetcar’s “transportainment” factor. Unlike the noisy, smoky steam engine of yesteryear, the new locomotive will be driven by quiet, emission-free, battery-powered electric motors. 

 

Remarkably, the streetcar line’s original right- of- way remains free of structures. Bits of the original roadbed remain visible. But nearly everything along and near the line has changed dramatically since the 1920s. 

 

Downtown Warrensburg streetscapes remain largely unaltered although many buildings have new uses. The sandstone train station still serves intercity rail passengers. The dummy line headed south from downtown and ran in the street on the west side of the teachers’ college. Today, that street is a pedestrian mall through the middle of the UCM campus.

 

Back in the day, Warrensburg ended just south of the Normal No. 2 campus. The streetcar line continued past a lake that was part of the town’s waterworks, then entered Pertle Springs. (The waterworks’ owner also built and owned the resort.) The line terminated at a small station down the hill from the resort’s Minnewawa Hotel.

 

The waterworks lake is now part of a city park and conservation area. Pertle Springs, now owned by UCM, still has lakes and woods, plus Mules National Golf Club. Apartments, houses and UCM’s campus fill the remaining area along the streetcar right of way.