Kansas City, Mexico & Orient 2-10-0 No. 804, Baldwin No. 58574, Built August 1925.

(Steamtown National Historic Site, STEA-fdce1253f59b40319925867b89129270.jpg, Public domain)


Kansas City, Mexico and Orient Railway herald.


The Kansas City, Mexico and Orient Railway, started in 1900 by American railroad entrepreneur Arthur Edward Stilwell, was the predecessor of the Chihuahua al Pacífico railroad in Mexico. It was intended to reach the Pacific Ocean at Topolobampo, Sinaloa, Mexico.

The United States portion was incorporated in 1900 as the Kansas City, Mexico, and Orient Railway. It was completed between Wichita, Kansas, and Alpine, Texas. Grading took place between El Dorado and Bazaar, Kansas. Primary shops were first located in Fairview, Oklahoma. In 1910, the Fairview shops were destroyed by fire and the shops were then re-established in Wichita. The railroad was forced into bankruptcy in 1912, but its receiver, William T. Kemper, was to make a fortune when oil was discovered under its tracks. In 1914, it was reorganized as the KCM&O Railroad. Another reorganization in 1925 returned it to its original name. It was popularly called The Orient railroad.

At the end of 1925, KCM&O and KCM&O of Texas (the portions of interstate railroads in Texas were required to be under unique charters) together operated 859 miles (1,382 km) of track over 738 miles (1,188 km) of right of way; they reported a total of 330 million net ton-miles of revenue freight and 8 million passenger-miles. The KCM&O was acquired by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway in 1928, mainly to gain access to the West Texas oil fields. The Santa Fe then sold the Mexican portions. The railway reached Presidio in 1930 and the Presidio–Ojinaga International Rail Bridge was built.

Operating rights on the portion from San Angelo Junction, 65 miles (105 km) NNE of San Angelo, Texas, to Presidio, Texas (known as South Orient Rail Line) later were awarded to Texas Pacifico Transportation.


Map of the Hawley Railroad Lines, 1909.

(The American Review of Reviews, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)


Kansas City, Mexico and Orient Railway Overview

Locale Mexico/United States
Dates of operation 1900–1928
Successor Chihuahua al Pacífico/Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway
Track gauge 4 ft 8+1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge


Kansas City, Mexico & Orient 2-8-0 No. 302, ALCO/Cooke No. 38455, Built April 1906.

(Steamtown National Historic Site, STEA-eb46c39006d641bf94381840a30fa051.jpg, Public domain)


Kansas City, Mexico & Orient 4-4-0 No. 503, ALCO/Cooke No. 38450. Built February 1906. Note: AT&SF No. 2558. (Steamtown National Historic Site, STEA-c206f0e9d46241e786adb9d3bce81fb4.jpg, Public domain)


Kansas City, Mexico & Orient 2-8-0 No. 205,  ALCO/Pittsburgh No. 46537. Built October 1909. Note: SF 2539. (Steamtown National Historic Site, STEA-f0dd7acd12de4a39855e2eeacc6d6dcc.jpg, Public domain)

Kansas City, Mexico & Orient 2-6-0 No. 128, ALCO/Cooke No. 38453. Built March 1906. (Steamtown National Historic Site, STEA-7180b1b416274d3087c9f85423e687c0.jpg, Public domain)

Kansas City, Mexico & Orient 0-6-0 No. 019,  ALCO/Pittsburgh No. 46540. Built September 1909. (Steamtown National Historic Site, STEA-e7f4a63d07514d12a0c48e63e4d652d7.jpg, Public domain)

Preferred Stock Trust Certificate of the Kansas City, Mexico & Orient Railway Company.

(Sammlung eines Mitglieds des Ersten Deutschen Historic-Actien-Clubs e.V., Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)