I’ve Got a Ticket for a Train Going to Nowhere
Once upon a time my hometown was quite the town to visit! Of course, being the home of E.W. Marland, the 10th Governor of the state of Oklahoma makes it a bit more interesting. Ponca City was also the home of Conoco Oil Company and several minor league baseball teams in its heyday. It was significantly easier to get to. This is because Ponca City used to
have passenger trains that stopped at its depot. These trains didn’t stop running until the late 70’s. That being said, the yards are still used to this day. Today we’re gonna learn a bit about this historic train station!
In 1911 the Ponca City depot was completed and up and running. This was the last of the depots built in the city and was considered to be a centralized hug for the railroads running through the town. The primary trains were the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe railroads. Amtrak eventually began using it for their passenger trains at a later date. Up until the late 70’s this particular train depot was one of the main ways to get to Ponca City besides car, the other being the airport. In the 1940’s, the depot was renovated and given the appearance that it has today.
In the early 2000’s the depot was closed permanently and currently stands boarded up and untouched. There was talk at one point to reopen the depot and bring back the Amtrak. However, that seems to have fallen through. The yards around the depot are not unused. While the Atchison and Topeka lines no longer run in Ponca City, the yards are used by Burlington Northern Santa Fe for their shipping lines. The area around the depot is considered dangerous as there is the old grain elevator is beside the depot. The grain elevator is off limits and unless one has a telescopic camera, or is brave enough, you cannot get very good pictures of the area.