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Wagoner,Oklahoma- a UP hotspot

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Naturally, one of the first things I check out in any place I'm at is the location of the local railroad action. Besides the UP's ex-MKT line and BNSF's ex-Frisco trackage here in Muskogee, up the road a ways in Wagoner there's a pretty decent place to capture UP action.

Wagoner, county seat of Wagoner County (funny how that works out) is a community of about 7700 folks 50 miles southeast of Tulsa, OK, and about 15 miles north of Muskogee. It sits at the crossing of the former Katy main between Parsons, KS and Denison, TX, and the former Missouri Pacific line between Coffeyville, KS and Van Buren, AR. Not far east is the site where the Kansas, Oklahoma & Gulf's line from Baxter Springs, KS joined up with the former MP, splitting off at Okay to continue into Muskogee and onward to Denison.

The KO&G line north was abandoned in 1962, and the lines in Wagoner eventually fell under UP control (MP in 1982, UP via MP in 1988). Instead of Jenks blue & John Deere green & yellow, it's Armour Yellow that dominates the colors of the road power here.

I don't have a set number of trains that roll thru Wagoner daily, but I can tell you that it obviously isn't as high as it was last year due to the recession. However, of the traffic, it's mostly coal and unit grain, with general merchandise and a daily auto-rack train on the former Katy. If you're looking for hot stack trains, save your camera batteries for a short trip to Claremore and the BNSF- no stacks here.

One semi-cloudy weekday this past February I had the day off from work, and not wishing to stare at four walls in a motel room, I headed north to Wagoner to capture some of the rail action. Those shots will come up in the next few installments.

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Railfanning

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