Historic Pertle Springs Warrensburg Missouri The Dummy Line 1890-1922

Pertle Springs Dummy Line

The dummy line ran between the Union Pacific depot and Pertle Springs and operated from 1890 until 1922.

When Pertle Springs opened in 1886 one of the challenges had always been getting visitors quickly and efficiently to and from the Union Pacific Depot and the resort because Pertle Springs was located about a mile and half from Warrensburg. From 1886 to 1890 most visitors had to arrive at Pertle Springs via horse and buggy and that also held true for visitors who took the train to the Union Pacific depot.

J. H. Christopher, the founder of Pertle Springs, decided that he could move people more quickly from downtown Warrensburg and those passengers who arrived at the Missouri Pacific depot to the resort by constructing a dummy line in 1890. Christopher purchased the rails and other materials from a foreclosed railroad company in Wichita, Kansas, and used them to construct the line, which was finished in 1890. The dummy line in Warrensburg began at the C. C. Delaplain and Son Feed Yard, located at the SE corner of S. Holden and S. Grover. In 1905 J. H. Christopher constructed the Hotel Estes on the site and the Hotel Estes became the starting point for the line. The dummy line ran east to South Miller Street and then west onto East South Street, and a then took a quick turn back to the south onto Normal Avenue, which ran through the heart of the UCM campus, and then traveled on about a mile and a half south to Pertle Springs.

Christopher charged passengers 15 cents for a roundtrip fare and sometimes the dummy line would make up to 30 trips a day. By the 1920s, when Pertle Springs was in decline and more people were traveling by automobile, the need for the dummy line had come to a close when the dummy line ceased operation in 1922. Eventually most of the dummy train cars were scrapped and the rails sold to a Kansas City trolly company, leaving only the bell of the scenic railway behind.