The dream of promoter Arthur Edward Stilwell, the Kansas City, Mexico & Orient Railway never made it to Kansas City and never made connections with the Oriental trade.
Financed without the aide of Wall Street 'money trusts', the railroad was constructed in many disconnected sections in Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas and the states of Sinaloa and Chihuahua in Mexico. Attempts to link the already-built line from the Mexican seaport of Topolobampo, Sinaloa, and the rest of the system were halted by the formidable Sierra Madre and revolutionary activities in Mexico. And in the United States, progress was slow, due to lack of funds. In fact, Stilwell lost control of the railway in 1912 and it was in the hands of receivers more than once. Were it not for the discovery of oil in west Texas in the 1920s, the KCM&O might not have survived to the Depression. As it was, the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway bought it in 1928, completed some of the lines in Texas, and waited for improving business conditions that never came.
Authors Pounds and McCall cover the story of the Orient in rich detail- of the birth, growth tribulations and, finally, the denouement of Arthur Stilwell's grand idea - the Orient Railway - which for over sixty years after remained a quaint, backwater operation of the great Santa Fe Railway system.. a railroad that, as the old cowboy said, 'didn't start nowheres, didn't end up nowheres and there weren't nothing in between.'
Introduction, Preface, Stilwell Comes to Kansas City, pp. 5-14;
The Orient is Born, pp. 15-22;
Building the Orient, The First Ten Years, pp. 23-110;
Building the Orient, Through Revolution and Bankruptcy, pp. 111-190;
Federal Control and Texas Oil, pp. 191-236;
Kemper Finds a Buyer, pp. 237-276;
Epilogue, pp. 277-282;
A Look Back, pp. 283-284;
Station List, pp. 285-298;
Rosters, pp. 299-340;
Index, pp. 341-344.
Santa Fe Railway H&MS, hardcover with jacket, 344 pages, 11 x 8.5 x 1.5 in., 313 black & white and 39 color photographs, 36 maps and diagrams, richly illustrated, index.