Tulsa-Sapulpa Union Railway


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Harvy House
History of the
Tulsa-Sapulpa Union Railway

"One of Oklahoma's Finest
and Oldest Operating
Shortline Railroads"


The TSU traces its origin back to when Oklahoma became a state in 1907. This also was the year Sapulpa and Interurban Railway was incorporated. The line operated as an interurban streetcar line using trolley cars around Sapulpa, Oklahoma. It also extended rail lines towards the communities of Glenpool and Kiefer, Oklahoma. This was at an exciting time in Oklahoma history when the oil industry was coming of age. The line provided transportation for the oil field workers and business people in these growing oilfields and communities.

 


By 1917 the line under went bankruptcy and reorganization, being incorporated as the Sapulpa Electric Interurban Railway. This same year the line was extended north to connect with the Oklahoma Union Railway out of Tulsa. Some famous people have ties to the Interurban such as J.S. Cosden and E.F. Sinclair, both of which had oil refineries and Tom Slick who was an entrepreneur in the oil and railroad business.


 

In 1933 the railway once again hit upon tough times and was in receivership and operated under the name Oklahoma Union Salvage Company. The company was purchased in 1934 by George F. Collins who owned and operated a Sapulpa glass plant known as the Liberty Glass Company. The line has remained in the Collins family's control since that time forward. It was at this time the line became a freight railroad operation only with the glass plant being one of its principal customers. The streetcar service and the trolleys were to be a thing of the past with the advent of the automobile becoming affordable to the general public. The line continued to be powered by electric overhead wire using freight box motors for motive power.

In 1934 the name was changed to the Sapulpa Union Railway Company and to the Tulsa-Sapulpa Union Railway in 1943. The electric overhead wires came down in 1960 with the purchase of diesel electric locomotives. The line continues to operate serving industry between Sapulpa and Tulsa, Oklahoma.