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Western Railroad Discussion > How to Document the KCS Holiday Express


Date: 11/21/22 14:41
How to Document the KCS Holiday Express
Author: 576

So I have a tentative plan to film the Holiday Express this weekend around the Vicksburg area. To the best of my knowledge, the way the train deadheads between stops seems to vary between overnight runs vs. tying down for the night and then jumping ahead the next morning. It depends on factors like how far apart the stops are and whether there's room to allow them to clear the single track mainline for traffic. This wouldn't allow for much opportunities to film the train, led by the OCS with the Southern Belle F's, but it seems possible in only a few select places.

I've asked this question around and still haven't gotten a definite answer. Would the train be crossing the Mississippi River into Vicksburg during daylight hours?



Date: 11/21/22 15:20
Re: How to Document the KCS Holiday Express
Author: toledopatch

I am similarly curious to know if its trips into and out of Meridian, Mississippi are likely to be daylight or nocturnal. I believe the westward jump out of Meridian goes past Vicksburg into Louisiana.



Date: 11/22/22 03:40
Re: How to Document the KCS Holiday Express
Author: Vicksburg_Route

I live in Vicksburg.  Typically, the train travels at night and is set up during daylight hours.  I have only seen it travel during daylight hours on the WB return trip to Shreveport after stopping at locations along the Vicksburg, Meridian and Artesia Subdivisions.

VR Out.



Date: 11/22/22 05:28
Re: How to Document the KCS Holiday Express
Author: toledopatch

Vicksburg_Route Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I live in Vicksburg.  Typically, the train
> travels at night and is set up during daylight
> hours.  I have only seen it travel during
> daylight hours on the WB return trip to Shreveport
> after stopping at locations along the Vicksburg,
> Meridian and Artesia Subdivisions.
>
Can you offer any insight for how this might apply, then, for the jump from Meridian (appearing Nov. 28) and Mansfield, LA (appearing Nov. 29)? That's a pretty long hop, and it goes through Shreveport. I find myself thinking that the piece from Shreveport down to Mansfield pretty much -has- to be in daylight because of the time it will take to get back west from Meridian, and especially if it dawdles at all at Shreveport along the way.

On the other hand, Pearl to Meridian seems like a daytime candidate because the train can spend Sunday night at Pearl rather than be at the Meridian depot all day, tying things up there unnecessarily. That was my thinking when I started cooking up a plan to be in Meridian for Monday.

I can do night flashing, too, but I just want to have a better idea of whether that's what I should be -planning- to do. I'd rather not be up all night waiting with lights in Newton, Miss., for a train that isn't coming until morning.

P.S. I also have heard before that when they do the stop in Wylie, Texas, the train is run to Alliance, Texas the night before, then goes to Wylie just before its scheduled appearance because it's just a single track through town, with no place for the train to clear up.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/22/22 06:05 by toledopatch.



Date: 11/22/22 07:44
Re: How to Document the KCS Holiday Express
Author: Vicksburg_Route

Trying to guess what the train will do on the Vicksburg or Meridian Subdivisions is almost impossible.  Shooting the train from Shreveport to Mansfield sounds much more predictable.  I never try to guess what KCS will do with the Holiday Express, because they're known to change plans.  Remember, KCS has facilities in Meridian that permit them to safey tuck away the Holiday Express until it's time to open the train to the public.  For that reason, I wouldn't count on them putting the train away at Pearl unless someone confirms it.  

VR Out



Date: 11/22/22 13:58
Re: How to Document the KCS Holiday Express
Author: tuxedorailfan

If history repeats itself, the Pearl to Meridian run will occur during the daylight hours. It's due into Meridian before 4PM and I'd like to guess they'd leave around lunch due to the complex moves to get the train to union station. They break the train apart at Meridian and the OCS portion stays at the KCS yard uner tight security and the christmas section along with the local yard engine will move the train over to the depot, and once the event is over, bring the christmas stuff back to the yard to be placed back in the OCS consist. 

The "terminal track" at Union Station in Meridian is only long enough for 3 engines and 12-13 passneger cars, plus KCS doesn't have direct access to it. They have to utilize trackage rights on NS just to get to the depot. 

Once the event is over and the consist is back together, the train will depart. Usually late into the night/early morning hours under the cover of darkness.

Of note, they typically park the OCS consist directly under the 22nd avenue over pass to try and keep people away from it. There's a lot of vagrants in this area, so that's under standable. Plus it's easier for KCSPD to monitor it. See my photo from the last Christmas even in Meridian.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/22/22 14:03 by tuxedorailfan.




Date: 11/22/22 16:41
Re: How to Document the KCS Holiday Express
Author: toledopatch

tuxedorailfan Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> If history repeats itself, the Pearl to Meridian
> run will occur during the daylight hours. It's due
> into Meridian before 4PM and I'd like to guess
> they'd leave around lunch due to the complex moves
> to get the train to union station. They break the
> train apart at Meridian and the OCS portion stays
> at the KCS yard uner tight security and the
> christmas section along with the local yard engine
> will move the train over to the depot, and once
> the event is over, bring the christmas stuff back
> to the yard to be placed back in the OCS
> consist. 
>
> The "terminal track" at Union Station in Meridian
> is only long enough for 3 engines and 12-13
> passneger cars, plus KCS doesn't have direct
> access to it. They have to utilize trackage rights
> on NS just to get to the depot. 
>
> Once the event is over and the consist is back
> together, the train will depart. Usually late into
> the night/early morning hours under the cover of
> darkness.
>
> Of note, they typically park the OCS consist
> directly under the 22nd avenue over pass to try
> and keep people away from it. There's a lot of
> vagrants in this area, so that's under standable.
> Plus it's easier for KCSPD to monitor it. See my
> photo from the last Christmas even in Meridian.

Thanks.

This tells me that, assuming they run it this year the way they have before, I would do well to get it headed east somewhere near Pearl on Monday and then I could go over to Shreveport and get it south of there the next day -- and that in any event I have a very good chance of seeing it in daylight south of Shreveport on Tuesday because of the time it takes to get it going west out of Meridian after the visit there.



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