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Nostalgia & History > A street runnin' BN train while detouring in '93

Date: 03/01/08 19:48
A street runnin' BN train while detouring in '93
Author: JoCoLB

Since the July, 1993 flooding in the Kansas City area produced a number of detour trains, I decided to use two different cameras with different kinds of film when I headed to Ottawa, KS, on July 25, 1993, to catch detour action on the old east-west Missouri Pacific Railroad line.

Here's an example of two views of the same westbound BN train---seconds apart---as it pulled through downtown Ottawa on a short section of track that ran down the middle of a city street.

Pictured is a Burlington Northern empty coal train as it approached the old ATSF and Union Pacific (ex-MoPac) interlocker. I wish I had been on a stepladder to catch a higher angle view. If I'm not mistaken, there was a short connection track that ran between the signal tower and the building at left, but it is hardly visible. The motor vehicle traffic light in the background hovers above Ottawa's Main Street (U.S. 59 highway).

I'm glad I made the effort to capture this somewhat historic train move. Both the old MoPac line and the ATSF's old Tulsa line are long gone in Ottawa. Someday, the BN colors will also be completely gone from the Midwest.

My biggest question about July 25, 1993, will probably continue to go unanswered after nearly 15 years. The BN train most likely had originally headed to KC on the Fort Scott Sub. What I would like to truly know is whether a power run-around occurred at Paola, KS, and then the train reversed direction to get on the old MoPac at Paola, and then traveled to Osawatomie, KS, before turning northwest on its journey to Ottawa. I can't believe the empty coal train went all the way into KC. I assume the train traveled on to Pueblo from Ottawa, staying on the old MoPac line the entire distance. Long-distance train moves are hard to monitor, especially when detours are taking place.

Date: 03/01/08 21:47
Re: A street runnin' BN train while detouring in '93
Author: imrl

Great pictures! It may have gone all of the way to KC before being turned around to go to the MoPac, depending upon when the St. Joe Sub went under water north of KC. My guess is it went all of the way to Murray Yard, got run around or new power, then was handed off to the MoPac who took it to Osawatomie then west through Ottawa and points west. It would have taken alot of foresight to have a crew called and in position after the train reaching Paola, and I'm not giving the railroads that much credit, but I could be wrong.

I had to work out of Davenport, IA, for a couple of weeks and we piloted 2 reroute trains off of the BNSF from West Dav to Savanna, IL, where we ran around the train, and the BNSF crew took over for their railroad and we lined the switched behind them. The crew rode along with us both times (we caught 2 of them). I can't really remember when it was, but I do know there was snow on the ground. Most likely winter of 2000 or maybe 2001. I also don't remember what they rerouted for, but I'm guessing it was a derailment.

Greg M.

Date: 03/02/08 07:38
Re: A street runnin' BN train while detouring in '93
Author: dpc37

Here are a couple shots of the BN 5029 on the Long Track at Paola Ks. 7-93
I beleave this was a SP train not a BN train headed to Energy Mine

I spent the afternoon in Paola that day and here is what I saw
1245 pm BN 5029 at Poala empty coal on the long track
103 pm UP 9435 south loaded coal on the coffeyville sub
155 pm UP 871 north work train on the coffeyvile sub
310 pm NS 2352 north I think this was NS train 145 on the BN fort scott sub
345 pm UP 9466 north MFWKC on the coffeyville sub
410 pm BN 6908 south freight on the fort scott sub
425 pm ATSF 2911 south freight on the fort scott sub
519 pm UP 9362 north empty coal on the coffeyville sub
640 pm UP 2429 south freight on the coffeyville sub

Date: 03/02/08 08:55
Re: A street runnin' BN train while detouring in '93
Author: JoCoLB

If it wasn't a BN train or an SP, it could have been a D&RGW train. I was never certain about who was getting the revenue or expense for the coal trains west of Herington in the late 80s and early 90s. I tend to believe it was the D&RGW, since it was that line which had the trackage rights on the ex-MoPac/U.P. Pueblo line. It its final years, D&RGW trains operated over the SSW between Herington and KC.


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