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Nostalgia & History > WAG Wednesday: Coastal lines in Kansas?


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Date: 01/11/17 08:30
WAG Wednesday: Coastal lines in Kansas?
Author: santafe199

One of the great pleasures of archiving the total body of color slides of a railfan photographer like Bill Gibson is the ability to sort of ‘look over his shoulder’ as he proceeded through his shooting years. Especially when I consider the fact that Bill shot his 1st Kodachrome slide in the very same month in which his faithful archivist was born! A more subtle pleasure is watching his work come into line with my own recollections as maturing railfan, and eventual railfan photographer.

In May of 1970 I was a month away from turning 15 years old. To be sure, I was a budding young railfan. But because of certain hormonal urges I was a lot more involved in fanning 2-legged units of a decidedly more feminine heritage. As a result back in those days I can only vaguely remember seeing occasional foreign power on Union Pacific & Rock Island trains through my hometown of Manhattan, KS. It would be another dozen years before I would obtain a camera and get into my proper place as a railfan photographer. Watching over Bill Gibson’s shoulder as he shot an amazing variety of foreign engines rolling through Topeka, KS on Union Pacific trains has sharpened many of my own late-teens, early-20s era railfan memories. Some of those foreign roads would eventually came before my own camera, but Bill routinely recorded ALL of it as it came through Topeka between North Platte and the respective home roads.

One of the foreign roads that took me by surprise is seen in the image below. Until a few years ago when I first scanned the little yellow Kodak box of slides this image came from I had no memory at all of SCL power making its way off of home turf, much less all the way to & through Kansas. Part of the reason would have to be that I didn’t live in or near Topeka. But by 1969 I was a regular reader of fan magazines like Trains, RMC & Model Railroader. Even with those possible sources I had no clue about SCL power running through my Kansas neck-o-the-woods! My thread title is surely another cornball pun, but it sure does fit the situation. “Coast” (read: shore) lines in land-locked Kansas, indeed!

1. SL&SF 700 leads SCL 1560, SCL 1410 and SL&SF 830 on a Union Pacific manifest eastbound around Porubsky’s Curve in Topeka, KS on May 17, 1970.
Photo by William A. Gibson (WAG) Sr.

Thanks for looking back!
Lance Garrels (santafe199)
Art Gibson (wag216)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/11/17 08:35 by santafe199.




Date: 01/11/17 08:58
Re: WAG Wednesday: Coastal lines in Kansas?
Author: GP30Frank

Thanks for putting this FRISCO unit up today.  We get very few of them on TO, plus WAG caught a SCL unit in the old paint scheme, before black took over.



Date: 01/11/17 09:14
Re: WAG Wednesday: Coastal lines in Kansas?
Author: santafe199

GP30Frank Wrote: > ... plus WAG caught a SCL unit in the old paint scheme ...
That was another eye-opener for this fan. Until I scanned Bill's slide here, I can't recall ever seeing a color photo of the old SCL green scheme...

Lance/199



Date: 01/11/17 09:23
Re: WAG Wednesday: Coastal lines in Kansas?
Author: PasadenaSub

A great catch and photo by Bill, and sharp scan by the archivist!

Rich



Date: 01/11/17 09:24
Re: WAG Wednesday: Coastal lines in Kansas?
Author: retcsxcfm

GP35,GP40,GP35,U25B.
The GP40 is exSeaboard Air Line.
I model the SAL,but still love the
Frisco and the slides that you are posting.

Uncle Joe,Seffner,Fl.



Date: 01/11/17 09:40
Re: WAG Wednesday: Coastal lines in Kansas?
Author: SCKP187

Great photo.  Seems you could always count on UP for wild consists---this one even moreso because of the foreign power.
Brian Stevens



Date: 01/11/17 09:52
Re: WAG Wednesday: Coastal lines in Kansas?
Author: valmont

As soon as I saw the picture in your post it reminded me of this pic I took in North Platte on 2/8/70 ... I've posted this shot before, but again here because of SCL #1560 is in both.




Date: 01/11/17 10:01
Re: WAG Wednesday: Coastal lines in Kansas?
Author: JoCoLB

One marvelous Photo One. A-1 photo! It tells so much. Love old photos. 



Date: 01/11/17 10:21
Re: WAG Wednesday: Coastal lines in Kansas?
Author: santafe199

valmont Wrote: > ... SCL #1560 is in both ...
Thanks for the image, Vince! Of course, I swiped a copy for my file. I'm sure, in the run-through power world, that SCL was Frisco's eastern connection. But I'm wondering where their connection was: Birmingham, maybe?

Lance/199



Date: 01/11/17 18:00
Re: WAG Wednesday: Coastal lines in Kansas?
Author: mamfahr

> ... I'm sure, in the run-through
> power world, that SCL was Frisco's eastern
> connection. But I'm wondering where their
> connection was: Birmingham, maybe?
>
> Lance/199

Hello Lance,

Here's a link to some information on those trains, from a North Platte discussion here on TO last month (see my post dated 12/15/2016).

http://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?11,4179525,page=2

Take care,

Mark



Date: 01/11/17 18:12
Re: WAG Wednesday: Coastal lines in Kansas?
Author: slsf661

Thanks to both of you for sharing these. If you have more I'd love to see them. I'm modeling the Frisco during the late 60's/early 70's so these were perfect. Looks like I might need to invest in some more SCL power.

Ray



Date: 01/11/17 18:19
Re: WAG Wednesday: Coastal lines in Kansas?
Author: Rathole

SCL power got on the Frisco at Birmingham, AL; the trains originated at Hamlet, NC.  Often it would turn back at Memphis, but on many occasions SCL power ventured to Springfield, Tulsa, or, as we see here, up into your neck of the woods.  We got a lot of neat SCL power into Memphis in the 70's, including C628, C430, U25C, SD35, U36B, in addition to the more commonplace GP40's.   Here's a couple of SDP35's that made it to Memphis that I captured on good ol' Kodachrome early in my railfan photography in 1973.   




Date: 01/11/17 18:51
Re: WAG Wednesday: Coastal lines in Kansas?
Author: santafe199

Rathole Wrote: > ... Here's a couple of SDP35's that made it to Memphis ...
Thanks for the image. Nice to know my memory hasn't completely run out of bunker C fuel. But I sometimes have to stop and remind myself that the Frisco actually ran through Mississippi & Alabama down into places like Mobile & Birmingham & Pensacola, FL ...

Lance/199



Date: 01/11/17 20:50
Re: WAG Wednesday: Coastal lines in Kansas?
Author: mamfahr

> SCL power got on the Frisco at Birmingham, AL; the
> trains originated at Hamlet, NC.  

Hello,

For what it's worth, I believe that SCL operated trains from many of their key terminals into Birmingham to make the Frisco connection.  Hamlet was the origin of one of the trains but there were trains out of Jacksonville and other points that also fed the Frisco's connecting train (NWF) out of B-ham.   The 1971 Official Guide provides all of the SCL train numbers; if anyone's interested I'm happy to post them. 

Take care,

Mark

 



Date: 01/11/17 21:12
Re: WAG Wednesday: Coastal lines in Kansas?
Author: 466lex

Linking UP and SCL was a vital portion of Frisco business.  And the run-through service was remarkable:  For example, Paper in box cars from Vancouver, WA to Jacksonville, FL -- sixth morning delivery -- consistently.  Of course, this was "overhead" business for Frisco, so revenue per car wasn't the greatest.  To assure profitability, Frisco would pull traffic from the UP interchange track in KC just after midnight, build the Birmingham train, and deliver to the SCL interchange track in Birmingham before midnight of the same day, thus avoiding paying "per diem" (rental) on the cars.

Hunter Harrison learned the importance of "precision railroading" early on.

Many thanks for the picture and the memories.



Date: 01/12/17 07:17
Re: WAG Wednesday: Coastal lines in Kansas?
Author: 3rdswitch

Very nice scan, pardon my intrusion but it went both ways as here in summer '73 a set of FRISCO power was seen on the SCL at Callahan.
JB



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/12/17 07:18 by 3rdswitch.




Date: 01/12/17 07:19
Re: WAG Wednesday: Coastal lines in Kansas?
Author: mamfahr

> ...this was "overhead" business for Frisco, so revenue per car wasn't the greatest.  To assure profitability,
> Frisco would pull traffic from the UP interchange track in KC just after midnight, build the
> Birmingham train, and deliver to the SCL interchange track in Birmingham before midnight of
> the same day, thus avoiding paying "per diem" (rental) on the cars.

Hello,

Frisco was no-doubt aware of the cost of per diem, but they wouldn't have benefited from handling cars as described.  UP brought most SLSF traffic into KC on their runthrough trains (AFCOP & FCOP) pre-blocked for principal Frisco points (Springfield, Memphis, SCL, etc).  Those cars would not have been placed onto an interchange track, just delivered (or pulled) directly yard-to-yard as part of the runthrough operation.  Probably 90% of the UP-SLSF traffic moved that way.  There would have been some other cars (local & eastern KS origin for example) that UP would have gathered up in their yard and placed onto an interchange track for Frisco.  Those would have interchanged in the traditional way (via transfer jobs rather than on runthrough trains). 

In either case, the way the accounting worked it wouldn't have made any difference when Frisco "pulled the interchange track".  Interchange times for accounting purposes were based upon the time the delivering RR made the cars available for the receiving RR.  So if UP put cars on an interchange for Frisco at 10pm and SLSF waited and pulled the cars at 12:30am the next day, the interchange time would have still been 10pm.  So waiting to pull cars from an interchange doesn't impact per diem, it only delays the traffic.

Take care,

Mark

  



Date: 01/12/17 07:24
Re: WAG Wednesday: Coastal lines in Kansas?
Author: mopacrr

One of the reasons the ramp off the KCT Hi Line to 30th St was to built to expedite the FSE an NWF as well the MKT run throughs  to the UP.  The ramp was started in late 1976 and completed in 1977.   However, the BN Frisco ended the FSE and NWF, but the MKT run- throughs continued to use the ramp and today any traffic going down the BNSF to Paola use it.



Date: 01/12/17 07:51
Re: WAG Wednesday: Coastal lines in Kansas?
Author: 466lex

mamfahr:

I'll defer to your more specific details about the UP-Frisco KC interchange.  Still, my recollection, based on statements of Frisco operations folks durning the 1970s, was that the operation was essentially as I described.  "Per diem" at that time was based on daily rental, keyed off midnight interchange, as opposed to the later-prescribed "hourly"/"time-mileage" system.  The run-through operations were very important to Frisco, and overcame many of the economic penalties of traditional interchange.



Date: 01/12/17 08:11
Re: WAG Wednesday: Coastal lines in Kansas?
Author: santafe199

3rdswitch Wrote: > ... pardon my intrusion ...
Not at all! Thanks for the shot showing how the "other half... oops, third lives". :^)

Lance



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