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Nostalgia & History > WAG running extra (#56): Zebra at South Jct

Date: 12/07/18 02:47
WAG running extra (#56): Zebra at South Jct
Author: santafe199

In a sort of follow-up to WAG Wednesday just passed, here is another dandy specimen from the Gibson trader slide sub-collection within the main collection. There was no photo credit attached to the slide, but perhaps Art will see this image and his memory will come up with the photographer’s name.

In another line of thought, this is an intriguing image for yours truly for 3 reasons:

1) In my non-specific and extremely young aged memories of Santa Fe activity in Abilene, KS I can clearly remember seeing a Zebra-striped engine at least once. But that memory comes with no specific engine number. And I can remember 2 specific engine numbers, but cannot officially say either one was a Zebra. Indeed, Santa Fe numbers 1517 & 2888 have stayed with me since I sighted them way back in those early grade school days. Just one of those things.

2) Eighteen+ years after this image was taken I would once again see Santa Fe Alco power in person. In the spring of 1977 I would be passing through Emporia, KS on the way back home from a vacation swing through Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas & Oklahoma. It was at night and I had no tripod, but I would witness the roundhouse guys getting the first (1510?) of four Alco S-4s ready for general yard service. Its other three S-4 companions would be 1504, 1515 & 1519. This nifty quartet would be regular yard power at Emporia for the next 18 months, give or take.

3) Wichita, KS holds a sacred spot in my 9 years of service with the Santa Fe. My very first day of employed service was off the switchman’s extra board at North Wichita yard, to which I was forced for 10 calendar days before being allowed to mark up on the brakeman’s board at Emporia.

Its doubtful any of my TO brothers & sisters will enjoy this Santa Fe Alco-Zebra image any more than I will! But you’re certainly welcomed to try…

1. AT&SF 1534 on the job at South Jct in Wichita, KS on January 10, 1959.
Original trader slide form the Art Gibson (WAG Jr) collection.

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

Date: 12/07/18 05:07
Re: WAG running extra (#56): Zebra at South Jct
Author: refarkas

The railroad buildings and plant in the background make this even more interesting.
Thank you for posting this.

Date: 12/07/18 09:02
Re: WAG running extra (#56): Zebra at South Jct
Author: SCKP187

This is nice.  We even had one of these in Salina KS for several months---then they began returning in the form of blue/yellow.
Brian Stevens

Date: 12/07/18 09:05
Re: WAG running extra (#56): Zebra at South Jct
Author: Cumbres

South Junction is one of my favorite places to camp out when having a little free time.  Nice to see it when it had a lot more RR feel to it then the now more modern, simplified plant shows.  thanks for sharing and to Art for sharing!


Date: 12/07/18 10:50
Re: WAG running extra (#56): Zebra at South Jct
Author: MP4093

I used to hang out here in the mid 1960's with the tower in the background as the focal point for everything passed. I would see Chiefs and Rockets here, lots of drag and fast freight, the local to Pratt with the red combine and my first Frisco locomotive a few blocks East. This was taken from the Gilbert St crossing looking SE and there are still railroad buildings here, though all newer. I used to ride with the switch crew kicking cars into the yard whose ladder was lined with kerosene switch lanterns. Great memories.

Date: 12/07/18 17:03
Re: WAG running extra (#56): Zebra at South Jct
Author: WichitaJct

The South Jct tower had a pretrtry pathetic demise. Sometime in the late 70s it was torched and the burned out shell stood for several years before it was demolished in 1985 as part of a Santa Fe track rehab project. And if that don't beat all., I never took a picture of it. 

Date: 12/07/18 18:21
Re: WAG running extra (#56): Zebra at South Jct
Author: MP4093

For some reason around 1965 I borrowed a camera, loaded in print film and went all the way around the tower taking photos. I took detail shots, scenes with the plant and signals looking in all directions. I think I had plans to model it someday. I liked sitting in the shade on the battery well under it listening for the bell to ring announcing the approach of another train. I still have a burned piece of the interlocker machine I found in the rubble years later.

Date: 12/08/18 13:31
Re: WAG running extra (#56): Zebra at South Jct
Author: santafe199

WichitaJct Wrote: > ...  I never took a picture of it ...

How many times have we railfans had to sing that mournful tune??? 
With the encore: "It will ALWAYS be there..."

Lance (aka DJ Sir L... ;^)

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