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Nostalgia & History > MidSouth and KCS in Meridian, MS 1996

Date: 09/11/19 07:41
MidSouth and KCS in Meridian, MS 1996
Author: tuxedorailfan

One of my fondest memories about growing up in Meridian, MS was befriending the train master and all of the crews at KCS. These friendships have lasted all of these years into my adult life. Most of the old heads have since retired, but I have made new friendships and continue to do so with the guys at KCS.

In 1996, I was only 4 years old. My dad gave me a cheap old 110 Kodak camera and I took it everywhere. My favorite spot as a kid was the old IC/ICG engine facility across from the former GM&O yard in town. This was where the action was for me. Always jam packed with locomotives coming and going, NS traffic coming across the crossovers, yard jobs working, and hostlers servicing the power.

On this day i was hanging out with my dad and an old conductor named Chester. Chester was an old IC guy and went to the ICG, MidSouth and finally KCS. He took a liking to me and every time I saw him I was invited into the cab to ride with him and his crew. On this day, I rode with the yard job for most of the day on a pair of old MidSouth Paducah built GP10's. It was on this day that I got my first chance at some throttle time. I sat on the seat, knowing full well I could barely see over the window sill in the cab, but it was a blast and from then on I was hooked on these raggedy old Geeps.

During this time, KCS ran a lot of their freights to and from Artesia, MS at night. I always enjoyed sitting at the diamond just east of here and watching KCS' recently acquired GP40-2 and SD40-3 rebuilds leaving town with their oscillating Gyralite's bouncing back and forth. Plus listening to the night yard job drill the yard in those old MidSouth Geep's in run 8 was always a plus!

Now all of this is a memory. There's only a day time yard job that works Monday-Friday, all of the locals except one is gone, and only 2 trains per day pick up and set out in the old yard. The diesel facility is also long gone. KCS removed it in the early 2000's. From an operations stand[point, it was a hassle. You had to leave the fuel rack and get on the AV2 main and come back across both NS mains to enter the yard. From a railfan's standpoint, it was awesome.

Either way, I'm glad I had sense enough to take photos as a kid! Enjoy. 

Date: 09/11/19 07:56
Re: MidSouth and KCS in Meridian, MS 1996
Author: Vicksburg_Route

It was certainly a good time to be watching the transition from MidSouth to KCS.  While I watched the activity several miles west in Vicksburg, every day brought something new, something different.  The MidSouth crews were still in charge at that time, and for the first time they were able to run second generation power across the entire railroad.  I even recall seeing a trio of MidSouth GP10s taking a double stack container train up the hill at Vicksburg.  I wonder how far east that trio made it?  Your photos bring back a lot of fond memories.  Thanks for posting these.

Date: 09/11/19 12:25
Re: MidSouth and KCS in Meridian, MS 1996
Author: 3rdswitch

Having visited the area many times in three different decades, I can and do appreciate your dialog as well as photos.

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