1957 Texas Special Car Assignments

Discussion in 'Passenger Operations' started by TAG1014 (Tom Galbraith RIP 7/15/2020), Sep 23, 2011.

  1. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Frisco.org Supporter

    Although we can be nostalgic about passenger trains and the allure of riding at ground level across the country in rolling palaces, I think we have a tendency to forget a major fact. When the U.S. Postal Service stopped transporting and sorting mail on the trains the major source of revenue that kept the passenger trains running on most railroads was eliminated. This was especially true on the Frisco. Revenue from ridership was not sufficient to justify continued service without the supplemental income that the mail service provided.
    The size of our country, coupled with the large return home of soldiers and pilots from the war(s) and the movement to increase and improve the nation's highways in the interest of improved national security, the time was ripe for the rise of other sources of transportation for goods and people that ultimately doomed the railroad passenger service.
  2. Joseph Toth

    Joseph Toth Member

    The loss of the U.S. Mail contracts = Government. Big "G" subsidized the construction of the Interstates, airports including the airlines themselves as well as waterways and left the railroads to fend for themselves including an outdated requirement that they transport military traffic at reduced cost too. To add insult to injury, the ICC (Big "G" again) approved the mergers of some railroads that were not in the public interest as they eliminated competition. The ACL/SAL merger that created the SCL is an example.

    A study of the railroad maps of the period indicate to me that the Frisco should have attemted to expand. Indeed they did try! The Frisco attempted to get control of the Central of Georgia in the early 60s. The ICC rejected this and consiquently the powerful Southern Railway ended up with the CG! Ironically the Southern wanted trackage rights from North Florida to Tampa when the ACL and SAL merged to form the SCL. Alas, this request was denied the Southern so it never got to Tampa.

    Like the game Monopoly, the railroad game continued and what we have today is a loss of the Frisco and other railroads as well and a lack of rail competition to many cities and towns or total abandonment all together. The loss of the former ACL´s Perry cut-off in Florida has freight that used to move on the Frisco through Birmingham to the Tampa Bay area has to travel additional miles and time on the CSX. I don´t know who should get the cigar. The government or former SCL management? At any rate, none of this was in the public interest and the trend continues.

    Joe Toth
  3. gstout

    gstout Member Frisco.org Supporter

    Responding to the last several comments,

    (1) I agree that a St. Louis-Texas routing probably would have made more sense. Perhaps a re-route of the METEOR south of Sapulpa, with connecting service to OKC and Fort Sill might have allowed the service to hang on a bit longer (and provided the MoPac with some competition fir its 22-car EAGLE). However, as far as capturing the Chicago-Texas market, there remained the small matter of the Santa Fe, which operated the CHICAGOAN, TEXAS CHIEF, etc. I doubt whether a GM&O-Frisco routing would have offered much meaningful opposition.

    (2) I am also not sure domes would have helped the cause much, since both the TEXAS SPECIAL and the METEOR ran through the Ozarks at night.

    (3) As far as government hindrance is concerned, remember, no form of transporting people is profitable beyond the farebox. Minus subsidies to build airports, highways, air traffic control systems, etc., there would be little affordable commercial aviation and no bus transport. The airlines lost more money in the period following 9/11 than they had accumulated as an entire industry previous to that date.

    (4) The Frisco did expand during the merger movement. They just repainted their motive power green.

  4. FriscoFriend (Bob Hoover RIP 4/12/2018)

    FriscoFriend (Bob Hoover RIP 4/12/2018) Passed Away April 12, 2018 Frisco.org Supporter

    To All:

    Could we possibly get back to postings of the assignments of locomotives and rolling stock during the Frisco passenger train era including the 1957 Texas Special. Just a suggestion.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 28, 2011
  5. TAG1014 (Tom Galbraith RIP 7/15/2020)

    TAG1014 (Tom Galbraith RIP 7/15/2020) Passed Away July 15, 2020 Frisco.org Supporter

    I thought that's what we were doing !!???

    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 28, 2011
  6. Friscotony

    Friscotony Member

    Tom, you have been doing a really great job. Thank you for the information. This is the time frame I model and while I do not model the Special, the knowledge is indeed great. I am sorry that some seek to complain about the government, mergers, where business is done, etc. It is what it is and will continue to be in our system. Once again, thank you for your efforts.

    Tony LaLumia
  7. Joseph Toth

    Joseph Toth Member

    I´m guilty too! Most of my life has been spent on the passing track. Will attempt to line the switch for the main line. Perhaps the TRRA could consider a suppliment to their excellent Texas Special publication #69 on the Texas Special with locomotive and car assignments. Would it be possible if the Frisco and Katy folks could help with such a project? A joint venture would be helpful to all three societies. Sharing and compairing the information should provide the most comprehensive publication produced to date.

    In regards to dome cars on Frisco trains that operated through the Ozarks. It might not have been practical, but to have rode one at night with a big fat full moon working would have been a beautiful trip long remembered!

    Kermit the Frog´s song "It´s not easy being green" is hard to sing without bringing tears to any Frisco fan. My buddy Ed Bunch who was the Frisco´s best off-line traffic agent in Florida for many years got a bellyfull of the invasion of the green machine and took early retirement. Now 88 years young he still talks about the Frisco Family with pride and warmth in his heart. His comments on employment after BN are not permitted to be placed on this site!

    Joe Toth
  8. wmrx

    wmrx MP Trainmaster

    Terry, considering your background you cannot be a foamer. A railfan, yes; foamer, no.
  9. Joseph Toth

    Joseph Toth Member

    Foamer? I hired out with the Cotton Belt in 1967 as a switchman and changed employers in late summer 68 when I hired on with John Santa Fe. This was in both Dallas and Ft. Worth. I grew up loving trains and though I didn´t openly admit I was a railfan I never heard the term "foamer" used while I was employed with either road. By 1967 the Cotton Belt´s Dallas operations had been combined with the SP at Miller Yard in far south Big D. Having switched out the cars for local industry spotting in the former SSW yard in downtown Dallas one morning we took a quick coffee break at a local cafe.

    We worked mixed crews with both SP and SSW employees working the switchers. This particular AM one of the SP boys proudly stated that he had read in a major magazine (Life?) that there wasn´t a train moving in the United States that didn´t have at least one SP freight car in its consist. He wasn´t a railfan, or didn´t make it known, but the pride was still there! It was a silent pride and could be noticed on the other Dallas area railroads when switchers (including Frisco) interchanged with the SP or ATSF.

    We had a switchman on the Santa Fe by the name of M.D. Miller or "Mad Dog" as he was known. He wasn´t a railfan nor did he foam at the mouth but was a first class railroader just the same. Is this pride still with the Class One carriers today?

    Not Texas Special material but why open a new thread about Foamers? What about a joint TRRA/Frisco/Katy Texas Special "special bulletin" to TRRA #69 on Texas Special train consists? We do need one!

    Joe Toth
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 4, 2011
  10. wmrx

    wmrx MP Trainmaster

    Hell yes, the pride is still there. It just gets more difficult, everyday, due to having to put up with the increasing number of management types that have been educated beyond their intelligence.
  11. Joseph Toth

    Joseph Toth Member

    Glad to see that pride is still among the railroaders. I retired a year early off of the German Railway to put distance between me and the management. Ed Bunch did the same thing in Tampa, Florida, when BN pulled down the Frisco´s flag on the Frisco´s off line traffic office there. I also saw the change in Dallas in 1970 after the BN "M" Day and the pre-merger roads´s offices were closed in favor of a new location in a fancy office building down the street from the Frito-Lay home office. The guys just weren´t the same anymore nor had the time to drink that cup of coffee and chat like they did when I would visit their old offices.


    Joe Toth

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