Fairground Branch Switchbacks

Discussion in 'The Fairgrounds Branch aka The Hill' started by bob_wintle, Dec 13, 2009.

  1. bob_wintle

    bob_wintle Member Frisco.org Supporter

    There is a very interesting area in Kansas City near Southwest Blvd that is just this very type of Operation. It is known as "The Hill" by the locals. Rick McClellan took Katyslug and myself on a very nice tour of this area the last time we were in KC. I wish I would have known about this earlier. Rick has modeled part of this on his Northern Division layout. I would suggest that you go to Google Maps and try to look at it from a satellite perspective. The area takes off of the Frisco main near Schutte Lumber. The area is between 19th street yard and Rosedale yard.
    Bob Wintle
  2. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Frisco.org Supporter

    Here is a composite of Google Maps images providing an aerial view of "the Hill", also known as the Fairgrounds Branch.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 2, 2013
  3. mark

    mark Staff Member Staff Member


    Keith did a nice job with a map of the area of the Fairgrounds Branch (the "Hill").

    You might find the following description of the Frisco's Fairgrounds Branch (also know as the "Hill" and the "Alley") interesting. It is copied from my comments on the Kansas City Terminal in a post titled "Clinton Sub in N scale 1970's" at http://www.frisco.org/shipit/index.php?threads/clinton-sub-in-n-scale-1970s.2412/#post-14213.


    Quick note in response to your question concerning the Fairgrounds Branch.

    The Fairgrounds Branch (also known as (aka) "the Hill") was an interesting industrial switching area near West 31st Street and Southwest Boulevard, close to the state line border of Kansas and Missouri. In the Frisco's Kansas City Terminal Industry Schematics it is known as part of the 29th Street Industrial Area, Zone 3.

    The branch is located between the Frisco's Rosedale and 19th Street Yards. It starts at 29th Street Interlocking, under the I-35 overpass behind Ponak's Mexican Restaurant, curves southwest across Southwest Boulevard, passes and serves Schutte Lumber, starts uphill climbing across 31st Street, turns generally southeast and parallels Roanoke Road.

    Climbing out of the Turkey Creek valley (prone to flooding) the line climbs in vertical elevation 80 feet in just under 1 mile. Close to the end of the line, after crossing West 34th Street, it stub ends near Karnes Boulevard. From here there is a switchback uphill to serve additional industries to the northwest that again climbs and runs on either side of Terrace Street.

    In addition to the really neat area area around Schutte Lumber (with several switch backs and tracks inside lumber sheds) industries along the line included the Garfield Team Track, Paper Supply Company, Carthage Marble, W. C. Triangle, Pacific Mutual Door Company, Battenfield Grease & Oil Company, Safeway Bakeries, Motor Parts Distributors, Sherwood Chemical Company, Union Carbide, American Mineral Sprits, Southwestern Bell Telephone, U. S. Engineering, Swenson Construction Company, Ftyro Fabricators and Fred Wolferman Groceries.

    Branching off the Fairgrounds Branch in the 29th Street Industrial Area is Zone 4 (aka "the Alley"). This spur takes off to the northeast on the south side of Southwest Boulevard. This line ran in an alley (hence the name) behind the buildings that fronted Southwest Boulevard, across from the Kansas City Terminal (KCT) Railway roundhouse.

    Industries served on this line included the American Dish Service Company, Rite-Made Paper Converters, Hubbard's Imperial, Combs & Company, Bartlett Container Corporation, C. S. Tull Transfer, City Wide Brick & Supply Company, Koch Supplies, Roll Easy Door Company, K & K Sheet Metal, Gate City Petroleum (tank farm), Dairy & Creamery Equipment Company, Gresham Company, Anchor Roofing and Siding company, Foreign Car Auto Salvage, Webb Belting & Supply Company, Aero Plastics, American Steel Company (with overhead transverse crane), Texaco, Inc., Corbin Equipment Company, Hill Building Materials Company, A.P. Green Fire Brick Company, Skelly Oil Company, Roberts Furniture Company, Jianas Brothers Candy Company, R. L. Faubion Steel and Tank Company, Flint Ink Company and Funkhouser Machinery Company (including an end loading ramp).

    Today only a short spur remains from the 29th Street Interlocking to serve Schutte Lumber. Many of the buildings, signs of track in streets and some of the original businesses listed above remain. This would be a great area to model in a relatively small space as it featured a great number of industries in a relatively small space, most types of freight cars served the different customers and would need only a switcher or two for power.

    Also, it could be incorporated as a switching area into a larger railroad. Rick McClellan on his Northern Division railroad has included "the Hill" as a switching area on a portion of his railroad. This is a fun job to take if you ever have the opportunity to operate at Rick's.

    Anyone interested in seeing what is left of the area may contact Rick or me for tour. We might even have to stop by Rosedale Bar-B-Que (a railroaders favorite) for lunch! Ponak's is also a good area restaurant and you can see the high water marks on the wall that are above your head from prior flooding events in the 1990s.

    Hope this helps.


    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 14, 2009

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