Frisco COFC Loading/Unloading Points

Discussion in 'Freight Operations' started by Rick McClellan, Apr 26, 2010.

  1. Rick McClellan

    Rick McClellan 2009 Engineer of the Year

    I am not well read on the COFC service in the 1970s, but I am fairly sure that containers on 89 ft flats were common during this period.

    Does anyone know where the COFC load/unload facilities were on the Frisco? Were they the same points as the TOFC ramps? What vehicles were used to load/unload the containers from the flats? :confused:

    My curiousity has peaked since I bought two Walthers Flexi-Vans w/flats (one NIFX/MILW containers, one Seaboard car/SBD containers) over the weekend. I have already learned that the North American Leasing cars leased to the MILW under NIFX (early 1960s) reporting marks later went to MILW reporting marks and numbers by 1976 (58xxx series). I will have to change those to put this car in service correctly. I also know that these were originally intended for US Mail service but the railroads lost the mail contracts late 60s/early 70s. Since this equipment was fairly new, it appears that it was put in general service but photos are difficult to come by. Any info on the Seaboard Flexi-Van or Flexi-Vans in general would be a great help.
     
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  2. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Frisco.org Supporter

    Rick -

    Seems to me for some time Lindenwood has had COFC loading capability as well as TOFC. I don't know exactly what they had as I never paid attention to it - I was always ga-ga-ing locomotives on the other side of the yard when I visited.

    Lindenwood has been transformed into a major intermodal facility now.

    Ken
     
  3. pbender

    pbender Member Frisco.org Supporter

    Hi Rick,

    The flexivans were different than than other COFC cars. They have a turntable built into them, and the containers are rotated off the cars and placed on their wheels. This didn't require any special equipment, just an area where the turntable could rotate and a tractor could back onto the container's king pin and pull it onto a set of wheels. There was an article in Model Railroader a number of years ago that discussed the process and included drawings of the flatcars. I have that somewhere, and could at least get you the issue it is in.

    I've seen lists indicating that the Frisco owned some flexivan trailers, but never any of the flatcars. I've never seen any photos of these.

    I've never seen a list showing anything but TOFC facilities on the Frisco. I know the ramp at Springfield did not have provisions for anything but circus style loading until it was moved from the North Yard to the location of the former North Yard shops (which I believe happened in the BN era).

    Paul
     
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  4. Rick McClellan

    Rick McClellan 2009 Engineer of the Year

    Paul,

    I have seen others refer to a Feb 1992 Model Railroader article on Flexi-Vans and it is also referred to at this Flexi-Van website

    http://members.surfbest.net/intermodal@surfbest.net/FLEXIVAN.HTM

    Could be that any Flexi-Vans bound for Springfield were loaded onto their trailers at North Yard. There was room on the TOFC tracks for tractors and there was the reefer track on the south side of the yard. It would still be interesting to learn how the Friso dealt with the non-Flexi-Van containers.

    Thanks for your insight Paul and if you happen across the Feb 1992 MR please let me know, I would like a copy of the article and would gladly reimburse you for copying, mailing, etc.
     
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  5. FriscoFriend (Bob Hoover RIP 4/12/2018)

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

    I believe that when I lived there in '78 there were strings of big TG&Y trailers on 89' flats although it may have been in the mid 80's when I traveled ther with P&G but I'm almost sure it was in the '70. They were very noticeable being white or sliver trailers with big red letters. I might be wrong, but I think the other end of their journey may have been in OKC because that was their headquarters. Attached is a picture of the store in I believe Lawrence, KS which clearly shows the logo that was on the side of the trailers.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 26, 2010
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  6. FriscoFriend (Bob Hoover RIP 4/12/2018)

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

    After doing more thinking (for me that can be dangerous) I believe I also remember seeing a lot of JB Hunt trailers on flat cars, but don't remember the year.
     
  7. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Frisco.org Supporter

    Rick - I have the Feb 1992 issue of MR if Paul has trouble finding his.

    Ken
     
  8. bob_wintle

    bob_wintle Member Frisco.org Supporter

    I have already found mine and have copied it. I will be emailing it to Rick this evening.
    Bob Wintle
     
  9. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    By chance, did anyone ever figure out if the Frisco had any equipment to handle the shipping containers (not the flexi vans) that started showing up towards the end? I've notived a few pictures of QLA/CTB trains handling COFC traffic, so it would be surprising to me if the Frisco didn't have a way to handle the containers at some of its facilities.
     
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  10. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Frisco.org Supporter

    The details are a bit fuzzy, but as I recall during the very late ’70’s , the Frisco built a new intermodal facility in N. Springfield on the site of the old roundhouse and shops (between National and Washington). Prior to the new facility, intermodal traffic was handled at the N. Yards. The new facility used “tractors”, which were large enough to pick-up any standard trailer/container. Previously, only trailers were handled, circus wagon style. I think that Dad had a part in the construction, because I remember chatting with him about the extraordinarily thick concrete that was needed to support the trailer/container and “tractor”.
     
  11. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    Thanks Karl
     
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  12. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Frisco.org Supporter

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  13. pbender

    pbender Member Frisco.org Supporter

    This is what BN referred to as the Springfield Hub Center. I built an n-trak module inspired by this site. At least in the late 1980s, It had a single track through the concrete pad and mostly handled trailers. The side loader used at this time was a Piggy Packer. If that was originally Frisco equipment, I would very much like to know.

    This site now holds a tie treatment plant, moved from the prior location along the high line.

    Paul
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2021
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  14. pbender

    pbender Member Frisco.org Supporter

    Here is a photo taken from the Jefferson Ave footbridge towards the Springfield Hub Center. There is a lumber yard in the distance that was on this end of the track through the facility. You also see a track between the North Yard switch lead and the facility. This was on the south edge of the concrete pad Karl referred to:

    [​IMG]

    And another couple showing the facility from the other end.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    At the time those last few photos were taken, the Springfield police were doing some training. I got a visit from a BNSF Special Agent because The police department was worried about me taking pictures. The Special Agent and I had a good talk about a mutual friend who at one time was BN’s Division Superintendent based in Springfield.

    I thought I had a photo of a portable ramp at the facility, but it may be something I took on film and haven’t digitized yet.


    Paul
     

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