Frisco Operations On Streetcar/Interurban Lines

Discussion in 'General' started by murphy millican, Dec 1, 2011.

  1. While doing research at the local Van Buren Library I found a book on the history of Fort Smith. While searching through the book I found a picture of Frisco flat cars carrying wagons and horses during a parade on Garrison Avenue. The caption didn't say much about the railroad operation there but it got me thinking. During the years the Fort Smith Light & Traction was open how often did Frisco trains use the light rails? Another question that came to mind is how did locomotives manage the tight curves of the line? I plan to post the picture when I can get a copy of it scanned online. My final question is what other Trolley or Interurban lines did Frisco operate on? I think it would be cool to see a 0-6-0 swticher navigating the city streets.
    Ship it on the Frisco!!!

    Murphy Jenkins
  2. Does the photo show what was pulling the flatcars? Some streetcar/interurban lines used their own electric power to haul freight cars in local service, if the track gauge, their charter and the local laws allowed it.

    Not Frisco, but still relevant: I just bought an Arcadia book on the history of Frankenmuth, Michigan, which includes pictures of a funky-looking electric locomotive, resembling nothing more than a brakeman's shanty perched atop a flatcar, switching both conventional Pere Marquette gondolas and odd little four-wheeled cars at the local coal distributor. This was on the Detroit, Flint & Saginaw, an otherwise passenger-centric electric interurban.

    Closer to home, I seem to recall that the Texas Electric also handled carload interchange freight. One of their freight motors passed on to the Texas Transportation Company in San Antonio, hauling Pearl Brewery freight down city streets until 2001, when the brewery shut down. One TTC freight motor remains on display near the brewery, which has been turned into a commercial shopping-and-restaurant district. I think the other surviving TTC freight motor was sold to another railroad.

    So... to bring this back to the original question, it's quite possible the Frisco flatcars were being hauled by a Fort Smith electric loco, either in local freight service or as a special equipment rental for the parade.

    Bradley A. Scott
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 2, 2011
  3. FRISCO4503

    FRISCO4503 FRISCO4503 Supporter

    Living in San Antonio has its perks and I have actually had the privilege of getting to see that electric loco in operation here, and yes it is on display at the new annex of the Pearl Brewing Company. They have painted it back to look brand new, and where it is located it is well taken care of. There is also a company here in San Antonio, that uses an old Car repair shop, which I was told was used to repair and maintain FRISCO/MKT Texas SPECIAL cars a way back when, That car repair shop is still in operation and from time to time, the cars from the AMERICAN ORIENT EXPRESS are parked there for maintenance!!!
  4. Joseph Toth

    Joseph Toth Member

    Texas Electric did haul freight! The Katy handled any through cars for TE that originated in Denison or Waco around Dallas as they couldn't run over the Dallas streets. This may have been an ordinance issued by the city and/or because of the sharp curvitures or both? There was an interchange track where TE crossed over the Katy just north of what is Mockingbird Lane and another track near Dallas Union Terminal! Most likely TE also interchanged with the Frisco at Sherman as well as the other local railroads. One of their freight motors is on the Iowa Traction in Iowa.

    I switched with an engine foreman on the Santa Fe in Dallas from 1968 until I moved to Germany in late 76. I asked him one morning before we went on duty what was the difference between switching for the TE and ATSF. He replied, "Son, we had everything you got, except cabooses!" After TE quit in the late 40s the ATSF took over switching service in Dallas Oak Cliff, just south of the Trinity River, for Hormel. I switched the plant and to reach it the Santa Fe had built a connecting track off of their Dallas-Cleburne line and you had to run over a short stretch of TE track to shove the Hormel siding and spot reefers at their dock!

    Question: Did Frisco handle any Hormel reefers from Kansas City to Dallas and hand them over to ATSF? The reefers were stenciled: When empty return to Hormel Corp., Austin, Minnesota. Frisco Freight traffic agents were a sharp "bunch" (No pun intended to retired district traffic manager Ed Bunch who worked the Frisco's off-line traffic office in Tampa, Florida). They constantly contacted railroad shippers to convice them to "Ship IT on the Frisco!" Ed was one of the best!

    Joe Toth
  5. Found this pic at the College Library today. Not sure who took it. It has property of Chamber of Commerce on the back though. Those knuckle couplers still make me think that some small frieght travelled the FSL&T.

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