Frisco-UP Run-Through

Discussion in 'Freight Operations' started by gstout, Jun 22, 2011.

  1. gstout

    gstout Member Supporter

    I have a photo of Frisco and Union Pacific locomotives parked side-by-side at Grand Island, Nebraska, as well as Frisco power in UP freight trains at Lawrence, Kansas, in 1967 or 1968. I seem to remember reading something about the two roads having some kind of run-through agreement but am unclear on the details and (no surprise) cannot remember where I originally got the information. Does anyone have any additional information on this? Thanx!

    Greg Stout
  2. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Supporter

    Starting about 1967 the UP, Frisco, and SCL initiated run-through trans-continental service with trains NWF, Northwest Forwarder (No Where Fast) and FSE, Frisco South East (Frisco Slow Express). Initially Frisco units could be found as far west as Cheyenne, but by '69, North Platte was as far west as the Frisco units traveled. Slick units usually traveled as far north as Memphis or Springfield, but it wasn't uncommon to see them in KC. The Frisco contributed its U-boats and GP-35's to the pool, and the UP provided GP-30's and GP-35's. Within my father's circle, the term Yellow Canary was used to describe FSE and NWF, although the term could also apply to any UP unit.

    Perform a search on NWF or FSE; there are a few other postings scattered around the site.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 22, 2011
  3. wpmoreland719

    wpmoreland719 Member Supporter

    So did this arrangement last after the Seaboard's merger with Atlantic Coast Line? And did any of these trains (including the UP) travel as far northeast as St. Louis on SL-SF trackage?

    Be interesting to know all the different types of engines and what paint schemes they could be found in while traveling on the Frisco system.

    Pat Moreland,
    Union Mo.
  4. TAG1014 (Tom Galbraith RIP 7/15/2020)

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

    I've seen SLSF, UP, ACL and SCL engines go through Springfield on the NWF and FSE, but I don't recall if they were mixed?? I believe those trains ran after the ACL-SAL merger. And the trains used the Frisco KC-Memphis line and didn't go through St. Louis (Unless there might have been a wreck or washout to avoid).

  5. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    Tom - I'm a member of the ACL/SAL/SCL Historical Society, among others. An excellent group! They have had several articles in their publication "Lines South" over the past year or so dealing with Frisco run-throughs in one form or another. I've not gone back and checked, but as I recall, they usually had four units, two SCL, two SLSF. SLSF power was GP38/38-2's and various early U-boats. I recall one article where the SCL crew complained that the Frisco 38's pulled well at low speed, but did not have enough "umph" to run the train as fast as they desired.

  6. friscobob

    friscobob Staff Member Staff Member Supporter

    I remember seeing a southbound freight rolling thru Miami, OK in the summer of 1978 with a UP power consist on the point. I coulda sworn I saw covered hoppers behind it, so I'm guessing it was a unit grain train running thru from Kansas City south on Frisco.

    As far as SCL power, I've seen that, even Southern Ry. diesels, on run-thrus on the Cherokee Sub in Afton. From what I remember, they were all 6-axle diesels.
  7. Joseph Toth

    Joseph Toth Member

    Ed Bunch, long time Frisco off-line traffic agent in Tampa and Miami told me recently that he secured a lot of Florida bound freight traffic from the Pacific Northwest due to the Frisco┬┤s Kansas City-Birmingham "short cut". ACL and SAL and of course SCL after the merger continued to receive lumber and pershables for final delivery in the Sunshine State.

    With the famous ACL Perry Cut-Off gone and freight movements being required to take a longer route to Tampa Bay destinations via CSX what is the current time element with BNSF and UP as the major players competing with the trucks compared to the pre-merger operations? I assume BNSF has through routing from the Pacific Northwest to Birmingham where freight is handed over to CSX eliminating any transfer at Kansas City. Has the service improved for the customer assuming most of this traffic still moves by rail?

    Joe Toth
  8. Rick McClellan

    Rick McClellan 2009 Engineer of the Year

    I have some slides shot in the 1973-74 timeframe that show the Green/Yellow SAL units (GP40s I think) running through KC by Seaboard Milling. Not sure if they were cut off when they arrived on the UP but they definitely made it to KC. Once. Maybe more.

    On my layout, I run SCL/SLSF/UP power mixed on the FSE/NWF. I've seen a few pictures of these consists and I kind of like them. Rule 1 is a fabulous tool.
  9. FriscoFriend (Bob Hoover RIP 4/12/2018)

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

    Rock On Rule 1!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:cool: It's the greatest one invented in the Model Railroad world!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:cool:
  10. friscobob

    friscobob Staff Member Staff Member Supporter

    Plausibility is a good thing............who says it never happened in real life? ;)
  11. C. Brandt May

    C. Brandt May Superintendent


    Thr Frisco had power equilization agreements with the UP, ATSF, MP, and the SCL. All of these Agreement were related to run thru trains with those roads. Each road designated an office to track locomotives and horsepower hours so at the end of the year if a road was in a deficit position it was required to provide equivilent horsepower hours. This is the reason you might find a Frisco loco any where on the Santa Fe. Same would apply to the UP, SCL, or MP. From my experience the SCL had the worst locomotive maintenance with thr MOP next. Often the NWF (Way Cross to Memphis) run thru would arrive in Birmingham with one or two units dead in consist. If our shop people cuold not get it running ,we would set out the unit substitute a Frisco unit. We took the B/O unit to the LN yard in transfer service. At the years end we would receive a SCL piece of junk to balance the horsepower hours. Usually this required a minor overhaul in Springfield to get our hours

    Brandt May
  12. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Terry, C. Brant May is a Frisco retiree. He had been in the system for quite some time. I know that he was, at one time the River Division Superintendent.
  13. SteveM

    SteveM Member Supporter

    Terry, he was indeed over there at one time. Worked all over the system. Currently tearing out a layout in order to attempt a Birmingham scheme. Can't get him to the Frisco weekends because of the OSU football games. Maybe you could come over to NWA and visit.

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