Kansas & Texas Coal Company

Discussion in 'Gondola' started by SAFN SAAP, May 20, 2013.


    SAFN SAAP Member

    Hey Y'all,

    On the slate are four gondolas of the Kansas & Texas Coal Company.

    According to the 1901 ORER, the cars owned by this company are marked for the "Kansas & Texas Coal Company", are numbered 400 to 599 inclusively, 60000 lbs capacity, and are equipped with air brakes. The interesting link to the Frisco is that the 400 series of the cars were assigned to the Frisco. The 500 were assigned to the Katy. I'll be doing cars 400, 404, 406, 409. These were seen in San Antonio.

    Here's the prototype picture. These will be scratch built. Construction to start soon. The photo belongs to me as purchased.

  2. Jim James

    Jim James Staff Member Staff Member

    Looks like a prime scratchbuild subject. Lots of character potential. I look forward to your build thread.
  3. Oldguy

    Oldguy Member Frisco.org Supporter

  4. Sirfoldalot

    Sirfoldalot Frisco.org Supporter Frisco.org Supporter

    Excellent choice, Manny.

    Oldguy .. Thanks for the reference to pics of STL Car Co.

    SAFN SAAP Member

    Yes, these are very interesting cars. They are only 30' long and are five boards high, which makes them larger than most. Strange combination for them to order, but that's what they did. Look to see construction in a few days.
  6. john

    john FRISCO.org Supporter

    K&T Coal Company was linked to the Frisco by more than just assigned coal cars. It was a very small Kansas strip mining company which suddenly (in 1885) took over the operations of Rogers Coal Company (owned by the Frisco and named for C.W. Rogers). After this date K&T was widely speculated to be a "front" for the Frisco, enabling it to operate mines in Kansas (where business practices had gotten the Frisco and Rogers into trouble). In 1887 K&T expanded into Arkansas and then, a few years later, into the Indian Territory. In ca. 1902 K&T was absorbed into the Central Coal & Coke Company. This apparently occurred as part of a larger "deal" that transferred the Arkansas and Choctaw railroad to the Frisco (it was owned by Central Coal & Coke Company).

    SAFN SAAP Member


    That is some awesome information on the Kansas & Texas Coal Company. Where did you find that information? Are or is there any books on the company? Sounds like you have a good historical background. Please share.

  8. john

    john FRISCO.org Supporter

    I doubt if anyone has written a book, specifically about Kansas and Texas Coal Company, but its story would probably make good reading. I'll attempt to give you a little bit more information here. The story is actually quite complicated and there was a lot of activity in Kansas and Missouri which I wan't attempt to cover here.

    You have no doubt seen various posts about the Little Rock & Texas Ry. Co. (better known as the Mansfield branch of the Frisco) in Sebastian County, Arkansas. Depending on how you want to look at the question, an argument could be made that the Mansfield Branch was built for the sole purpose of providing railroad access for the Kansas and Texas Coal Company which had secretly purchased hundreds of acres of coal land in Arkansas prior to the construction of this branch of the railroad. Kansas and Texas was, by far, the largest fuel supplier to the Frisco in the 1800's. K&T mines in Kansas were very important to the Frisco in Kansas and Missouri at this time. The Arkansas coal was critical for the mainline route to Paris, Texas (otherwise Frisco would have had to haul its coal over the mountains and down from Kansas). Frisco burned about 60% or so of the Arkansas coal and shipped most of the rest south to Texas for sale (mostly to other railroads). Remember that we are talking about the 1800's Frisco here.

    It is no easier to determine what was happening "behind closed doors" at big companies in the late 1800's and early 1900's than it is today. About all you can do is look at the historical outcome and speculate about why things happened as they did. Kansas and Texas Coal Company was well known as a poorly managed mess in the 1800's. The Frisco should probably have stuck exclusively to railroading, but naturally wanted to exert control over its own fuel supply. In 1903 Alexander Simpson, a mining expert, wrote that "In January, 1888, I inspected the (K&T) mines at Hackett and Huntington near Fort Smith... the mines were then new, badly laid off and poorly managed..." The same could have been (and was) said about their Kansas and Missouri mines as well.

    While Kansas and Texas Coal Company was wallowing through production shortfalls, labor riots, unnecessary mine disasters and other problems, another coal company was on the rise. Keith & Perry Coal Company was run by Richard Keith and heavily allied with Arthur Stilwell of Kansas City. Stilwell used K&P to provide much/all of the fuel for his new KCP&G railroad (now the KCS). Kieth & Perry (later Central Coal & Coke Company) owned a (primarily) logging railroad in southwestern Arkansas and Indian Territory named the Arkansas and Choctaw. When the KCP&G was built, the Arkansas and Choctaw obtained "running rights" (trackage) over the Frisco from K&P Coal's Bonanza, AR mines to Poteau, Indian Territory over the Frisco. K&P Coal became Central Coal and Coke in 1893. A little less than a decade later, beginning in 1902, Central Coal & Coke purchased and absorbed Kansas & Texas Coal Company (K&T).

    The Arkansas and Choctaw Railway was organized in 1895 in Arkansas. R.H.Keith was the president. By 1902 this railroad had 102.23 miles of track, only 40.25 of which were in Arkansas and the rest in the Indian Territory. Included in this Arkansas total was about a mile of mine track at Bonanza, Arkansas and rights over the Frisco to haul coal from Bonanza to the KCS at Poteau, IT. The sale of Kansas and Texas Coal Company to Central Coal & Coke Company occurred at the same time that Central sold most of the Arkansas and Choctaw to the Frisco. This was essentially a swap. The Arkansas and Choctaw was transferred to the Choctaw Construction Company (jointly controlled by officers of the Central Coal & Coke Company and the Frisco) and then on to the Frisco where it became the Arkinda/Ardmore sub. The arrangement at Bonanza was not included in the new deal. The KCS took ownership of the mine tracks at Bonanza (Frisco would acquire them many years later).

    Central wasn't the only coal company that owned a railroad. When they acquired Kansas and Texas they also got the Kansas & Texas Coal Railway in the deal. This railroad operated in Missouri along some K&T mines there and tied into the Wabash. Central now no longer controlled the Arkansas and Choctaw but still owned some small, scattered railroads. They created a new railroad called the Missouri and Louisiana Railroad Company to combine everything that was left and that they had acquired under one common operation. The Missouri and Louisiana consisted of four divisions.

    Bevier District (former Kansas & Texas Coal Railway) in Macon County, MO:
    Neame District and Carson District (both logging railroads in Louisiana which were tied in with the KCS:
    Bonanza District (the part of the old A&C operation which hauled coal from Bonanza, AR to Poteau, IT (OK)).

    The Missouri and Louisiana was essentially destroyed by the "Tap Line Decision" of the Supreme Court in ca. 1914 and was broken up. The Bevier district became the well known Bevier and Southern Railroad in Missouri and the two Louisiana "districts" became the Neame, Carson & Southern Railroad. It appears that the Bonanza, AR/Poteau, OK operation was then just carried on under the Central Coal & Coke Company name for a few more years, until Central finally abandoned operations at Bonanza (ca. 1919). At some point after this date the KCS tracks at Bonanza were transferred to Frisco control where they remained until they were removed in ca. 1950 after the last underground mine there closed.

    In its early years Central Coal & Coke was heavily associated with (shipped over and supplied fuel for) the KCS AND the Kansas City, Ft. Scott and Memphis. Frisco acquired control over the KCFS&M only a few years before it rid itself of Kansas and Texas Coal. (I think the KCFS&M experience with Central was the basis for the Frisco decision to "trust" Central with its VERY CRITICAL FOR SURVIVAL fuel supply) The business relationship between Frisco and Central Coal remained very close after this time, up until the Frisco began seriously converting to oil fired operation in the 1920's. Although there was some speculation from time to time that the Frisco owned or controlled Central Coal that is doubtful although it is clear that they would have exerted a lot of influence over each other in matters of mutual survival in the early 1900's. Frisco's control over the earlier Kansas and Texas Coal Company is more likely, but still would have been indirect. The statement that K&T was a "front" is based on rumors and speculation from the time since the Frisco could not publicly acknowledge control over K&T without getting into further trouble with the state of Kansas.

    SAFN SAAP Member

    Wow! What an education. Thank you very much! That's great. I knew coal was big business and politics from when I was a conductor on the C&O but man, was that a mess back in the 1800's. Talk about barons' going after one another. Thanks for posting that.
  10. john

    john FRISCO.org Supporter

    The Jul 1904 ORER credits the Missouri & Louisiana Railroad with 200 coal cars (#400 to #599), 1 flat (#600), 1 furniture (#300), and 162 unspecified miscellaneous (numbered in the #1 to #200 range – probably logging equipment) cars. They also had 6 caboose (#100 to #105). It is noted that cars lettered “Kansas & Texas Coal Co.” and “Central Coal & Coke Co.” are being re-lettered “Mo & La R.R.” as rapidly as possible.

    SAFN SAAP Member

    Hello everyone,

    My humblest of apologies for the long absence. I haven't been myself. I've been working on some cars to lift my spirit. I am working on K&TC Co 400, 404, 406, and 409 as we speak. I just finished the floors and am starting to add all the underside details. Soon I will be starting the upper portion of the cars. Unique were the 10" boards, 5 high, which gave the 30 foot cars a stout stance. I'll post up some progress pics soon. I hope to have these finished in a week or two. I've been fighting a cold and haven't been feeling well, so progress has been like pouring molasses in dead of winter Kansas.

  12. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Frisco.org Supporter

    Good to have you back! We have missed your inspirational modeling skills.
  13. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member Staff Member

    Good to see you Manny, been wondering where you were. Lets see some pictures of your progress:)

    SAFN SAAP Member

    Thanks Keith, Tom, et al. I'll have some pics shortly. Putting all the underside gear on right now. I hope to be painting by the weekend.
  15. I can not wait to see your work Manny. I'm sure the cars will turn out great like your other cars have. Those K&T cars look interesting. Makes me wish I didn't model the 1950s in HO scale.

    SAFN SAAP Member

    Sorry for the short delay guys. I'll have pics of the undercarriages up later today. The side boards are all sanding sealed and construction on them will start shortly. I've been sick and not up to modeling.

    SAFN SAAP Member

    Boy, do I not like being sick. I can't shake this cold for nothing. Had it over a month and now it's morphing into something else...

    Anyways, I just finished the undersides to the K&TC gondola's. In real like the K&TC's were drop bottom's, however, no detail pictures are available to accurately or even remotely model, so they received the standard underside, truss rods, etc. This is just the way it has to be. If I can find some builders photos, or plans, then I can make new ones, but for right now, these will do nicely.

    The important thing on the gondolas is the outer sills which are two pieces of wood. These must be glued together as evenly as possible, and then the sides sanded so that the joint is smoothed so it will no longer be visible. It sounds a lot easier than it looks. It may feel smooth, but when using 10X magnifying glasses, you can see that more work needs to be done. That's what I did. It took time on all 8 sides, but I got it smooth as a baby's butt.

    Brake rigging is Tichy's K Brake Cylinder. Brake levers are Cal Scale 190-494 levers. Grandt Line Queen Posts and Tichy Turnbuckles, round out the gear. Tichy Phosphorus Bronze wire in .0125, .015, and .020 make up the brake lines, brake brackets, and the linkages. Bolsters are Juneco's, drilled and filled with Evergreen 1/8" styrene tubes for the bolster screws.

    Now that the frames are finished, I can start the sides. I've already sanding sealed the wood, so this should go fairly quickly. All cars will be loaded with Woodland Scenics Coal.

    Here are some pics...

    DSCN4009.JPG DSCN4010.JPG DSCN4011.JPG

    More to come...


  18. Jim James

    Jim James Staff Member Staff Member

    All that attention to detail is paying off. As usual you're producing a fine looking model. Can't wait to see the finished car.

    SAFN SAAP Member

    Starting work on the sides. Hopefully my cold/whatever it is, won't slow me down. Thanks for the compliments.
  20. John Sanders

    John Sanders Member

    Good looking wood cars Manny.

    John Sanders
    Springfield, MO

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