Nichols Junction

Discussion in 'Springfield Subdivision' started by moinspect1, Feb 14, 2008.

  1. moinspect1

    moinspect1 Member

    Does anyone have any info on Nichols Jct as it was in the late 1940's? I'm trying to design a layout based on this location. Based on the timetables I've seen on this site it should be a very busy spot. I plan on using stageing for the Northern and Eastern divisions. Did the operator at Nichols control the junction from the bay window at the station, since there is no tower I can see, or was it remotely operated? Also did Memphis bound trains use the passenger main, since I have read on here that Teed was not built until the 1950's? Any info would be appreciated. I haven't built a layout in years so I want this to be right.
     
  2. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Frisco.org Supporter

    During 1947, the interlocking plant was housed in the depot at Nichols Jct. CTC was in place between Monett and Nichols Junction; was controlled from Springfield. The Ash Grove Sub was signaled with APBS.

    Willow Springs Sub freight trains and Lebanon Sub Passenger trains used the former East Belt between Eastern Junction and Pine Street Junction.
     

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  3. moinspect1

    moinspect1 Member

    Thanks for the help Karl. Do you or anyone else have any additional pictures of Nichols other than what is posted on here?

    Also where is Eastern Jct? I assume that it is the junction on the north end of the east belt but just wanted to be sure.
     
  4. TAG1014 (Tom Galbraith RIP 7/15/2020)

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

    Hi Mo and Karl--Here's another Nichols photo (company photographer, 1955). It's date is probably between the two pictures posted in the alphabetical station section. Note the raised lettering.

    Tom

    PS: Does anyone have a track diagram for Nichols Jct? I started going out there about 1953 and regularly through the 80's , but never thought to draw (or photograph) the track pattern!!
     

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  5. w3hodoug (Doug Hughes RIP 03/24/2021)

    w3hodoug (Doug Hughes RIP 03/24/2021) 2008 Engineer of the Year Frisco.org Supporter

  6. TAG1014 (Tom Galbraith RIP 7/15/2020)

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

    Does anyone have a track DIAGRAM of the Nichols Jct. trackage as it was in the 1950's? Hopefully a schematic--but even a pencil sketch would be great...

    Thanks, Tom
     
  7. meteor910

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

    Being mostly unfamiliar with how things worked in Springfield during the "good old days" ... I would like some direction from you Springfield Frisco folks -

    Regarding Karl's rail map of Springfield he posted above ..... what route did the St Louis - Oklahoma trains follow, in each direction, to access the Springfield Frisco station down there on the southern loop?

    What route did the Kansas City - Southeast trains follow in each direction to reach the station, and in what direction were they headed when they stopped?

    Thanks! I'm not sure I understand how each of the trains got to the station, and in what direction they faced when they stopped at the platform.

    Ken |-|
     
  8. TAG1014 (Tom Galbraith RIP 7/15/2020)

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

    The eastbound passenger trains approached from the southwest (lower left of the map), took the curve to right and went on the SE leg (lower right) downtown toward the station. EB freights went straight through the diamond into the yards at the north central (upper right of map) part of the city and proceded in the same direction (when they left town) on toward St. Louis. South bound freights approached from upper left (NW), curved to the left (upper leg of wye) and headed N east toward the yards and shops at the upper right of map. Westbound and Northbound freights were the reverse of the above. Southbound passenger trains ran straight through the diamond--upper left to lower right of map. Northbound passengers reverse--lower right to upper left. At the passenger station, eastward and "southward" arrived from the west (the left facing out the front door of the depot which was on the southside of the tracks). West bound and "northbound", the reverse.

    Tom
     
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  9. meteor910

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

    Tom -

    Many thanks.

    On the Springfield map Karl has posted above, Nichols is shown as only a crossing. I take it Nichols was not just a diamond, but trains could take either the north or south legs into Springfield when approaching from the west/north and vice versa going the other way?

    So, do I have this right? The Meteor, #9, from St Louis, would approach westward from the upper right, take the wye onto the east belt, take the leg west to the station, and stop with the station on the left, facing west. It would then depart to the west out to Nichols, and there bear to the left towards Oklahoma. Did I derail anywhere?

    I can see how it all worked if Nichols was an interchange, not just a diamond as it appears on the map.

    If Nichols was just a diamond, the StL-Oklahoma trains would appear to need to do a big circle around town to get down to the station, stop, and then get back out of town toward their destination. The KC-Memphis trains had it easy, since the station was on their "main".

    Sure wish I could go down there now and watch The Meteor or the "Will" come in to check it out!

    Ken
     
  10. TAG1014 (Tom Galbraith RIP 7/15/2020)

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

    Ken--I think I may have muddied the waters some--Let's take train 9 as an example. It would approach Springfield from the east (upper right if you picture Springfield as a "square"), then it would leave the main line (the original St. Louis-Okla. line) and it would weave in a southwestwardly direction though the city on the "old" east belt (now the middle belt, since there is a NEW east belt from the early 60's, I think) and turn westwardly on to the line through the passenger station (which was the KC-Memphis main line--the old "Kansas City, Ft. Scott & Memphis" RR). Then, when leaving town, it would head west toward Nichols, go through the south curved leg of the wye and rejoin the line to Oklahoma. Hope this helps...The above route is on Karl's map--what I call the "old" east belt is just "East Belt on his map.

    Tom
     
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  11. TAG1014 (Tom Galbraith RIP 7/15/2020)

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

    Ken--There was a drive-in movie theatre near Nichols--One night after the movie, I drove over to there as Tr. 10 was coming through. After the engines (with wig-wag light) went by, everything was almost silent. The red and silver cars were just hissing by. The observation-lounge was empty (everybody had gone to bed), but you could see the table, chairs and venetian blinds--and dim, atmospheric lights--It was like a luxurious living room... very cool.

    Tom
     
  12. TAG1014 (Tom Galbraith RIP 7/15/2020)

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

    One other thing regarding passenger train routing around (and through) Springfield--The "High Line" passenger trains (which didn't go through Nichols) To Kansas City via Clinton departing from the depot, would be parked in front of the station headed "east." They would then back up to the West Belt wye, back northward to the north side and head out the "High Line" toward Willard, Walnut Grove, Clinton and KC (that's the diagonal track to the upper left above the West Belt wye in Karl's map). In the diesel days though, sometimes the train would head east from the station go up through town on the East Belt, then at the north side, take the wye to the west, go through the North Yards and head out the "High Line." In steam days, arriving trains would enter the North Yards, back down (south) the West Belt to the wye and into the station and wind up heading west. Don't exactly remember how the diesel powered high line local got into the station, but they were always headed east when they got to the station. I believe they used the other (westernmost) leg of the wye at the station.

    Tom
     
  13. meteor910

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

    Tom - Thanks again!

    Now I, too, want to see the track layout at Nichols.

    Which track, and what side of the track, was the drive-in on?

    I remember catching #10 once in Rolla in 1962 or 1963 when I had to get home to StL on short notice. 4:30-5:00 am as I recall - that platform was sure lonely as I waited for the train. I knew it was coming, though, as I could hear it climb Rolla Hill in the still of the night. I just bought a coach ticket, but the entire train seemed to be asleep except for the Conductor. He and I had a good chat about the Frisco all the way home - don't remember his name, but a real nice guy. They stopped and let me and a couple of other people off at Webster, where my grandfather met me.

    Ken |-|
     
  14. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Frisco.org Supporter

    Tom and Ken, you both paint a magnificant visual image of Frisco passenger action. Combined with Karl's recent posting on the redbird cab ride, it's the next best thing to finding Mr. Peabody's "Wayback Machine" and managing to see it all in person.

    This thread motivated me to get out of my River Division box for a moment and look at some contemporary aerial photographs online. Nichols Jct. sure looks like a shadow of it's former self (it appears the SE leg is long gone) but I could just about see the ghost trains rattling through the interlocking.

    Good stuff, gentlemen,
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 3, 2008
  15. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Frisco.org Supporter

    Some Names

    I have annotated the Springfield 1955 era map to reflect the names used used during the 30's.

    Tom is correct, the Clinton Sub trains used the West Belt via Broad Street Jct to get to the depot. By the end of psgr service on the Clinton Sub, 21 and 20 were using the former East Belt. My ETT38B, Sept 28, 1952 show these trains passing Pacific St Jct and Pine St Jct. During the post-1947 betterments, the East Belt received CTC, and running the Clinton Sub trains on the East Belt was more efficient.

    During 1947 train number 8 went through the connecting track at Nichols at 67 mph and rolled the 4404. It was a foggy day, and my father always said that the crew lost track of its location.

    http://dotlibrary1.specialcollection.net/scripts/ws.dll?websearch&site=dot_railroads
     

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  16. TAG1014 (Tom Galbraith RIP 7/15/2020)

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

    Karl--Good to know the "official" time table names of those junctions etc. If anyone is looking for the "Pine Street Junction" these days, Pine Street in Springfield is now "Tampa" street--The junction is about a block south of Drury College (now Drury University).
    I'm going to dig around in my photo collection for a couple of hi-line train pictures and I also have some Arthur Johnson photos of #8's wreck at Nichols. I went out to the wreck scene with my folks when I was a kid. One thing I remember, was that there was a big puddle of oil spilled from the tender and a bulldozer pushed a rock in the oil and splashed some onlookers. A lot of women squealed when the oil splashed them.

    Tom
     
  17. frisco1522

    frisco1522 Staff Member Staff Member

    Southern Junction on your map looks interesting. You noted interlocker. Was there a tower or building of some sort, and are there any photos of it?
    How much of this trackage exists today? When we hit town in '94 with 1522 going to Atlanta, they towed the train away and wyed it so we faced east to go down the Thayer line the next morning. We were dog tired and went to the motel, so I never saw where they turned the train.
     
  18. TAG1014 (Tom Galbraith RIP 7/15/2020)

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

    There used to be a tower where the MP branch crossed the Frisco just a little north of the Southern Jct. wye. It was manned by the Missouri Pacific I think??--I never saw it in use. My memories of it were back as far as the late 40's--It was razed later, but the foundations were there for a long time--up into the 60's probably. When I was in high school ('55-'56), all the tracks in there were controled by Frisco CTC and block signals and the tower was abandoned.
    The 1522 trainset was turned with an SW-1500 (or maybe a pair of them I don't remember). It coupled to the rear and pulled it back (east) and then (southward) down through the Pacific Street jct. onto the old East Belt, and down toward the Pine Street jct. and the middle of town until the steam engine passed the Pacific St. Junction. After it passed the Pacific St. Jct. wye, it pushed the train back up the East Belt until the switcher passed the wye from the East Belt onto the (east-west) main line and then pulled the trainset, by then heading east, back (west) to the North Yard (and the Frisco Museum area)

    Tom
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 4, 2008
  19. TAG1014 (Tom Galbraith RIP 7/15/2020)

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

    There used to be a poster around at train shows of a Howard Fogg painting with a Frisco FA going through Nichols. I don't exactly remember the details--seems like it was a night scene with the moon in the sky...

    Tom
     
  20. meteor910

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

    Yes, I have a copy of the print, as do several others I know of. It is also reproduced in the book "Howard Fogg and the Diesel Image" by John Scala, page 43. Fogg did this painting as part of his ALCo series when he was under contract by ALCo. It shows SLSF 5217 leading an A-B-A set and train at night on the line to Tulsa, crossing over the KC/Memphis line at Nichols. Neat pic - I've got to get it framed!

    Howard Fogg presented the original painting to Clark Hungerford, Frisco's president. Wonder where it is now?

    I know of four paintings of Frisco FA's, this being one of them. I believe three were by Howard Fogg, and one by someone else. The specific subjects were SLSF 5200, SLSF 5217, SLSF 5217 again (different), and SLSF 5219. I also have the 5219 print. I've seen the other two - they all look neat.

    A fine testimony to how good looking these Frisco FA1 locomotives were! Too bad they didn't run better ..... though I have not noticed any hot turbo or crankshaft/connecting rod problems on my layout with my P2K's and TM's!

    Ken
     

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