Passenger Switching Duties @ KCUS

Discussion in 'Passenger Operations' started by yardmaster, Mar 1, 2009.

  1. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Folks -
    Does anyone have info on what type of steam power would have been used for swtiching at Kansas City Union Station c. 1943?

    I'm gonna guess that KCT power didn't do the job, since the Frisco didn't use the terminal coach yards.

    Thanks, in advance, for any info (and, if anyone can point me to other sources for ATSF switching power, that will make my son quite happy!).

    Best Regards,
  2. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    Were either of the two Frisco Baldwin VO-660's ever assigned to KC? I know at least one of them was used here in StL in passenger switching for some time early in its service life.

  3. frisco1522

    frisco1522 Staff Member Staff Member

    Poor Ken has trouble identifying with steam engines. I think there's a 12 step program to get off of diesels.
    I've seen photos of 36-3700 class 0-6-0s at KC, and have several shots of 2-8-0s pulling the road engine and train back tot he Frisco from thestation. Mostly low numbered 1200s.
  4. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    I admit to being a hopeless diesel addict! Poor Don has been working with me on the 12-step recovery program for over twenty years, and I've only made it up to step six or seven! Still a long way to go for sure.

    I kept asking him when he was running SLSF 1522 at speed if he was in "Run 8", and if he used dynamic braking on her as he went down Rolla Hill into Newburg. I guess there is little hope for me.

    But, I do freely admit that the Frisco's steam locomotives were pretty darn neat. See, maybe there is still hope. After all, I do still roster SLSF 1519 and SLSF 1522 here on the home road! Plus, there is a Frisco 0-6-0 in the finishing shop, though I'm selling off my 1400-class 4-6-0. See, I do know how to describe these steamers - I've never called a Frisco 1500 Mountain a "2-D-A" unit! Maybe there IS hope for my recovery?

    But - those "Racehorse" E7's and E8's were pretty neat as well. I like F units, FA units and U-boats, too!

    I'm trying. Now, about those SLSF Baldwin VO-660's; where did the Frisco use them during their service life? I think they started off in St Louis, and ended their service in Pensacola. Where were they in between?

  5. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    As it pertains to steam vs. diesel - all I can say is that I'm glad I've seen the light! :)

    Thanks for the lead; I'm not sure why I didn't research it first. There's a photo in Frisco Power of #3748 in KCMO in 1941, and I think I'm smitten...that coal hopper looks fun to model, and even feasible for a dolt like me who seems to have 10 thumbs.

    I've an old IHC 2-8-0 over which I've been hem-hawing as to whether it would make a better 1200 or one of the StLM&SE 956-965 class switchers. From what I know the latter stuck around N. Springfield, but I like they way they look.
  6. TAG1014 (Tom Galbraith RIP 7/15/2020)

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

    Ken--Did you like the hi-hood b/y U-25's 801-808? Me, being the mandarin and white hater, would condescend to allow them on my RR. But I think I'd need a four-unit lash-up...

  7. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    Tom -

    You bet! SLSF 800-807, the eight original U25b's on the Frisco - all in b/y with high short hoods, were so ugly they were attractive.

    I've seen a couple of scratch builds in HO that weren't too bad (one was SLSF, one was UP). Since the model manufacturers are doing DL109's and ALCo high-hoods now, I'd sure like to see one of them do a high hood U25b as well. Bowser/Stewart?????

    I recall from my sophomore or junior year at MSM, I heard this strange chugging sound coming up Rolla Hill from Newburg mid-day as I headed for lunch. I walked over to the depot to wait for it to come by to see just what it was. There came four of the HH U25b's around the bend at the end of Pine Street and on by the depot with a long freight heading to StL. Ugh!!! I had read in Trains that the SLSF had them, but I had never seen them. I don't recall ever seeing them again in Rolla, but did catch them now and then at Lindenwood (in o/w decor) in later years.

  8. FriscoFriend (Bob Hoover RIP 4/12/2018)

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

    When I spoke with the Stewart Rep at the OKC Train Show and he told me they were making the U25b, he lamented at the fact that they couldn't do a black version because their shell was for a Phase IV locomotive of which buy the time they were purchased the Frisco had changed over to O&W.

    Bob Hoover
  9. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    No doubt a high-hood GE U25b would require a new body shell casting, even from Bowser/Stewart. I think even the Frisco and UP HH U25b's had a few differences.

    I thought the original Stewart U25b came out in two phases - the second one being the Phase IV, with the sloped low short hood. Those did come from GE in o/w. The first Stewart U25b model, however, had the flat low short hood, and these versions were delivered to the SLSF from GE in b/y. What phase was that? I have one of each somewhere here - I'll have to check to see if the two phases were different aft of the cab from each other, and if the long hood resembles that of the earlier HH.

    I wonder if Bowser/Stewart is going to consider releasing an updated version using the earlier body phase they did. That one could be in Frisco b/y.

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 2, 2009
  10. Rick McClellan

    Rick McClellan 2009 Engineer of the Year

    I was just going through my Railroad Quarterlies and saw a photo of the KC-Florida Special backing in towards KC Union Station about 1948. It appears to be going by the KCT yard water tower on Southwest Blvd but I can't be certain.

    The tracks at KCUS are through tracks and it never occurred to me that mainline SLSF passenger trains would back their consist into the terminal area.

    This raises a few questions.

    1. Is the caption on this photo accurate? Did the KC-Florida Special back into KCUS?

    2. If the KC-Florida Special backed into the station, did all other southbound mainline trains (like the Firefly) back into KCUS.

    3. If these trains backed into KCUS where did they wye the train? Somewhere around Tower 4?

    Thanks in advance to anyone who can unravel this mystery. I may need to start backing my KC bound passenger trains into KCUS staging.

    Ship IT on the Frisco!

  11. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Wow, that shifts my rather limited paradigm. I think most photos I've seen are early 50s photos of redbirds facing east, having pulled through and under the train shed.

    Might have to tweak my track plan if this was more standard than I'd presume (it'll look odd having it run through the 12th Street area and the West Bottoms otherwise!).

    Thanks for the info, Rick...
  12. gbmott

    gbmott Member


    Going back to your question of a couple days ago regarding the VO-660's 60-61, they spent some time on the Central Division working out of Fayetteville, presumably servicing the Bentonville Branch as well as local switching in the Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers area. They would come to Fort Smith for periodic inspections and maintenance and I would see and photograph them there. I don't recall specifically when that was, but think it must have been late-50's or even very early 60's. Prior to that there had always been one of the 44ton units up there with probably the 3-spot serving the longest.

    Much more interesting, however (nod to Don) was the small fleet of 3700 0-6-0's kept at Fort Smith that were unique (as far as I know) in having their headlights centered on the smokebox door. Very classy little locomotives.

  13. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    I have the Stewart Frisco VO-660 kit, SLSF 601, but haven't built it yet. (The two VO-660's, SLSF 600 & 601, were renumbered to SLSF 60 & 61 to make room for additional Frisco GP7's numbered SLSF 600 and up).

    I did build the Stewart VO-660 they did for the Terminal RR of StL, TRRA 533, in gray of course. Nice model! I like it even better than the Stewart VO-1000's.

    My problem with the Stewart Frisco VO's (and the DS44-1000) is with their letterinjg and numbering fonts. Way too thick. I re-decaled the Frisco VO-1000 I did, SLSF 213, with Microscale decals and it looks pretty good. Stewart's striping and other markings are fine.

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 4, 2009
  14. frisco1522

    frisco1522 Staff Member Staff Member

    The 61 spent some time on the Salem Branch after dizmalization. I have a photo somewhere of my bro in law on it (He fired on the branch during late steam early dizmal years).
  15. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    Don -

    What steam power did they use on the Salem Branch "pre-dizmal" - 2-8-0's, 4-6-0's? There weren't any 0-6-0's in mid-Missouri, were there?

  16. frisco1522

    frisco1522 Staff Member Staff Member

    We had 0-6-0s at Lindenwood as well as 2-8-0s.
    Early on the Salem Branch used 2-6-0s (300s) and later on 2-8-0s in the 800 series and later the 970s and 980s.
  17. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    Don - So there likely were never any Frisco 0-6-0's assigned to Newburg? They must have always used the smaller, older road power to both switch and run locals out of there. There probably wasn't much switching needed - just to assemble the locals, and later, to do the same for the Ft Wood runs.

    Were the 2-6-0's and/or 2-8-0's used on the Salem Branch based out of Cuba, or did they come up from Newburg for the Salem runs?

  18. gbmott

    gbmott Member


    You are inadvertantly tweaking all kinds of Fort Smith memories. SLSF 213 was the one-and-only switch engine in Fort Smith throughout the period from the late-50's to the mid-60's. We only really ever had three resident diesel switchers -- ALCO S-2 292 (before it had an accident and became a calf) came to us new and I actually have an extremely poor negative I took of it switching the passenger train with a 1040 behind it. It was replaced in the early 50's by SW-7 304, and then finally VO-1000 213. Of the three, 213 was probably there the longest. I'd still trade all three of them for 3744!

    Which reminds me of early in the residency of 292 being down at the yard office on the switching lead watching them trying to make a drop (also known as a flying switch) of a car. They must have tried half a dozen times before they finally succeeded -- they were all used to the acceleration of a 3700 and didn't understand that "dizmals" weren't quite up to the task.

    Ain't trivia great!

  19. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    Gordon -

    Good memories.

    The VO-1000 could pull anything, but I'm not sure how good they were at rapid acceleration. Given the VO being a low RPM engine, they might not be able to win many drag races.

    Lee Buffington told me that on the four-stack VO-1000's, you could see individual puffs of exhaust come out of each stack as the engine went through its cylinder firing order.

  20. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    Gordon -

    I don't have many pics of the 3700's, nor are there many in the books. Do you or any others have pics of the 3700's with the headlights centered on the smokebox? That would be neat to see.


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