Riding the Highline 1950

Discussion in 'Passenger Operations' started by Charles Wherry, Mar 7, 2017.

  1. My dad and mom were born and raised in the Kansas City area. Dad was a motorman for KCPS and in 1936 they migrated west to southern California where dad hired out on the Pacific Electric, again as a motorman.
    In August 1950 the now family of four with the addition my brother and myself, traveled on railroad employee trip passes to Kansas City to visit my paternal grandparents and, in addition, we made a side-trip to Springfield to visit one of dads aunts and family for at least 2-3 days. Because of the daytime schedule of Nos. 21 and 20 between KC and Springfield, dad chose the Highline local for our ride.
    A few remarks about the photo(s). I suppose if he were alive today dad would be called a railfan. But beyond his railroading interest his first love was his family. I say this because quite often in his photos he included his wife and his sons. Today as I view them I often wish that, from a railfan perspective, he had chosen to omit us. But I'm being selfish now; dad chose to include us. He was an avid photographer and I am just now starting to catalog
    his work the vast majority of which are not railroad related.
    The roll of Kodachrome that he began the Springfield trip with was 'light-struck' and I have tried to Photoshop away some of the problem areas; but they persist. Also, the lens quality of his Bolsey 35mm camera left something to be desired. Be that as it is here is the first of the series Kansas City-Springfield.

    Frisco 4-6-0 #1102 simmers away on the head end of #21 at KCUS, August 1950

    Departure time is 9:30AM per Sept 1950 timetable. I don't have an August one. (That's me at right)

    Charlie Wherry
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2017
  2. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Frisco.org Supporter

    Ozarktraveler likes this.
  3. Image1-99-copy-(TO).jpg Here is the second photo. I hope this is the way to add to an existing post. View attachment 28055

    Train 21 departing East Lynne.

    The track schematic that klrwhizkid posted shows the track on the right to be a 26 car house track connected on both ends. No siding is shown in Eastern Div. TT #37.

    Last edited: Mar 7, 2017
  4. Image1-99-(TO).jpg

    In my earlier post I mentioned that dad managed to include family in many of his photos. I normally cringe when I see myself in these but this one is kind of special. My brother, at right, and I both completed long railroad careers. Brother Bill retired from Union Pacific as a conductor in 2007 and I from BNSF as engineer in 2013. We both began within a month of each other in 1962 and were very fortunate to thoroughly enjoy our time on the rails. Here, dad has captured a scene where we were getting 'bitten' by the railroad bug with our faces in the wind and the smell of the engine smoke wafting through the dutch-door into the vestibule. I call this "Setting the DNA". (More to follow)

    Last edited: Mar 7, 2017
  5. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Frisco.org Supporter

  6. meteor910

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

    Charlie - Nice! Please keep them coming!

  7. Image1-947-(TO).jpg

    Engine 1102 on the depot lead at Clinton. The schedule allowed 30" for a meal stop, arriving 12:15PM.

    That's mom at the left on the platform back in the day when folks dressed up to take a train ride. Dad would make a point of striking up a conversation with fellow 'rails' and apparently the engineer has joined us for this photo. Dad's penchant for 'gab' got us aboard a L&N E7 two years later on a trip from New Orleans toward Cullman, Alabama.

    The light struck frame is quite evident here.

    Last edited: Mar 8, 2017
  8. After departing the depot at Clinton by backing northward on the depot lead .7 of a mile to Clinton Jct., Tr. 21 is now moving southward again. The MKT North Clinton interlocking tower stands guard over the rail crossing. It is still manned and the KATY train order board is visible over the top of the roof.

    This photo and the next 7 show a lot of deterioration but Photoshop Elements has been a real help in restoring them. (More later this evening)


  9. frisco1522

    frisco1522 Staff Member Staff Member

    Great photos, great story. Thank you.
  10. . Image1-920-(TO).jpg

    The Clinton turntable and, according to the map provided by Karl, the stock track in the foreground. In the second photo can be seen what appears to be a coal loader. The yard is
    to the right in this view.

  11. pbender

    pbender Member Frisco.org Supporter


    Thanks for posting.

    I already have part of east Lynne on a module, but not the depot area. That photo makes me want to add the depot area too....

  12. Brownington, Mo. at MP 96 in employee timetable #37 or MP 96.6 in the public timetable. Scheduled departure time was 1:06PM.


  13. Image3-681-(TO).jpg

    This photo is somewhat of a mystery to me. According to the public timetable Tr. 21 was supposed to leave
    Deepwater at 1:14PM., and its obvious the train has just departed town. From what little reading I have done, the former Leaky Roof, KCC&S line, between Clinton and Deepwater was taken up in 1930 and maps show the
    location of the depot to be in 'downtown' Deepwater and on the east side of the tracks. So I'm left wondering if this was indeed Deepwater?. The roof line matches the photo found in missouridepots.com .

    This inquiring mind, (or what's left of it), would like to know. Thanks in advance.

  14. Image2-758.jpg

    This poorly exposed photo is redeemed by two measures. First, it shows that the Frisco still ran a 'classy' operation in that the seat-backs had clean, snowy-white linen covers and, by counting the visible heads it appears that train 21 was well patronized, at least on this day. (8 more to come)

  15. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Frisco.org Supporter

    Deepwater was on a remnant of the Leaky Roof which departed the main at Dejun (Deepwater Junction). The Frisco rationalized portions of the Leaky and the Highline, and the Frisco built a connection between Brownington and Deepwater to utilize the more profitable portions of each line. Between Deepwater and Lowry City Junction you traveled on the Leaky Roof.

    Train 21 backed into Deepwater to get to the depot. See this thread and the topo sheets in it. They show the Clinton Brownington Deepwater area.
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2017
  16. Image4-59-(TO).jpg

    Approaching Lowry City, actually very close to the north switch of the siding.

  17. Image1-941.jpg

    Here is a real vignette of branch line railroading never to be repeated.

    Train 21 has stopped at the depot in Lowry City. The baggage car is being attended to with milk cans being loaded aboard. More cans are on the ground just north of the depot. The engineer has taken the opportunity to converse with the conductor while townsfolk look on . The baggage room door is open, ready to do business and all is well on this early afternoon.

  18. Image1-939-(TO).jpg

    The highball has been given, the agent is maneuvering the baggage cart back to its resting spot and two small boys are gazing at the shrinking image of Tr. 21 as it heads for Osceola.
  19. Image4-25-(TO).jpg

    Somewhere between Lowry City and Springfield.
  20. Image1-949-(TO).jpg

    After visiting with dads relatives in Springfield we boarded Tr. 20 for the northward trip back to Kansas City.

    Here is #1102 again on Tr. 21, taking the siding this time at Lowry City. In the employee timetable Northward trains were superior to Southward trains of the same class on the Clinton Subdivision. Since both 21 and 20 were first class trains that meant that at scheduled meeting or passing stations, (the times shown in full-faced type) the southward train was inferior and obliged to take the siding. Here it is doing so at 1:32PM if both trains were on time. (Sorry, a little of my rules instructor persona showing there.)
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2017

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