Side Tracks on Fort Smith Sub Dec 31 1947

Discussion in 'Ft. Smith Subdivision' started by john, Jul 20, 2022.

  1. john

    john Supporter

    Photographs are from material at the Carona Depot & Railroad Museum, Scammon, KS. I am only posting the left side of each sheet. The right side is mostly concerned with rail size although there were notations about AFE retirements of a few of the tracks. Information includes Milepost, Station, County/State, Name of Track, Con or Spur, AFE and Date Completed.

    Attached Files:

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  2. john

    john Supporter

    Last File, Bentonville Branch

    Attached Files:

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  3. tripphd

    tripphd Member

    This is great! Looking at the Fort Smith pages brings back memories. It only shows to about 1.75 miles south of downtown, so I know the KCS basically followed the state line south, I think the MOP went south to Greenwood, not sure who went east through Barling to Paris.
  4. Coonskin

    Coonskin Member


    The KCS obtained trackage rights over the Frisco from Poteau to Fort Smith after their line across Braden Bottoms washed out in the 1940s.

    The Mop line to Greenwood crossed the Frisco at "SF Jct". It was originally the St. Louis, Iron Mtn & Southern. This line was envisioned to run from Fort Smith to Gurdon, Ark.

    The line to Paris was originally the Arkansas Central, then the StL,IM &S, then Mop,, then Fort Smith RR. The line is now gone east of Barling. In its lifespan, the rails made it all the way to Dardanelle, Ark via some other fly by nighter's.

    At one time, I think Fort Smith had five or six different railroads in/out of town: Frisco, Iron Mtn, Ft Smith & Western, KCS, Midland Valley, Ark Central.
  5. john

    john Supporter

    I’ve never tried to figure out where the southern end of the Fort Smith Sub. ended although I was pretty sure it was before the Oklahoma line was reached. This makes me think “Santa Fe” Junction?
  6. tripphd

    tripphd Member

    Hi Coonskin! I hope you are enjoying retirement. I met you on the north end of the Fort Smith yard about seven or eight years ago. I had both the Ozark Northern and the Saint Louis and North Arkansas until my new computer wouldn't run it anymore.

    I grew up in south Fort Smith, on the corner of Phoenix and 29th. Our house is no longer there, was moved due to the widening of Phoenix. Mom lives west of Greenwood, was up there yesterday for her birthday.

    Dad was in the Naval Reserve until the late sixties. I remember the family going to pick him up on Sunday afternoon when they were drilling. The Morrell packing plant was stinky in those days of no A/C in the car.
    It took me a long time to figure out where Braden Bottoms were. I discovered the crossing on the Poteau River was very near the Naval Reserve Station just a few years ago, looking at old maps.

    I remember there wasn't a lot of activity in south Fort Smith in the sixties, I am assuming they only switched that part of town twice a week? I know I don't remember seeing any trains crossing Massard road ever. I did see one train eastbound about a mile east of Massard on the hill just west of Barling. There must still be some activity in the Barling area, there are a lot of tank cars that look to be stored near downtown Chaffee. I do remember seeing a train near County Line shortly before they took the rails up.

    I have just caught several Youtube videos of the A & M, mostly between Van Buren and Winslow. Mostly the 420's, but one with a 420 and an Alco switcher (apparently the other usual 420 had been damaged in a derailment.). Are you in any of them? That got me to thinking. Who does the switching for freight coming from the North? Does it go in the UP yard in VB and get processed (not sure of the terminology) there?
  7. Coonskin

    Coonskin Member

    Hi tripphd!

    I am having a great time. I am SO GLAD I'm not in a hot cab during this weather we're having.

    I don't recall the meeting, but over the years I worked for the A&M, there were many chance encounters of rail enthusiasts. (The A&M has quite a following.)

    Do you still live in Fort Smith?

    As for YouTube vids. I'm in several videos. I'm at the throttle in this one where an Alco is being an Alco. Skip to about 3:40 to cut to the chase:

    There are more of me handling trains, but I don't want to be tedious.

    As for southbound freight: Cars for the UP gets set to the UP by the job meeting the FS Turn, then brings in the "shorts" or "proper's" into FS yard for FS customers.

    All fer now!
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  8. tripphd

    tripphd Member

    I'm in NLR now, been here since '85. There are enough hills around here to make me happy and I can go down to the yard or over the river to the station and watch trains.

    They (UPRR)are still using a bobber over in the Biddle yard, I guess for local stuff. I've seen it out in the south part of LR. need to get a picture of it before it goes away.

    When you say Alco being an Alco, what do you mean? They do have an interesting exhaust note, I remember that from your Ozark Northern.
  9. Coonskin

    Coonskin Member

    Boiling smoke when I poured the Conoco to it.
  10. tripphd

    tripphd Member

    Oh, okay. I have noticed they smoke a lot. I was watching a video of someone in a couple of the 420's doing some switching in FS, and when he throttled up, it was all clouds and blackness. I am sure very horrifying to some people.

    Did Alco use a different engine than others? (wondering about the engine sound)
  11. Coonskin

    Coonskin Member

    I'm not sure, but I think at the first Alco used engines developed by McIntosh & Seymour in Alxo's HH and RS-1 engines. (There may have been Alco models that used it, too?)

    Alco developed its own engine in the 244 (used in PA's, FA's, RS-2/3's, etc) and later the 251 series (used in the RS-11 on up to the end).

    As for the above clip: What you're seeing is when the throttle is opened quickly, the fuel is delivered quicker than the turbo can utilize (until the turbo "spools up"), so the excess goes out the stack in black smoke.

    I was a bit over-enthusiastic with the throttle in the above clip. Seeing as we were stopped at Van Buren, that tells me we were liking already running behind our schedule. So, I wanted to get out of town and get underway, thus I accelerated briskly up to the maximum allowable through Van Buren.
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