SLSF #721 on #808 The Sunnyland, 1952

Discussion in '4-6-0 Ten Wheeler' started by klrwhizkid, Jul 22, 2020.

  1. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Posted by Fred Lynch, retired Southeast Missourian photographer in the Cape Rewound Facebook group:

    A Frisco railroad steam locomotive was photographed by G.D. Fronabarger along the Mississippi River at Cape Girardeau. Regular steam locomotive service continued until about 1952. The photo is undated.
    Keith Robinson posted this comment:
    This from my friend and Cape Girardeau native, Ken McElreath:
    "The location of the photo is just south of the Marquette Cement Plant and its employee natatorium, along old highway 74 under the line of bluffs that used to be there. The billboard identifies the location, as well as the approximate date as you mention. The year is actually 1952, when the Mississippi River flooded all of downtown Cape Girardeau and the Frisco trackage, thus splitting the River Division in two. And this is definitely train 807, returning southbound shortly after terminating at Cape as train 808 northbound.
    “While the track was flooded, train 808 would proceed northbound from Memphis as far as Chaffee, to be turned on the Rockview wye. Then the E8 diesel would be replaced by an available steam engine, which would back the train twelve miles to Cape and return as southbound 807. Then the diesel would again take charge of the train to Memphis.
    “Why the steam engine? Look at the photo and notice the water level and spray. The water would short out a diesel's motors, but the steamer plowed right through. The ten wheeler was normally power for one of the freight locals out of Chaffee and simply happened to be on hand for the job."

    SLSF #721 seen on Train #808, The Sunnyland was a 4-6-0 locomotive built by Brooks Locomotive Works, Dunkirk, New York in 1906 for the Frisco. The 4-6-0 locomotives were abundant in Southeast Missouri and were used to haul produce out of the bootheel area. When they were stored in quantity during the non-harvest times at Chaffee, they were oft referred to as the strawberry engines.

    SLSF #721 on The Sunnyland #808 South of Marquette  1952 GD Fronabarger photo .jpg
    G.D. Fronabarger photo from the Southeast Missourian Archives
    SLSF #721 4-6-0 Wichita Kansas July 10 1938 Edwin Wilson photo.jpg
    Edwin Wilson photo from the Frisco Archive
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2020
  2. Coonskin

    Coonskin Member

    Apparently one has to be a member of that page in order to view content.

  3. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    I got permission from Fred Lynch to copy the content to this thread;
    Certainly, Keith. Glad to contribute! Fred
    Ozarktraveler likes this.
  4. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Supporter

    Sooo.... this photo post-dates the official end of steam, February 29, 1952? Perhaps we need asterisk for the February date.

    Attached at are pericopes from the 1952 Annual Report. Have alway wondered about the etymology of the berry picker moniker.


    Joe Lovett and Ozarktraveler like this.
  5. gstout

    gstout Member Supporter

    So, owing to the proximity of the track to the river in spots north of Cape, I'm supposing #807-808 temporarily operated as a Memphis-Cape Girardeau turn.

    Ozarktraveler and Karl like this.
  6. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    And the leg from St Louis - Cape was most likely bus service during high floods.
    Ozarktraveler likes this.
  7. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    This thread has so much good stuff in it.

    Karl, the drop off in steam train miles and steam locomotive miles from '51 to '52 is more sudden and dramatic than I'd imagined.

    Keith, pass along our thanks to Fred. One of my favorite Missourian features was the f/8 and Be There blog, where he posted all of the old Frony pics.

    One thing I'd not noticed before with a smaller, lower-resolution view is that 721 looks to be in the throes of a boiler blowdown.

    And, while I'm not old enough to remember the show when it aired, the billboard is making me think of "The Life of Reilly."
    Ozarktraveler and Joe Lovett like this.
  8. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Nice catch!
    Ozarktraveler likes this.

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