Texas Special Interchange Track...

Discussion in 'General' started by TAG1014 (Tom Galbraith RIP 7/15/2020), Mar 7, 2008.

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

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

    Can anyone explain how the Texas Special changed from the Frisco to Katy tracks at Vinita? The first time I was down there (in the 1970's) and took a really good look, i couldn't figure out what the track arrangement was or if it had been changed by then.

    Thanks, Tom
  2. TAG1014 (Tom Galbraith RIP 7/15/2020)

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

    Is this the Vinita tower where the SLSF and Katy cross? This is an unlabeled swap meet photo that I always thought was Vinita--but never knew for sure...

    Thanks, Tom

    Attached Files:

  3. Colorado Ray

    Colorado Ray Member

    Hi Tom,

    I didn't see your post when I asked a very similar question on the Operations Forum. I should have probably just appended to your post.

    Anyway, my hypothesis is that the Frisco southbound Texas Special pulled into the Vinita station and then backed around the NW leg of the wye onto Katy trackage and then pulled forward to continue southbound. The northbound operation would have been reversed with the Katy Texas Special backing around the wye into the Frisco station.

    Regards, Ray
  4. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Frisco.org Supporter

    There was a connection in the "SE quadrant" of the crossing that the Bluebonnet and The Texas Special utilized. Neither train had a scheduled stop at Vinita, so there weren't any complicated movements to get onto the MKT.

    The attached page from ETT 35A, Sept 15, 1946 shows a 15 mph speed restriction on the connection.

    Attached Files:

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

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

    I figured it was something like that Karl--I don't think they would have wanted to back up a streamliner in the dark if it was at all possible. Although when I was there in the late 70's, there was no SE quadrant track or evidence of any roadbed and it didn't look like there was enough land in the quadrant for a curve with a comfortable radius to accommodate passenger cars--But maybe that was the reason for the 15 MPH?? BTW, Do you think that photo is the Vinita tower?

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 10, 2008
  6. StackTalk

    StackTalk Member

    Could I inject a little (but true) story here? My Uncle Herald, wife, and daughter were Katy Depot Agents/Telegraphers during WWII. Herald got his new son-in-law, Riley, a job at the Vinita tower in early WWII.

    Riley told this story (to me in the 1950s): "The Texas Special came down the Frisco from St Louis and swung onto the Katy in front of our tower. The Frisco engineer with the most senority was named 'Elrod', and was known to be a fast runner on the Texas Special. One day the train was boring down on us and I had set the switches and 'wagged' the semaphore to indicate all clear. Moments before the engine passed I suddenly remembered that a Katy switch engine was down south and might have the Main fouled. I grabbed a fusee, ran out onto the stoop lighting it as I ran, and threw it at the engine. The fusee hit the side of the engine and bounced off in front of Elrod. Elrod brought the train safely to a stop. The incident was kept quiet and I kept my job. The tracks were within the Vinita Yard Limit, and unknowst to me, the switch engine had cleared the Main."

    Yeah, I know this sounds a bit melodramatic, but Riley told this to me as the truth.
  7. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Frisco.org Supporter

    Either way...a great story!

    Still trying to figure out a way for my crews to replicate fusees and torpedoes in HO-Scale...
  8. Midmo1

    Midmo1 Member Frisco.org Supporter

    Hey Chris...
    Remember those pop thingies we used to use on the 4th of July?
    Little white wads of explosive paper....try those....
    We used to throw'em at the ground and they'd pop like a cap gun..
    If you find caps...just cut them and put them on the rail heads...
    Good heay engine might pop those


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