The Will Rogers and COFC

Discussion in 'Passenger Operations' started by Karl, Apr 17, 2010.

  1. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Supporter

    In the cobwebs of my memory, I recall seeing several passenger trains at Springfield with container-carrying flatcars in the consist. Until today, I attributed the memory to being being too young to understand the circumstances.

    However, while perusing my father's old TRAIN magazines, I see on page 9 of the July 1961 issue, a picture of Truxton leading a TTX 89' flat (with containers), two baggage cars, a baggage-RPO, and followed by a lone coach. The caption states that the Frisco was experimenting with containers to cut mail handling and express handling costs on trains 3&4 between St Louis and OKC.

    The Frisco shops must have equipped the TTX flat with steam and signal lines
  2. TAG1014 (Tom Galbraith RIP 7/15/2020)

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

    In the Green Frog video "Passenger Trains Of The 60's," there are several runbys of the Sunnyland and Southland with container cars among the head end cars. Also there are several scenes of SR trains with freight cars including tank cars tacked to the rear end!

    Featster likes this.
  3. rc2477

    rc2477 Member

    Wow, this would be really cool to model, (to bad I don't have a layout!) anyone have any pics?
  4. pbender

    pbender Member Supporter

    The container cars in that video are Seaboard Flexivans. As I understand it, they were used on a KC to Jacksonville mail route.

    The video also shows the train with TOFC flats on the rear end. The Flexivan cars had steam heat and signalling lines, the TOFC flats did not.

  5. pbender

    pbender Member Supporter


    You wouldn't happen to still have access to that issue of Trains would you?

    I'd like to find the TTX car number involved, to see if I can find out more about how/when the car was modified.

  6. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Overlooked this one 'til now. Page 17 of Model Railroad Planning - 1999 shows the IC "Land O' Corn" at Portage (IL) tower with a Flexivan. I'd always figured it was just an IC thing but it sounds like they were used on other late passenger-era trains for other roads. It'd be exceedingly interesting to know more about the Frisco's foray into these.

    Best Regards,
  7. Joe Lovett

    Joe Lovett Member

    What is the link to the video?

  8. pbender

    pbender Member Supporter

  9. pbender

    pbender Member Supporter

    I asked about this (generally) on the ModelIntermodal list on yahoo groups.

    Someone scanned in the photo for me and e-mailed it (I didn't ask for that, but...)

    It's pretty clearly a Trailer Train car on the train, but the road numbers are illegible.

    There has been a suggestion that the car is actually a TTX class F85B flatcar, which is actually an 85 foot flatcar, similar to:

  10. Joe Lovett

    Joe Lovett Member

    Thank you, Paul for the link to the DVD. I will post how much it costs.

  11. pbender

    pbender Member Supporter

    I would have to dig out the issue, but there was a Model Railroader article from the 1990s that included drawings of Flexivan cars. The article mentioned the owners of Flexivan trailers as well, and that Frisco owned some of the trailers, but no cars. I would guess that the Frisco's Flexivan trailers were probably purchased for this service with the Seaboard, though I haven't seen photographic evidence of that.

    The Seaboard Flexivan, from what I understand, were built in the early 1960s and were Mark III cars. Car numbers were SAL 1-3. Walthers produced a model of these cars in HO scale. Trainworx has an n-scale version, though not in SAL paint yet.

  12. Oldguy

    Oldguy Member Supporter

    The MR article is Feb 1992, pgs 96 - 101 by Jim Hediger. No mention of the Frisco in the article.
  13. pbender

    pbender Member Supporter

    I must have been confusing that article with another one...

  14. Joe Lovett

    Joe Lovett Member

    The video "Passenger Trains of the 60's" is $8.98.

  15. pbender

    pbender Member Supporter

    Some further relevant information from the ModelIntermodal group.
    1. The consensus of those that have seen the photo in question is that the flatcar in the photo Karl mentioned at the start of this thread is likely a Trailer Train class F85B car. It probably carried CTTX reporting marks, which were used for container carrying cars at the time.
    2. There were actually Trailer Train cars that were built with steam heat and signal lines. Jim Panza reports that there were 15 cars in the TTX 300224-300313 series that were built with factory installed steam pipes. Jim says these cars later carried GTTX reporting marks (Jim at one point worked for Trailer Train, and is writing a Trailer Train book).
    3. There may be records indicating which, if any, of the class F85B cars were equipped with steam pipes, but those may be difficult to find.
    One other tidbit from Jim. At the time of the photo, the container hauling equipment was installed and owned by a particular railroad, just like you see Autoracks owned by a railroad installed on TTX flatcars today.

    The most likely scenario is that the car in the photo was a Trailer Train owned flat with a steam pipe installed at construction time, but the container handling equipment on the car was installed by the Frisco for the service.

    Coincidentally, Trainworx has n-scale models of Trailer Train flatcars with container carrying equipment and CTTX reporting marks in the brown paint scheme appropriate for the timeframe. if I had a better picture of the containers involved, I could build a reasonable model of the train in the picture using cars I already own.

  16. pbender

    pbender Member Supporter

    Here is a link to a photo of a trailer train 89 foot flat equipped for passenger service:

    This is not the car in the photo from trains ( it was a 1966 conversion ) but it is positive proof that trailer train owned cars were equipped with steam heat and signal lines.

    ( Jim Panza helped me stumble onto these, by sending me other pictures of the same car... )


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