Trains 5110/5111 Lindenwood-Cuba

Discussion in 'Freight Trains' started by tferk, Feb 10, 2013.

  1. tferk

    tferk Member Supporter

    Hey folks, this post is the first in a series which will look at various freight trains operated by Frisco, mainly in the late ‘70’s. Many will feature one or more train consist lists, in which case I will attempt to decode the list information, as well as talk briefly about the traffic being carried. My intent is first to illustrate how Frisco’s various freight trains interacted within the system, and second, to highlight examples of the traffic that Frisco moved.

    Train 5110 was an eastbound local that originated at Cuba, MO, on the Rolla Subdivision and operated to Lindenwood Yard in St. Louis. (Train 5111 was the westbound leg from Lindenwood to Cuba.) Cuba was the junction with the “Lead Line”, discussed extensively in the Eastern Division forum. The local 5131 out of Cuba to the end of the line at Buick gathered loads from several lead ore mills, a lead smelter, and several other industries located near Steelville and on the Salem Branch. This traffic, as well as from turns operating out of Cuba south on the mainline, ended up at Cuba and then on Train 5110.

    Attached is an outbound consist list for 5110 out of Cuba, originating June 6, 1979.
    The second line shows us that 5110 of June 6th departed Cuba (station “087”) at 18:00 hrs. “BL 087 007” translates into “Block Cuba – Lindenwood”, in other words, all following cars originating at Cuba and destined Lindenwood. The translation of the columns is as follows: first column is an MICS code where “1” is rail-bound equipment, “5” is special info pertaining to the equipment on the line above. Next two columns are the reporting marks and number, followed by a code indicating type of load or empty. L=revenue load, E=empty, C=caboose, W=working diesel unit. Next is the car type, tons, contents (if loaded), next Frisco station number, junction/interchange railroad, consignee (receiver), final destination city/state, and block code.

    Now, lets look at the cars in the train and their loads. The train is listed from the caboose forward. SLSF 1405 is a caboose (the “C” is the MICS code for caboose). The 6 cars ahead of the caboose are gondolas (G) of zinc concentrate. Five are destined to the AMAX zinc smelter at Sauget, IL. – note their destination station is “007” (Lindenwood) and interchange with TRRA. The other car shows destination station RA874 (Mobile, AL) and block “TYBL”, which is for Tennesee Yard outside Memphis. This car is headed to the Port of Mobile for export. These cars may have originated from any one of five mills in the New Lead Belt. Next are 5 boxcars, three of which are loaded with refined lead ingots. These were loaded at the AMAX-Homestake Buick smelter on the Lead Line. One car each is headed to General Battery at Hamburg, PA; Hammond Lead Products at Pottsboro, PA; and AgriChem at Stowe, PA. The other two boxcars are returning empty.

    The 12th car is a tankcar of sufuric acid, loaded at the Buick smelter. Sulfuric acid is a byproduct of smelting sulfide ores such as found in the New Lead Belt. It is destined to Great Lakes Steel in Detroit.

    The next 15 car cut of gondolas, with one exception, are carrying zinc concentrate, and since they are billed to St Joe Lead we can be fairly sure the concentrate came from one of St Joe’s three mills. Note that one of the gons is empty and shows “no waybill”. (The cartype “E” stands for equipped gon.) The loaded cars show instructions to weigh at St Louis, and send the weights to the agent at Cuba. While these cars show billed to St Joe Lead via TRRA, St Joe did not operate a zinc smelter, and these cars were likely either being transloaded into a barge for eventual export, or being held for sale on leased track somewhere along the TRRA.

    Next we have 5 gondolas loaded with lead concentrate from St Joe Lead mills, destined to St Joe’s smelter at Herculaneum, MO. These cars get put on the south local out of Lindenwood for Crystal City, where they are interchanged to Missouri Pacific for movement a few miles north on the M-I line to Herculaneum.

    Next up is a boxcar of “BRIX”, an empty covered hopper (car code “L”), and two more boxcars of “BRIX”. Not sure if BRIX are bricks, or charcoal briquettes. There were two charcoal producers on the branch near Steelville. The car clerks had some leeway in abbreviating the car contents, since these trainlists were created from data entry into MICS. The boxcars of BRIX are all going to New York destinations via TRRA-Conrail. The mty covered hopper is headed to Birmingham (Frisco station C732), where it will be interchanged to SCL for “Bonni”, FL.

    The last four lines show the four locomotives powering this heavy local. From front to back, SLSF 437 (GP38) – SLSF 809 (U25B) – SLSF 634 (GP38) – SLSF 644 (GP38).

    View attachment Train 5110 Consist 6June1979 Pt2.pdf View attachment Train 5110 Consist 6June1979 Pt1.pdf
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 26, 2013
  2. rayw

    rayw Member

    Great stuff! I have some old consist lists and wasn't sure about some of the abbreviations. I'm very interested in how the Frisco operated so I'm looking forward to your future posts.

  3. HWB

    HWB Supporter

    Very interesting. I look forward to more and the twitter post was spot on. Thanks for taking the time to post.
  4. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Ted -
    Excellent operational stuff! I'm hoping that others will be able to chime in, either with similar material or with insight. The explanatory notes were also expecially helpful, for me.

    Best Regards,
  5. SteveM

    SteveM Member Supporter

    Great stuff, puts a lot of perspective on earlier discussion. Can't wait to see if you have stuff from Central Division in that time period.
  6. nickmolo

    nickmolo Member

    Additional info for trains 5110/5111
    Well done, Ted. This is a great resource and insight on how to model the operations of the Frisco. I look forward to more of these wheel report break downs in the future.

    I did have some additions and possibilities:

    1. One column of information about MICS, the column between the Load and Empty column and the Car type code is the Pool Code column. It’s not really obvious in the tr5110 example because there are only 3 cars that have them. The MP 250295 has a G code, which are cars loaded with contaminated commodities, not surprising that a contaminated load going into one of the industries on that branch. Ted, any additives or catalysts inbound? Both SLSF 8549 and 10125 both loader equipped and cushioned cars are P code for Commodity Pool and therefore restricted to that lead service in this case. You don’t want traces of lead in your Corn Flakes.
    2. I’ve always wondered the difference between a YY or NC empty designation. I assume that NC means No Charge, return when empty.
    3. I believe AgriChem used lead to line chambers for storage when making Sulfuric Acid, through the fertilizer manufacturing process.
    4. Bonnie, FL is abbreviated BONNI FL, which is I believe is a SCL station name in Mulberry, FL, which is the heart of Bone Valley Phosphate mining, where a lot of fertilizer is made, Super-Phosphate perhaps. The customer is CFFCO partially obscured by the punch hole. CFFCO is Central Farmer Fertilizer CO, which changed its name to CF Industries. This all makes sense when you consider the listed PS 4750 covered hopper is a MFA leased, those covered hopper with the large MFA shield and horizontal stripes across the whole car. Is there a MFA fertilizer warehouse in Cuba? The covered hopper is probably returning for another load.
    5. BRIX, Ted, I think your second guess is correct, Briquettes. All three of the destination companies are Supermarkets, ServWell, Fayette Drug and Go (I believe) and Albany Public Market. It’s June and BBQ season in New York. Note that 2 of the 3 cars are older cars, while the BO car is a reasonable new Berwick Waffle boxcar. Although, all are heading in the direction to home.

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