Trains No 105 And No 106, Kansas City-Florida Special - Train Consist (Model) - 1962

Discussion in 'Passenger Operations' started by kenmc, Nov 4, 2021.

  1. kenmc

    kenmc KenMc Supporter

    Some things don't fit well with the forum structure, but I would like to show the consist of trains 105 and 106 in late 1962, using my model of that train. It was a most fascinating train and operation between Kansas City and Birmingham, with major head-end switching at Memphis.

    Between KC and Memphis, the train carried a 201-219 series RPO-baggage car and usually two through "baggage" type cars, one for express and one for through mail. But between Memphis and Birmingham, the train sometimes swelled to 20 cars; it had a full operating RPO car replacing the RPO-baggage, plus several express boxcar or express reefer types of cars carrying through express and mail for the Seaboard at Birmingham. These were variously the Frisco's express boxcars, reefers and baggage-type cars as well as like Seaboard cars.

    For the people portion of the train, the through consist was usually a Southern 800 series lightweight coach, a Frisco 1250 series car and a Frisco streamlined sleeper, running through on the Southern Railway to Jacksonville. On the daylight portion of the run between Memphis and Birmingham, a Frisco heavyweight coach augmented the consist. The cafe-lounge car (one of three assigned) had fluted siding from the original EA-7s to complement the streamlined cars. In 1962 it ran all the way, but late that year it was cut out at Springfield and ran only south of there. This reduced the need for dining cars to two. In consequence, the Frisco also moved the car to the rear end of the train behind the sleeper, and it was then run with the kitchen end to the rear to make access more convenient for passengers.

    My reason for selecting 1962 is that several cars were modified and modernized that year to make the consist more efficient. Specifically, the previous heavyweight coach-dorm car was removed; instead, the cafe-lounges had their lounge areas reduced to make way for a small dormitory section with berths for the dining car crew. In addition, the old 2045 series 60 foot RPO cars were rebuilt into baggage cars, a heavyweight sleeper was rebuilt into baggage car 446, and two newer (1930) vintage 220 series 15-foot RPO-baggage cars were rebuilt into "full" 60-foot RPO cars 2055 and 2056, each with a small ten-foot mail or baggage section in one end. These cars met the Post Office's specifications for a "full" 60-foot RPO accommodation between Memphis and Birmingham.

    Here are photos of my model of the Special, but I think they should give a good sense of what it was like to experience the prototype firsthand. At least that's my objective.

    The consist includes:
    467 - box-express
    2056 - RPO
    446 - baggage-express
    382 - storage mail
    810 - Southern Railroad coach
    1068 - heavyweight coach
    1257 - coach
    "Kansas City" - cafe-lounge
    1451 - sleeper


    Ken McElreath

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 2, 2024
    Featster, dmccoy, pensive and 10 others like this.
  2. kenmc

    kenmc KenMc Supporter

    After the diner run was shortened to between Springfield and Birmingham, that car was moved to the tail end.

    Here are two photos of the train's "before" and "after appearances.

    Ken McElreath

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 2, 2024
  3. qaprr

    qaprr Member Supporter

  4. Great modeling Ken.
  5. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    Very nicely done
  6. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member Staff Member

    Outstanding modeling!
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 2, 2024
  7. magistrate

    magistrate Member

    That is a beautiful train with one minor fault.

    The Southern coach in 1962 would not have had the Southern round decal by the vestibule door. The use of this decal did not come until the late 60's.

    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 2, 2024
  8. kenmc

    kenmc KenMc Supporter

    Great catch, Robert.

    I did stretch the timeframe a bit for that car, since I had photographed it in 1968 and loved the logo on the side. The streamlined coaches that the Southern assigned were original Pullman Standard cars built for the Southerner and Tennessean trains in 1941. Those trains were reequipped with new Budd equipment in 1949.

    I'm not going to tell you about the other "minor faults", so that you can enjoy finding them as well.

    In all of my modeling, I've never built a model that I did not later find at least one "fatal flaw" that was unprototypical. It keeps me humble, if you can believe that.

    Thank you for looking.

    Ken McElreath
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 2, 2024
    modeltruckshop and Ozarktraveler like this.
  9. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter


    Going back to the days where I emailed Doug H. for back copies of the FMIG newsletter where you described building your passenger cars, I’ve become a thorough groupie of your HWT passenger cars. The modernized ones are fabulous and the face lifted “Kansas City” is simply second to none.

    Thanks for the operations run-down. I think in that demonstrating via model is a perfect fit for this forum bucket.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 2, 2024
    Ozarktraveler and modeltruckshop like this.

Share This Page