Unit coal trains, Catale-Kansas City- any pics of the cars?

Discussion in 'General' started by friscobob, Jul 28, 2010.

  1. friscobob

    friscobob Staff Member Staff Member Frisco.org Supporter

    Back in the 1970s when I lived in Afton, I remember seeing trains of white coal hoppers running between the mines at Catale and a power plant at Kansas City. Loaded, the train was known as the MPS; empties were called the XMP.

    They had the Redi Kilowatt character on the sides, along with the name of the utility (KCPL or MPL, if I recall) and were usually pulled by SD45s. The railroaders just called the train the "white hoppers", although after hauling coal they were anything but white.

    Does anybody have pictures of the cars in their collections? The closest thing I have seen to these cars is an old release by Model Die Casting of an Ortner 5-bay rapid-discharge hopper in HO scale. I have quite a few McKean and Bowser 100-ton hoppers in the boxcar red and black Frisco schemes, but I'm wanting to try to model this unit coalie as close as possible. Or is this car going to be a scratchbuild?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. friscobob

    friscobob Staff Member Staff Member Frisco.org Supporter

    I agree, the MDC cars are quite nice-looking, and I may wind up getting those, if I can find them. However, I was wondering if anyone had pictures of the actual cars used by the railroad in this service.

    If absolutely need be, I could just substitute them with my McKean and Bowser 100-tonners (of which I have 20) and call it good, but it would look more like the EDEC coal train that ran out of Garland to the EDEC power plant (near Aurora?).
  3. FriscoFriend (Bob Hoover RIP 4/12/2018)

    FriscoFriend (Bob Hoover RIP 4/12/2018) Passed Away April 12, 2018 Frisco.org Supporter

    I believe that Tony LaLumia (Friscotony) and I actually saw one of these trains years ago at Ft. Scott but it was at night and yes the power was SD45's as it was believe the first time either one of us (at least me) had seen one as to that point they never came to Wichita.
  4. MFreix

    MFreix Member

  5. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Frisco.org Supporter

    The Frisco Museum's ALL ABOARD, combined issue May-June/July-Agust 1994 has a picture of the Catale unit coal train on page 37.
  6. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Frisco.org Supporter

    Here are a few notes from a Frisco All Aboard...

    The service began on January 17, 1967. The first train carried 6800 tons in 57-100 ton hopper cars (87000-87099) and 20-55 ton hopper cars(91600-92399). The train was handled by four, U25B's; 829 was on the point.
  7. JohnFoster

    JohnFoster Member

    Iwas thinking the same thing. the sides were more smooth. Did not buy the cars for the reason. got pictures in Frisco book with snooth sides.
  8. friscobob

    friscobob Staff Member Staff Member Frisco.org Supporter

    Yes, the cars used in this service were smooth-sided, and were delivered painted white. Obviously, they didn't stay white too long ;)

    And again, IIRC the train had the nickname "White Hoppers", whether it be loaded or empty.

    It's beginning to sound like a scratchbuild project if I were to model this train faithfully. Otherwise, the MDC models would have to do.

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