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Thread: Winslow Tunnel

  1. #1
    roger Guest

    Default Tunnels

    I picked this up at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/RockIs...on/message/617 about an abandoned tunnel around Ringer Rd. @Oakville, MO. Anybody on the River Sub know anything about it? See messages #68/617-619.
    Last edited by friscomike; 03-12-2007 at 05:54 PM.

  2. #2
    patrick Guest

    Default Tunnel near Oakville

    Wow, very interesting. I just happen to work a mile from this location so I went to check it out.
    This is what it looks like.



    As you can see the right of way is to the East of the tunnel and about 60 feet higher than the floor of it. I remembered that we have a section of right of way plans North of the Meremac River so I went an got them out. These plans are dated 1919. These plans show the row crossing Maltese Creek twice in a short distance throught the area.



    I sketched on the plat the current location of the channel and tunnel. We also had the subdivision plat that adjoins the row to the West so I pulled that and it shows a 100' wide easement to SL-SF. The deed it references is for maintaining and operating a drainage ditch.

    So all of this leads me to believe that the tunnel was created for the purpose of re-routing Maltese Creek to save in the construction/maintainence of two trestles accross the creek.

    You can look on the Oakville USGS quad and see the current location of the creek and make out how it used to appear.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 14074.jpg   14075.jpg   14076.jpg  
    Last edited by friscomike; 10-16-2005 at 07:21 PM.

  3. #3
    tomd6 Guest

    Default Winslow Tunnel Article

    The following article appeared in the June 2005 Newsletter of the Arkansas-Boston Mountains Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society, P.O. Box 1303, Springdale, AR 72765'

    Winslow Tunnel

    By Tom Duggan



    The community of Summit Home, some 20 miles south of Fayetteville in the Boston Mountains, was so small that it was not classified as a hamlet in Goodspeed’s 1888 History of Washington County, Arkansas. Summit Home however had a post office that opened in December 1876 and operated until it closed in October 1879. In December 1879, it reopened under the same name.[1]



    In August 1880, the St. Louis and San Francisco Railway established a railroad subsidiary, the Missouri, Arkansas and Southern Railway of Arkansas, to construct a line from south of Fayetteville to Fort Smith on the Arkansas River. The new subsidiary was authorized “to build in a southerly direction to some point on the Little Rock & Fort Smith Railway, not east of Clarksville, with total mileage of about 55 miles”[2]. The Little Rock & Fort Smith Railway in 1870 had begun rail service to Van Buren opposite Fort Smith on the Arkansas River. The broad language of the authorization clearly reflected the uncertainty in constructing a railroad line through the difficult terrain of the Boston Mountains range of the Ozark Mountains.



    The Missouri, Arkansas & Southern Railway of Arkansas examined the options. It decided that the construction of a tunnel at Summit Home was the least difficult way to continue the progress to Fort Smith. However, the first priority was constructing a switch back railroad that would enable trains to operate over the Boston Mountains. The trains were needed to carry iron for the three trestles being built south of the planned tunnel. In addition, the trains would carry the steel for the tracks laid south of the planned tunnel.



    Work began on the switch back railroad in November 1881, some three months after Summit Home changed its name to Winslow in honor of Frisco President Edward F. Winslow, a Maine native who lived from 1837 to 1914.[3] Construction of the switch back railroad was a major undertaking. The line first had to ascend a sharp incline followed by a deep drop to the planned southern end of the tunnel. The switchback had one section where the grade exceeded 4% per mile. Generally, a railroad grade in excess of 1% per mile is considered steep. The switch back also involved the construction of at least one, and possibly two, temporary wooden trestles, including one that was 500 feet long. A newspaper report stated the switchback was close to completion in March 1882[4].



    The Missouri, Arkansas & Southern Railway of Arkansas drew up detailed plans for the "Boston Mountain Tunnel" and let a contract for the tunnel project. Tunnel work commenced on September 26, 1881, the same month the Missouri, Arkansas & Southern of Arkansas was merged into the Frisco controlled St. Louis, Arkansas & Texas Railway Company. The first task was to remove overburden on the tunnel faces from both ends to minimize the actual amount of tunnel work. The tunnel was located 190 feet below the ridge so the amount of overburden removal must have been large. One early discovery proved interesting. Workers ran into black rock that some thought indicated the presence of coal.[5] However, the coal-like rock turned out to be an unstable rock shale prone to collapse. This may have been a reason the first contactor failed to complete the tunnel.



    The tunnel contract was re let in March 1882. The new contractor, a firm by the name of Cameron and Halby, completed the cuttings for the tunnel faces in June 1882. They built a 30-foot brick arch and portal at each end of the tunnel. Tunneling from both ends progressed at a combined rate of 75-feet per week in good conditions. Work in the tunnel may have been dangerous because of the use of dynamite in the unstable shale environment. By the last day of May 1882, the two faces were 428-feet apart. The tunnel was lined with thick oak support beams. The tunnel opened for rail traffic on August 30, 1882.[6]



    The Winslow Tunnel, the longest of the three on the Frisco system, cost about $200,000 to construct, a large sum in 1882[7]. The 1882 Frisco Annual Report stated the "Winslow tunnel was the most expensive and difficult part of the work" in building the Arkansas Division to Van Buren. .



    The tunnel contractors must have been under a lot of pressure. To the north, the Frisco had begun service to Fayetteville on June 8, 1881. The railroad had reached Winslow in March 1882 when locomotives began to haul cars up the switchback. The severe grades suggest that trains must have been very short. One important cargo was iron used to construct the three iron trestles built by the Delaware Bridge Company south of the tunnel. The trestles were themselves major undertakings. Trestle No. 1 was 780 feet long and 115 feet high, No. 2 was 420 feet long and 106 feet high while Trestle No. 3 was 450 feet long and 72 feet high.[8]



    Grading to Mountainburg, more than 15 miles south of Winslow, was completed by March 1882 and much of the grading between Mountainburg and Van Buren finished a few months later.[9] The Frisco reached Van Buren in November 1882. Fort Smith was on the other side of the river. The Frisco and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers then had a long dispute over the location of the Frisco’s planned Van Buren to Fort Smith railroad bridge. During the more than two years required to resolve the dispute the Frisco contracted with the Little Rock and Fort Smith Railroad for the use of its steam transfer boat to move trains across the Arkansas River.[10]



    Northbound trains from Chester, Arkansas, some twelve miles from Winslow, faced a steep grade en route to Winslow. In 1887, the same year the Frisco completed its first Van Buren to Fort Smith bridge, the Frisco established a division terminal district at Chester where an extra steam engine was added to help northbound passenger and freight trains.[11] Passenger trains normally had two steam engines on the front end. Freight trains normally had one engine on the front and a pusher engine at the rear. The Frisco installed a turntable at Winslow so that the helper engines could be turned for the run back to Chester. In 1897, the same year the division terminal moved to Fort Smith, the 60-foot steel turntable was removed when the railroad realized that the helper engines could back down to Chester without difficulty.[12] The Chester to Winslow helper district was supplanted in the 1930s by a Chester to West Fork helper district that later reverted to Chester-Winslow until the end of Frisco Central Division steam operations about 1951[13].



    With the completion of the Winslow Tunnel, the railroad also constructed a wooden depot at Winslow. After the first Winslow depot caught fire, it was replaced in 1898 by the familiar two-story depot that stood until some time after 1962. Winslow was an important location as the Frisco’s Central Division between Monett, Missouri and Paris, Texas lacked automatic signals on nearly all of its track. The lack of automatic signals meant that station operators still played a major role in controlling the safe movement of passenger, freight, and work trains. The depots were connected by telegraph, and later telephone, and thus afforded control on the single-track line. Sometime prior to 1955 the Frisco installed a Centralized Track Control (CTC) system north and south of the Winslow tunnel to prevent a catastrophic tunnel collision.[14] A subsequent owner later removed it in the 1980s.



    As late as 1928 Winslow was a stop for three northbound and three southbound passenger trains each day. Guests at the local cottages and hotels in the tourist town recalled going downtown in the evening to get an ice cream cone and watch the northbound evening train and the helper engines. In 1929, one daily roundtrip train was removed from the schedule. Highway 71 increasingly siphoned off passenger traffic as more families had automobiles. In January 1933, the second daily roundtrip train was removed as passenger traffic had crashed in the Depression. In February 1958 the daily Monett, MO to Paris, TX roundtrip train was cut back to Fort Smith. From January 1933 to the September 1965 end of Frisco Central Division passenger service the passenger train made one northbound and one southbound stop at Winslow each day.



    The Winslow station was an important location on the Central Division due to the steep grades south of Winslow. The station was manned day and night until at least 1927[15]. It then reverted to daytime staffing except for day and night during the Second World War[16]. During the war there were troop train movements involving personnel at Fort Chaffee and the large infantry base Camp Maxey near Paris, Texas and the swollen freight volumes, especially petroleum, stemming from a two front global war. With the return of peace, the Winslow station reverted to daytime staffing. The last employee timetable available indicates the Winslow station was staffed as late as September 27, 1959[17].Although the Winn family is always associated with the Winslow depot, one of the last Winslow agents was the veteran female agent Irene Canaday of West Fork.

    In 1967, the Frisco hired the construction firm of Morrison Knudsen Corporation to increase the dimensions of the 1702-foot long Winslow tunnel. The tunnel height increased from 19 feet to 24 feet while the width expanded from 14 feet to 19 feet.[18] The most likely reason for the $1.5 million project was a desire to handle high-cube boxcars for appliance manufacturer such as Norge (later the Whirlpool Corporation) in Fort Smith. In addition, many automobiles were shipped by rail in high cars from their place of manufacture to regional distribution centers. In the course of the 1967-1969 reconstruction, the tunnel length increased to 1,726 feet. One of the principal challenges was replacing a thick layer of ceiling and side wall bricks that the Frisco had installed in the Winslow Tunnel in 1898 and 1899 at a cost in excess of $43,000 or the equivalent of $946,000 in current dollars.[19] The need for the brick lining was a persistent problem of collapses of the soft shale that blocked the line.[20],[21]



    When the Winslow Tunnel was rebuilt the large date stones over the two portals were removed. Unfortunately the north portal date stone was destroyed. The south portal survived .It ended up in the home of a Frisco employee for some 22 years. In 1998 the employee donated the large date stone to the now defunct Frisco Museum in Springfield, MO. The stone was located in the yard of the Museum.[22] Louis Greisemer of Springfield, MO. purchased the non-rolling stock assets of the Museum and may be able to provide information as to the status of the date stone.



    Over the years, local lore has embellished the Winslow Tunnel. The most common claim was that the tunnel at 1,727 feet elevation was the" highest incorporated town and rail point between the Appalachians and the plateaus approaching the Rockies to the west."[23] It is possible the rail point claim had its roots in the fact that in 1905 Winslow claimed to be the highest incorporated town in Arkansas.[24]



    The highest rail point claim is demonstrably incorrect as the Frisco, a medium sized railroad system of 5,000 miles, in 1929 had at least six locations higher than the 1929 reported 1,727-foot elevation of Winslow.



    The highest railroad passenger service point between the Alleghenies and the Rockies for many years was the 3,565- foot elevation White Top Station on the Abingdon Branch of the Norfolk And Western Railway made famous by rail photographer O. Winston Link[25].



    Over time and re-telling perhaps the legend of Winslow’s elevation expanded to include the tunnel. It is fully understandable when one considers that Winslow relied on

    tourism as its principal economic activity for many decades prior to World War Two.




















    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    [1] Don Cook , Tom Maringer , Postal History of Washington County, Arkansas ( [Springdale, Arkansas] :Postal History Society of Washington County, Arkansas :1994) page 84

    [2] Saint Louis and San Francisco Railway Company, Minutes of Board of Directors and Executive Committee, April 15, 1880 to November 14, 1883, Minute Book No.2 at Western Historical Manuscript Collection, University of Missouri, Rolla, MO.

    [3] Arkansas Sentinel (Fayetteville, Arkansas), November 23, 1881, page 3.

    [4] Arkansas Sentinel, March 8, 1882, page 3.

    [5] The Railroad Gazette, August 16, 1882, page 516.

    [6] Ibid, page 516

    [7] Ibid, page 516



    [8] Saint Louis and San Francisco Railway Company, Annual Report for Year Ending December 31, 1882, page 33.

    [9] Railroad Gazette, March 3, 1882

    [10] Saint Louis and San Francisco Railway Company, Annual Report for Year Ending December 31, 1882, page 33

    [11] Saint Louis and San Francisco Railway Company, Annual Report for Year Ending December 31, 1887, page 33

    [12] Saint Louis and San Francisco Railroad Company, Annual Report for Year Ending June 30, 1897, page 4

    [13] Reconstruction Finance Corporation, Railroad Division, “Report on the St. Louis-San Francisco Railway”, by Hilton M. Moore, Washington D.C. , November 24, 1933

    [14] St. Louis-San Francisco Railway Company, Manual of Information, Investors’ Special July 12-14, 1955.

    [15] Oswald ,Robert C., Timetables for Frisco Lines in Northwest Arkansas, Springdale, Arkansas : National Railway Historical Society, Arkansas-Boston Mountains Chapter: 2004)

    [16] St. Louis-San Francisco Railway, Central Division Employee Time Table 33c effective June 11, 1944

    [17] St Louis San Francisco Railway Company, Central Division Time Table No. 42 effective Sunday, September 27,1959

    [18] All Aboard, Vol. 4, No. 1, June 1989,“ Frisco Tunnels, Part 1”,3-4

    [19] John J.McCusker, “Comparing the Purchasing Power of Money in the United States (or Colonies) from 1665 to Any Other Year Including the Present” Economic History Services, 2004, URL:http://www.eh.net/hmit/ppowerusd/

    [20] Saint Louis and San Francisco Railroad Company, Annual Report for the year ending June 30, 1898, page 11.



    [21] Saint Louis and San Francisco Railroad Company.

    Annual Report for the year ending June 30, 1899, page 9

    [22] All Aboard, Vol.11, January 1997,”Old Monument Finds a New Home”, 3

    [23] Winn , Robert G., Steel Rails and Crosscut Ties, West Fork [AR]:Hutcheson Press [1984] unpaginated

    [24]Winn, Robert G. and Pace, Lyda Winn .Winslow-Top of the Ozarks. Fayetteville [AR] : Washington County Historical Society 1986 ,Cover

    [25] Ben Bane Dulaney, letter to O.W. Link, 24 September 1955 , Public Exhibit, O.W.Link Museum, Roanoke
    Last edited by friscomike; 03-12-2007 at 05:48 PM.

  4. #4
    Frisco Meteor Guest

    Default Frisco Winslow Tunnel - Arkansas

    Frisco Winslow Tunnel - Arkansas

    FM
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Frisco Railroad Tunnel in Winslow, Ar.jpg   Frisco Railroad Tunnel in Winslow, Arkansas..jpg   Frisco Winslow Ark Tunnel.JPG   View of the Frisco Winslow Tunnel..jpg   View of the Winslow Tunnel near Rogers, Arkansas, with train..jpg  

    Last edited by friscomike; 03-12-2007 at 05:49 PM.

  5. #5

    Engineer Re: Winslow Tunnel

    Winslow Tunnel - A view from the inside - 2009
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Along the Frisco Lines The Winslow Tunnel.jpg  

  6. #6

    Default Re: Winslow Tunnel

    Great pics and info guys. I also run the Frisco on my train sim and it takes a little something to pull over the grade around Winslow. I was wondering if that was correct and I guess it's pretty close. I actually have about a 4% grade going into the mountains on my layout at home and this definately gets the old wheels a turning for a replica tunnel in my hills.

  7. Default Re: Winslow Tunnel

    Quote Originally Posted by Frisco Kidd View Post
    Great pics and info guys. I also run the Frisco on my train sim and it takes a little something to pull over the grade around Winslow. I was wondering if that was correct and I guess it's pretty close. I actually have about a 4% grade going into the mountains on my layout at home and this definately gets the old wheels a turning for a replica tunnel in my hills.
    The grade is 2.67 PC.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Winslow Tunnel

    Here are some pictures I took Friday, March 26 on a visit to Winslow Tunnel.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMGP6748.JPG   IMGP6747.JPG   IMGP6746.JPG   IMGP6725.JPG   IMGP6732.JPG  

    IMGP6737.JPG   IMGP6738.JPG  
    Keith Robinson
    KC, MO North
    Southeast...........Southwest
    Ship It on the Frisco!

  9. #9

    Engineer Re: Winslow Tunnel

    Man, there are a lot of rattlesnakes in there during the summer. Be careful.

    Thanks for the great pics. I have very fond personal memories of the tunnel when my dad and I searched it out during a fall drive.

    Best,
    mike
    Retired Website Manager
    Ship it on the Frisco
    FRISCO.org

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Winslow Tunnel

    Outstanding photos. I love how this time of the year makes places like that look and you captured it nicely. All I have down here is flat land and pine trees and pine pollen. Makes me want to give it all up and come home

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Winslow Tunnel

    Here are a few more. Note the deer I just caught in the first picture. I had a beautiful day for taking the pictures.
    I would have climbed down to the south portal except for the fact that in the preceding 24 hour period the area got approximately two inches of rain and the area was very soggy.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMGP6723.JPG   IMGP6724.JPG   IMGP6726.JPG   IMGP6735.JPG   IMGP6749.JPG  

    Keith Robinson
    KC, MO North
    Southeast...........Southwest
    Ship It on the Frisco!

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Winslow Tunnel

    Thanks -- nice photos. Too bad the semaphore near the tunnel mouth is no longer there as it really completed the picture.

    Gordon

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Winslow Tunnel

    Did the tracks near the North portal require a lot of maintainance? Noticed several photos show a lot of water on the west side even during dry weather. Did Frisco have materials stored nearby to service the tunnel? Using equipment and materials, could be a good layout detail for any of the three tunnels.

    Joe

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Winslow Tunnel

    Joe, since you asked, I did notice that the tops of the rails that are in place at this point in time are getting pretty severely "mushroomed" to the outside of the rails on the inside of the curve. This wear can be seen in the fourth and fifth pictures of Post #8 if you look closely towards the tunnel portal thanks to the lighting.
    There were stacks of old rail in the same condition and old ties on the west side of the siding. There was also a stack of what looked new rail laying there as well. Some can be seen in the fourth picture on Post #11.
    Last edited by klrwhizkid; 03-30-2010 at 09:21 PM.
    Keith Robinson
    KC, MO North
    Southeast...........Southwest
    Ship It on the Frisco!

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Winslow Tunnel

    Yes, I see what your talking about. These are soom really Great photos! Zoom really brings out some details.

    When compairing the next to last photos of post #8 and #11 there are some steel structures also. The one in #8 seems to have an attach point for a crane. Do you remember seeing those and what they may be for?

    Joe

  16. Default Re: Winslow Tunnel

    The A & M laid the rails at Winslow in March 2003. They used a big propane heater to stretch the rails to the proper point.The used rails were in the 120-130 pound category.The rail enables the A & M to handle 286,000 pound cars like the Class 1 railroads. The railroad has two inspectors who examine track every 30 days.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Winslow Tunnel

    Joe, as I recall the structures that you have homed in on were made of timbers, more like some sort of racks. They may have been cradles for the new crossing filler plates. Regardless they were just tossed in among a bunch of old ties and cut timber from trees that were damaged by an earlier ice storm.
    Keith Robinson
    KC, MO North
    Southeast...........Southwest
    Ship It on the Frisco!

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Winslow Tunnel

    Back in the '80s I walked through the windslow tunnel in both directions so I could get photos of the south portal. Those photos are listed in my photos list which Mike has posted to this site, he will have to tell you where. Matter of fact I have walked through all three Frisco tunnels, although the one near meramec highlands ,missouri, you have to walk back out the same way you came in because the west portal is bricked up( big Bend Tunnel).
    Richard
    Last edited by renapper; 02-24-2011 at 01:36 PM.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Winslow Tunnel

    I am doing some research on the Winslow Tunnel date stone, does anyone have any way of contacting the gentleman that gave the stone back to Winslow? Louis Greisemer of Springfield, MO

  20. Default Re: Winslow Tunnel

    Greismer does business as Springfield Underground. You can also ask the local historian at the Springfield-Gree County Library as they digitized some items lent by Mr. Greismer.
    Here is the story of the Winslow Tunnel north portal date stone that ran in the December 2007 issue of the Scrambler newsletter published by the Arkansas-Bostom Mountains Chaptere of the National Railway Historical Society in Springdale, AR:
    "Winslow Tunnel Date Stone Returns Home

    The south end date stone bearing the date of 1882 returned to Winslow, AR on November 13, 2007. The sandstone block, weighing about 1,500 pounds, had been carved by a German mason by the name of Fritch. The stone also has small decorative stars on each corner and small faint patches of green paint. The stone is located near the replica pavilion erected in 2005 to celebrate the centennial of Winslow, the highest incorporated town in Arkansas.

    Chapter member Arkansas & Missouri Railroad Missouri played a key role in returning the artifact. Brenda Brown, Passenger Train Manager, contacted Louis Griesmer of Springfield, MO to see if he would be willing to donate the date stone. Greismer had purchased the non-rolling stock assets of the Frisco Museum in late 2002.He has been most helpful to area entities. He agreed to donate the stone but asked if he could take the train from Springfield to Winslow to donate the stone. His request could not be honored so the Arkansas & Missouri sent a truck to Springfield and delivered the stone to Winslow on November 13. A local man assisted with the placement of the stone. It now faces the road rather than the track.

    The stone was missing in action for more than 28 years. During the 1967-1969 Winslow tunnel expansion by Morrison-Knudsen, Inc., the north end date stone was destroyed. Jim Elliot, then Manager of Frisco’s Automotive Equipment, took the south end date home to Springfield. The date stone remained in his yard until 1997 when it was donated to the Frisco Museum. It was located in the Museum front yard near the Frisco caboose.

    The south end of the Winslow tunnel was constructed by African American workers while the north end was the province of whites. Relations between the races were not happy. Blacks and whites suffered terribly while the tunnel was being built in 1881-1882. Smallpox was an equal opportunity sickness that killed dozens of workers from late 1881 to March 1882. The smallpox victims were buried in at least three places near the roadbed. One graveyard location was the area immediately adjacent to the south end of the tunnel. Human remains were uncovered during a major storm in January 1930. This area was the location of the tunnel runby during the Quad Chapter Mixed Train excursion on June 25, 2007. "

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Winslow Tunnel

    If you will go to http://wcobserver.com/2010/11/the-tr...ne-of-winslow/ you will find an excellent article researched and authored by Christina Eiscstedt.

    She seem to have done her homework!

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Winslow Tunnel

    Quote Originally Posted by Peddling Joe View Post
    If you will go to http://wcobserver.com/2010/11/the-tr...ne-of-winslow/ you will find an excellent article researched and authored by Christina Eiscstedt.

    She seem to have done her homework!
    That is a good article. Thanks for sharing.
    Kevin Love
    Dadeville, MO

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Winslow Tunnel

    Here are some pictures of the Date Stone taken March 2010, the circle indicates the current location of the stone:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Copy of IMGP6736.JPG   IMGP6744.JPG   IMGP6745.JPG  
    Keith Robinson
    KC, MO North
    Southeast...........Southwest
    Ship It on the Frisco!

  24. #24

    Default Winslow Tunnel Track Diagram

    Winslow Tunnel track diagram
    Attached Files Attached Files


    lauditor temporis acti

  25. #25

    Default Re: Winslow Tunnel

    Thanks for the profile, Karl. That was quite a ride, I've went through it several times. Once with a Burro Crane and Flat. Once with permission I took a one tie switch stand off the back track on the north end of the tunnel. It had "Frisco System" on it. Kind of wished I would have kept it, but it was too heavy and a guy in Kansas made an offer that I couldn't refuse. There is a couple in the Ft. Smith museum.
    Bill Jackson

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