Discussion in '4-8-4 Northern' started by Karl, Dec 20, 2014.

  1. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Frisco.org Supporter

    A begrimed 4-8-4 SLSF 4523 rests between assignments in North Springfield, MO on December 6, 1946. The big Northern is little changed in appearance since being delivered during August 1943. The original spoked, pilot-truck wheels have been replaced with solid wheel centers, and the Frisco has since added a conical smoke lifter to the stack.

    The second to the last steam locomotive purchased by the Frisco, and her sisters have done well moving people and freight to defeat the Axis Powers. Steam rules the Frisco, and all is right with the world. During the war years freight traffic levels doubled from the depression years. During 1938, the Frisco handled 10.8 billion gross tons, which increased to a peak of 22.6 billion gross tons during 1944.

    Passenger traffic levels exhibited similar growth. During 1940 passenger traffic levels reached a nadir, and the Frisco carried but 954,120 passengers. Due to gasoline and rubber rationing passengers returned to the rails in a big way, and during 1944, the Frisco carried 5,341,293 passengers.

    The year 1946 was a watershed year for the Frisco, and change was afoot. At this time the Frisco used its 51 diesel units solely in yard service. Steam ruled the main lines. The year 1946 was the first full year of peace, and traffic levels remained high by depression-era standards, but they were down slightly from the wars years. By 1946, traffic levels traffic levels had dropped to 18.7 billion gross tons, and during 1946, 2,998,945 passengers rode the Frisco rails. The last major movement of troops via main trains occurred during 1946. The year also marked the last full year during which Frisco passenger trains were pulled exclusively by steam. The Springfield West Shops completed its last locomotive rebuild ever, when SLSF 1356, nee SLSF 1343, left the shops during March 1946. Lastly, 1946 marked the last year of receivership for the railroad.

    On Jan 1, 1947 the Frisco emerged as a “new” railroad with Clark Hungerford as the road’s president. The passenger locomotives were shorn of the gold fretwork, and the Triple-F came off the flanks of the 4500’s tenders. On May 26, 1947, Hungerford ordered nine, 4-unit F3 sets, which arrived during January 1948. The die had been cast, and by the fall of 1952, the 4-8-4 SLSF 4523 was stored unserviceable at the West Shops. She was never placed in steam again. Sic Transit Gloria Mundi

    Negative from my collection.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 21, 2024
  2. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member Staff Member

    Boy you can sure see from the photograph the old girl stood tall and proud moving all that tonnage to help win the Second World War, huh?

    That is a priceless photograph showing steam at work - dirty, sandy, oily, but alive, and ready for another trip, ready, willing, and able to move whatever tonnage needed in any direction.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2024
  3. William Jackson

    William Jackson Bill Jackson

    Thanks Karl, we all enjoy these little bits of history that you contribute to the site.

    We do not always say so, but this is a special thanks!

    Bill Jackson
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2024
  4. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Frisco.org Supporter

    Thanks for your kind sentiments.

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