Atomic Energy Commission - Department Of Energy - White Train - Nuclear Weapons Transport Train

Discussion in 'Freight Operations' started by meteor910, Aug 22, 2009.

  1. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    The SAL/ACL/SCL Historical Society has yet another mention of operations with the Frisco in their fine publication "Lines South", complete with SLSF pictures.

    This is the third article featuring joint operations with the SLSF in "Lines South" during the past year or so. Are we being taken over? :rolleyes:

    This article, page 24 of the 2nd quarter 2009 issue, features the "White Train", which was an Atomic Energy Commission train transporting nuclear weapons from the "Pantex" manufacturing plant in the Texas panhandle to Birmingham, AL on the SLSF. They continued on to points east, Savannah River Plant, on the Seaboard.

    The train was known as the "White Train" on both the Frisco and Seaboard as the weapons were carried in white painted containers sitting on what looks like 50ft or 60ft flat cars. One unit powered the train of a dozen cars, followed by a modified US Army hospital car containing security people and lots of antennas, followed by a standard railroad caboose.

    The train was also always paralleled on highways by security forces in Suburban-type vehicles. The flat cars carried ATMX reporting marks. The timeframe of this article was July, 1977.

    The Frisco pictures show the train entering the SLSF East Thomas Yard, where SAL power, cab and crews will take over. GP38 SLSF 640 was on the point, while caboose SLSF 1710 brought up the markers.

    Anybody know where the "Pantex" plant was. I assume it was located on, or close to, the QA&P or the SLSF.

    Big Boomers on the SLSF!

    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 27, 2023
  2. bob_wintle

    bob_wintle Member Supporter

    This train came through our part of the country and was supposedly carrying nuclear waste.

    A couple of friends of mine were pulled over for taking pictures of it. The vehicle was more of a box van than a Suburban. When one of my friends lit the train up with his spot light, the train lit him up and several fellows with M16's appeared on the train.

    This was in the late 1970's and happened here in Labette County Kansas near Oswego.

    Bob Wintle
    Parsons, KS
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  3. Ozarktraveler

    Ozarktraveler Member

    The Pantex Plant is still in operation near Amarillo.

    The web site gets you the web site.

    I have a friend who works there now.
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  4. FriscoFriend (Bob Hoover RIP 4/12/2018)

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

    When we lived in Tulsa our minister there told me stories of the White Train coming through Woodward, OK on the then Santa Fe

    He and some of his church members would find out when it was coming through and go down by the tracks and pray as it went by.

    Bob Hoover
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  5. mvtelegrapher

    mvtelegrapher Member

    A friend of mine in southwest Missouri named Bob King took slides of this train while it went through the Carl Junction area.

    I am looking through Bob's slides now to pull some out for the Frisco convention and will look for these to show.

    John Chambers
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  6. jcolbert

    jcolbert Member

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  7. HWB

    HWB Supporter

    That was a cool link.

    Thanks for posting.
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  8. wmrx

    wmrx MP Trainmaster

    Cool stuff, Steve.

    It must have come through Carthage and I never knew it. I had no idea that anything like this ever operated through Southwest Missouri. I sure wish I had seen it back then.

    Everyone involved must have been doing their job to keep it low profile.
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  9. Ozarktraveler

    Ozarktraveler Member

    I spent some time in the Navy on a Submarine Tender, which may or may not have been carrying nuclear ICBM's.

    There was a Marine detachment on board to safeguard whatever we may or may not have been carrying.

    I can tell you they were deadly serious about their duties.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 27, 2023
  10. bob_wintle

    bob_wintle Member Supporter

    This train was also shadowed by an RV with Military personnel in it.

    Two of my good friends were detained and questioned by occupants of the RV. My buddies caught the train near Sherwin Junction, Kansas and followed it to Oswego Kansas. The RV picked them up near Hallowell. The Guards on the Train had M16's and spotlights.

    I wish my friend who is still alive was a member of this group and would share his experience on this board. I had been with them earlier in the day railfanning near Labette Kansas. A Katy Train had started a small fire and I caught a nasty Poison Ivy infection and was home suffering that evening.

    Bob Wintle
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 27, 2023

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