Central Division General Comments

Discussion in 'General' started by frederick, May 19, 2001.

  1. john

    john FRISCO.org Supporter

    Re: Central Division

    I thought perhaps a map might make this thread more interesting to those unfamiliar with the Sebastian County, AR area. This is a poor copy of an obsolete USGS map with data from about 1948. Black and white copies of “historical maps” can be obtained from them by special order. Much better, more detailed maps of this area are available, but are too large to post for this purpose.

    A - Bonanza, AR (Frisco MP 428.1). The dashed line just below Bonanza is the road bed of the “industrial track” ( Mo & La R.R.?) that I am interested in. The tracks were already gone at this time, but are shown on maps from 1903 to as late as 1935. The last major underground mine with a “Frisco connection” was Reinhard-Barr #135 which was located about 2 ½ miles east of Bonanza and still in operation in 1929. Strip mines operated after that date. A Sebastian County (AR) historical journal includes this statement in an article about Bonanza by an elderly resident who was well acquainted with the coal business there “Central Coal kept their steam engine and caboose at a roundhouse west of highway 45, south of Woodson Ave. They used it to haul coal to Poteau (OK) for KSC and to make trips to Doubleday slack washer.”

    B - A short spur of this branch once led to Central Coal No. Mine No. 26 which operated until 1919..

    C - The longest branch of this track led east toward Jenny Lind, Arkansas and may have reached about 3 ½ miles in length?

    D - Frisco’s Backbone Tunnel.

    E - Jenson Junction, (Frisco MP 431.1)

    F - Maney Junction (Frisco MP 433.3)

    G - The 1st (of two) Frisco/Midland Valley crossing on the Mansfield Branch.

    H - The area between Frisco and MV is a loading tipple which a number of mines on the Midland Valley (mostly further east off this map toward Greenwood) were sharing at this time in an interesting arrangement where coal was trucked from different mines and loaded on Frisco for shipment to St. Louis.

    Doubleday, AR (Mansfield Branch, MP 433.1, the site of the coal washer mentioned above) is off this map to the south and east. Central Coal’s Mansfield Branch mines were further on down the branch. Fort Smith is off the map to the north of Bonanza. Highway 10 west from Hackett to Oklahoma line was a Frisco coal spur (Branner Mansfield Branch MP 431.5) in the early 1900's.

    One final note: coal mine/railroad arrangements were used by almost ALL railroads in the early coal days. For example, the Iron Mountain/Mo Pac used Western Coal & Mining Company in Kansas and Arkansas for one of their primary coal sources in exactly the same way that Frisco used K & T Coal.

    Somebody HELP! I thought I sent a map with this!! I don't know where it went but I'm not seeing it.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 18, 2005
  2. tripphd

    tripphd Member

    Re: Central Division

    It is very interesting to read all this. I just found the site last week and started reading this post. I grew up in Ft.Smith so this is my old stomping grounds. I have been in that tunnel south of Ft.Smith several times (uh-oh, self incrimination) when the private lake did not have a locked gate. You could drive within about a quarter mile of the tunnel. We even had a train come through one time when we were at the other end. There was a devise that was some distance before both ends of the tunnel that had strips hanging down that I assumed was to warn workers on top of the cars that the tunnel was coming up. I never have learned what those were called. I don't know if anyone models them because I haven't seen very many layouts.

    I have ridden the Arkansas and Missouri up to Winslow and if I remember correctly the conductor said the trestle just south of the tunnel was one of the highest between the Appalachians and the Rockies.
    I grew up being a train nut. When I was a child my Grandparents lived in Claremore, Oklahoma, and when I would cry they would take me to see the trains. My grandmother swears that I would the train in the distance and start crying. I know the Mopac had a line that crossed what is the Burlington Northern, but I don't remember what it was then. Thanks for stirring up old memories.
  3. john

    john FRISCO.org Supporter

    Re: Central Division

    My wife and I drove to Ft. Smith yesterday (21 Aug 05) and rode the Arkansas and Missouri from the old Frisco depot in Fort Smith, through the old Frisco yard there, across the Arkansas River, Van Buren bridge to Winslow (the tunnel) and back. It was worth the drive for that ride. If anyone would like to see a beautiful section of the old Frisco from a passenger train this is the trip to take. I think it runs a couple of more Sundays (from Fort Smith) and then that lower part (Fort Smith to Van Buren) shuts down for the year. More info on the Arkansas Missouri website.

    A little more information on Central Coal just came in.

    1. Yes, Central Coal did own the Missouri and Louisiana railroad and operated it in several scattered locations in Missouri, Arkansas and in Louisiana. The longest segment in Louisiana was 51 miles. Central Coal had already established the "branch" of it in Sebastian County (probably in abt. 1896) several years prior to purchasing K & T Coal.

    2. 1908 annual coal production by Central Coal & Coke was given (in a bio. of Charles Keith, the president of the company) as 4,000,000 TONS of coal.
  4. tomd6 (Tom Duggan RIP 2/11/2018)

    tomd6 (Tom Duggan RIP 2/11/2018) Passed Away February 11, 2018

    The Arkansas-Boston Mountains Chapter is sponsoring a Mixed Train and Photo shoot weekend in Fort Smith, AR on June 23-24, 2007. Saturday will have railroad history programs and a night photo shoot of Fort Smith Trolley Museum Birney Car 224. Sunday will have an 80- mile mixed train roundtrip between Fort Smith,AR and Winslow ,AR pulled by an Alco C-420 of the A & M RR together with four photo stops including the former Frisco yard at Fort Smith. Coach, Parlor and Caboose seating is available. For the trip flyer please send an email to daching@cox.net.
  5. Is the Keith & Perry Co. referred to above the same company that was involved in promoting the construction of the Kansas City Clinton & Springfield in the 1880s?

    I would love to hear more of the details about the Keith & Perry Co. and its later incarnation the Central Coal & Coke Co., if anyone can provide them.

    Where did you locate a biography of Charles Keith? And is there any information about the "Perry" of the company name? A fellow named E.J. Perry was for many years superintendant of the KCC&S.

    Thanks to all for any information they can provide --

    Bradley A. Scott
  6. john

    john FRISCO.org Supporter

    Keith and Perry was a Kansas City company so it may very well have been involved in that enterprise, but I have no knowledge about it.

    The founders were Richard Keith (there are several good bios. of him available in different Kansas City "vanity" biography books published from 1890 until 1910 or so) and John Perry. W.C. Perry is listed as vp of the company, I don't know his relationship with John.

    Keith and Perry Coal Company operated (under that name) from 1884 until May 1, 1893 when it became Central Coal & Coke Company. All of the railroad operations that I know anything about were after the company had become known as CC&C.

    Like most large coal companies CC&C was involved in the lumber business (summer) as well as coal (winter). Many large lumber operations ran their own railroad operations as well. For this company the operation was the Arkansas and Choctaw Ry (Organized in Arkansas 31 Aug 1895). CC&C also used the Arkansas and Choctaw name to operate their coal operation at Bonanza, Arkansas.

    Richard Keith and Arthur Stilwell came up with a plan to expand CC&C which was put into effect, in stages, beginning in 1902. This time, however, the new, greatly enlarged company was still known as the Central Coal & Coke Company. The Arkansas and Choctaw vanished into history and was replaced in Arkansas by the new Missouri & Louisiana Railroad Company, now confined to the Bonanza area. The Frisco picked up an Arkansas line it wanted (most of the Arkansas and Choctaw) and Central Coal, in return, absorbed the Kansas & Texas Coal Company (which was controlled by the Frisco) and the associated Kansas & Texas Coal Railway in Missouri. K & T Coal Railway (as it was often called) became part of the M & L as well at about this time. In addition the lumber mill at Texarkana was moved to Carson, LA where other M & L operations began.

    In 1914 the Missouri & Louisiana was in turn replaced by the Bevier & Southern (in MO) and the Neame, Carson & Southern (in LA) as a result of the tap line cases. I know that CC&C still controlled the Bevier & Southern, and used it as a coal railroad into the 1930's. (I think it changed ownership in the 1930's after CC&C fell into receivershiip.)

    PLEASE note that this is all the "short" version, in reality the corporate operations of CC&C rival those of the Frisco in legalisms and confusing reorganizations. In his Encyclopedia of Missouri bio, Richard Keith names a succession of 7 coal companies (and I think he left a couple out) operated by him, of which the last three were "Keith & Perry (1882-1884), Keith & Perry Coal Company, and Central Coal & Coke Company.

    Charles Keith, was Richard Keith's son. He became president of CC&C in 1907. An excellent early bio of Richard and Charles can be found in Kansas City Missouri, its History and Its People 1808-1908. This book has some other good bios including Arthur Stilwell's (which mentions his connection with CC&C). Charles Keith, if anything, is much better known for events in his life which occur after this particular book was published including his role in events leading to the "Bache-Denman mine riots" in Arkansas (1914) and the fact that he was a mayor of Kansas City, MO in the late 1930's, but it's still good reading if you are interested in this subject.

    Central Coal & Coke is a great study for anyone interested in corporate politics. In order to survive they had to maintain a very positive business relationship with not only the Frisco, but also the KCS and the Union Pacific (they had mines on them also, in Wyoming). Of course the corporate politics of the Frisco are also interesting during the early 1900's (and all through the 1800's). It's been said that politics make strange bedfellows. This is true for railroads just as much as the governmental type. What does all this have to do with the Frisco? For one thing the problems (read costs) Central Coal began to have in the Arkansas coal field was one of the prime factors in the early conversion of most of the Central Division from coal to oil.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 13, 2007
  7. john

    john FRISCO.org Supporter

    One note that I found interesting: Roger's chart below shows 18.6 miles between Jenson and Mansfield; however, my 1926 list shows 17.9 miles (Jenson listed as 429.3 miles from St. Louis). Any thoughts?

    I just stumbled upon the answer to this question and thought I'd post it. When the original Hackett City Branch was incorporated into the later Mansfield Branch (Little Rock and Texas) the curved end of the Hackett City Branch became a spur running south through town to the original Hackett station. The assesssed milage in Arkansas tax records dropped to the 17.9 figure when that spur was removed and the station relocated - so the 18.6 figure included all of the original Hackett City branch.
  8. tripphd

    tripphd Member

    I'm curious if anyone remembers trackage to Greenwood, AR. I can't remember from my childhood if there were tracks parallel to U.S. 71 or in the vicinity. I think I remember tracks near what is now Ark. Hwy. 10 Spur, was old U.S. 71, on the northwest side of Greenwood.
  9. john

    john FRISCO.org Supporter

    The Frisco never ran into Greenwood, it didn't get any closer than Hackett.

    In the 1950's the Missouri Pacific (down from Fort Smith through Jenny Lind) and the Midland Valley (across from Hackett) still met in what was then southwestern Greenwood. The Missouri Pacific crossed what was then US 71 (now 10s) slightly west of where the BN caboose sits now. The MoPac station was south of that. The remains of the old MoPac Greenwood branch are still in use in Fort Smith as far south as the Planters (nuts) plant.

    The Midland Valley had formerly looped south of the court house, crossing highway 10 on the east side of town, where the coal miners memorial is now located. After the mines east of Greenwood shut down that track was pulled back to the junction with the MoPac on the southwest side of town. I believe this was in the late 1940's or so. In the 1950's the rails were still in place in the pavement (hwy 10) and Bell road had been built down the old MV right of way.
  10. tripphd

    tripphd Member

    Thanks for your response. I guess I'm getting old and nostalgic. I thought I remembered the tracks down there. So the Mopac line was west of old hwy 71? Where did the Midland tracks cross old hwy 71? I know where the miners' memorial is. Is the BN caboose about where the old Mopac line was? Do you know where the line ran from where it is now? (at planters). Did it go to the west of hwy 71 or east through the hills? Sorry for all the questions, just curious.
    I noticed on Google earth that you can still see the ROW for the Rock Island running through the Hartford area and into Oklahoma.
  11. john

    john FRISCO.org Supporter

    The Midland Valley crossed US 71 where the Pink Bud nursing home is located, just south of the junction with AR hwy 10. The Mo Pac stayed east of US 71 until it crossed it in Greenwood. The attached piece of USGS map shows the area in ca 1950. The MoPac right of way is still easily tracked on Google Earth. Midland Valley is a little more difficult but still possible. The former location of the Frisco Mansfield Branch, south from Hackett, is also easily tracked.

    The MV-MoPac junction at Greenwood was MV mp B3.2. The Frisco-MV crossing at Hackett was MV mp 4.8 (Frisco Mansfield Branch 431.4), so it was 8 miles to the Frisco crossing. The closest MV-Frisco junction was Maney Junction (Frisco Central Div. 431.7) at MV mp 8.9 (where the MV turned north to Fort Smith over Frisco trackage).

    Attached Files:

  12. Joe Lovett

    Joe Lovett Member


    There was a post, #9, from George asking about steam power on Centeral Division. I have the same question in a broader scope. What was the typical power used throughout the years, 1910's thru 1980? Locomotive type, steam and diesel, road numbers and the area of their assignment. I've been able to identify some steam from photos/text in "Frisco Power" and "Frisco Steam Finale" and think GP15-1's from another tread somewhere. Can anyone help fill in more detail or suggest where to search for type, numbers and assignments?

    I have two of Bachmans 2-8-0 N scale locos painted and numbered 1332 & 1340 by a friend. Very nice running models. Those numbers were from photos in "Frisco Power". I think they ran south out of Fort Smith.

    George, I just now found my old notes on steam road numbers that came from photos/text in the above mentioned books. Will post the information as soon as I can reverify. One of the photos shows 2-8-2 Mikado #4020 in Feb. 1949 Fort Smith prepairing for run to Monett. The notes also refer to 2-10-0 Decapod #1627, think those two can answer part of your question.

    Thank You,
    mountaincreekar likes this.
  13. tomd6 (Tom Duggan RIP 2/11/2018)

    tomd6 (Tom Duggan RIP 2/11/2018) Passed Away February 11, 2018

    Central Division Locomotive Roster as of January 1948
    709, 741, 1312, 1320, 1326, 1329, 1330, 1331, 1332, 1334, 1335,1340,1341, 1626, 3738, 3744, 3748
    No 1626 was a decapod used for coal service on the Mansfield Branch according to a person who worked as a Fort Smith locomotive mechanic
    184,722,739, 1016, 1022, 1030, 1032,1033, 1035, 1037 plus Diesel No 6
    3544 and Diesel No 4
    FORT SMITH GP9L Engine Roster as of 1952
    501,513,534, 536, 538,540,542., 512,533,535, 537,539,541, 541
    Included engines used on the "Black Cat Run" whatever that means.

    Frisco Steam at Fort Smith (From 2007 Quad Chapter Rail History Weekend at Fort Smith, AR hosted by the Arkansas-Boston Mountains Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society, PO Box 1303, Springdale, AR 72765-9222)

    Operations on the Frisco’s Fort Smith subdivision between Fort Smith and Monett, MO had to recognize several important limitations. The single most important limitation is the Boston Mountains that begin about 15 miles north of Fort Smith. They are the highest mountain range between the Appalachians and the Rockies .The highest elevation of 2,550 feet is located more than 50 miles east of the rail summit at Wins-low. The mountains are part of the Spring-field plateau of the Ozarks. Over the course of two million years, the underlying lime-stone formations have eroded into valleys that range from 500 to 1,500 feet deep. The Frisco, like nearly all railroads, followed the lowest cost route and laid track that followed the twisting valley terrain. Much of the track was 1913 era ninety-pound jointed rail unsuited for heavier modern steam engines.

    A second limitation lay with the Frisco railroad bridge that links Fort Smith and Van Buren. The bridge, originally completed in 1886, underwent a trouble-plagued reconstruction in 1913-15 that included a bridge collapse. The new bridge had a Cooper’s axle load rating of E53. The relatively low rating meant that much of the modern Frisco steam engine fleet was too heavy for the bridge. The bottom line was that Fort Smith was a haven for relatively light power that frequently had seen service at other Frisco locations before replacement by more modern steam power.

    At the turn of the last century, the Frisco operated more than 700 road service steam engines. The Ten Wheeler, or 4-6-0, ac-counted for more than 52% of the fleet. The engines weighed about 70 tons and were well suited for an environment of wooden cars that averaged a load of 16 tons. The introduction of steel cars from about 1910 required larger and more powerful engines.

    In February 1935, Fort Smith was home to 16 Frisco oil-burning locomotives. The Frisco had in the late 1920s decided to convert from coal to oil on several divisions including the Central. Nine of the engines were 2-8-0 engines used for freight service. They weighed about 146 tons each and had 1904 to 1919 construction dates. Four 4-6-0 engines, built between 1906 and 1923, powered passenger trains. Switching was handled by two 0-6-0 engines. Fort Smith also serviced a 1905 4-6-0 engine that labored in coal service on the Mansfield Branch. The Mansfield Branch engine had been in St. Louis commuter service until discontinuance in the early 1930s.

    With the onset of World War 2, the need for motive power exploded. In 1944, the Frisco operated a fleet of 601 steam engines. In January 1944, the ancient 14-stall Fort Smith roundhouse, was home to a record 33 engines. The end of hostilities decreased the Fort Smith engine count to 15 in January 1947.

    The year 1948 saw major changes in the number and mix of steam engines. In January 1948, some 19 engines were on the Fort Smith roster compared to 24 at year-end. Off the roster was Decapod 1626 that no longer worked in coal drag service on the Mansfield branch. Also gone were two old Brooks Ten Wheelers that dated to 1906. Six Baldwin 1910 Pacifics came to Fort Smith while seven Consolidations left Fort Smith. The newest arrivals were a group of seven Lima built 1919 Mikados originally built for the USRA. They were coal-burners. The 4000 series Mikado weighed 171 tons, including tender, which meant they could not operate in tandem on the Fort Smith-Van Buren bridge. The Mikados had worked between St. Louis and Spring-field, MO before displacement by diesel power. Switching duties were covered by 3674 (Baldwin-1904), 3788 (Schenectady -1907) and the oft photographed 3744 (Baldwin-1911), all 0-6-0s.-

    It is difficult to pinpoint the end of Fort Smith steam operations. A Frisco steam engine location and status report dated September 20, 1951 shows that all Fort Smith steam engines as out of service.However several observers recall that engine 1331, a 1912 Schenectady 2-8-0, was used in 1951 as yard goat at Fort Smith. The engine used steam from a roundhouse steam boiler. A December 1951 photo shows 1331 pushing No. 3, a 1943 Whitcomb 44 ton diesel. The photo may have been a last hurrah memento of Frisco steam at Fort Smith. At year end 1951, the Frisco owned 397 steam engines of which only about twenty were in steam. Final steam operation on the Frisco took place on February 29, 1952 when Mikado 4018 chuffed be-tween Birmingham, AL and Bessemer, AL.

    The Frisco, like most railroads, first used diesel engines for switching operations or in dangerous areas such as refineries and ammunition plants. The shop at Hugo, OK was home to a GE 44-ton diesel in 1944. The first Fort Smith diesel was likely No. 292, an Alco S2 1000 HP switcher. The engine probably arrived in late 1949. An engineer’s logbook confirms the engine was in use in April 1950.

    Unfortunately, there is no information available to pinpoint the first Central Division use of diesels in passenger service. The first road diesels on the Central Division were 1,500 HP Electro-Motive Diesel GP9L road switchers. These first generation engines could function as both switchers and road engines. The Frisco placed 43 GP7L engines in service in 1950 with thirteen assigned to the Central Division. All of the GP9L engines were equipped with 2,500 pound per hour steam generators that enabled them to handle passenger trains. The GP9L engines could haul a six car train from Fort Smith to Monett and a nine car train between Monett and Fort Smith. The GP9L engines were rated at six cars from Paris to Fort Smith and nine from Fort Smith to Paris. The late Lloyd Stagner’s Steam Locomotives of the Frisco Line states that Central Division diesel passenger service began in the fall of 1950.

    The Frisco was generous in donating 24 fully restored steam engines to towns and cities in its service area. However, many of the engines never operated in the recipient community. In the mid- 1950s Fort Smith received No. 4003, a 1919 Mikado built by Lima. The engine then spent many years in the Kay Rodgers Park. It later moved to the Fort Smith Trolley Museum. Although a number of its classmates were in Fort Smith in 1948, No. 4003 spent most of its later operational years in Fort Scott, KS. The Trolley Museum had a 4003 restoration survey made several years ago. The estimated cost to put the engine back in service was $800,000.
  14. gbmott

    gbmott Member


    A very nice summary, with the 1/48 roster of assigned locomotive being especially interesting to me. I'd make a couple of small corrections/observations -- both 709 and 1626 remained in Fort Smith until the very end of steam and were among the locomotives in the deadline there in 1952. While not assigned to Fort Smith, the regular passenger power between Fort Smith and Monett were booster-equipped 1040-class 4-6-2's. When the 1015-class 4-6-2's were assigned they were used on the passenger train between Fort Smith and Paris. As you mentioned, the Central Division had been an oil-burning division until the 4000's were assigned, at which time considerable work had to be done on the concrete coaling tower to restore it to service. There was one other coal burner -- 0-6-0 3674 appeared in the late years of steam.

    The first diesel, as far as I know, was S-2 292 which came while the passenger train was still steam-powered. Some years later, after being replaced in Fort Smith by 304, it was in an accident with the result that it had its cab removed and served out its remaining life as a calf. I can't tell you when the first use of F-units was, but do know that some of the very first GP-7's were assigned to Fort Smith. I'm trying to track down the date, in late-48 or early-49 I am pretty sure, that rather than running two E-7's on the Meteor the entire way between St. Louis and Oklahoma City they started being split at Monett with only one unit operating from there to OKC with the other operating to Fort Smith and Paris. I think this may have happened concurrently with the discontinuance of the Twin Meteor and the St. Louis - Fort Smith Pullman beginning to operate in the Meteor itself (and with a red-and-silver shadowline car assigned). My recollection is that this happened before F-units started to appear in freight service, making E-7's the first road diesels to operate on the Central Division.

    I'd be very happy to hear other recollections, including any that contradict anything that I have said. Memories fade, unfortunately, and thus too does accuracy! Oh well.

  15. john

    john FRISCO.org Supporter

    Here's a few additional Fort Smith (Central Division) details taken from a much larger unpublished (as far as I know) paper written by Charles Winters.

    "Despite USRA construction of a splendid new concrete coal shute at Fort Smith, the Frisco vowed never again to operate coal fired engines on their Central Division, following a violent UMW strike in 1920-1922. Carload coal traffic for residential heating and industrial markets in northern cities continued to move from (now) non-union mines along the branch between Jenson and Mansfield, but all Central Division motive power was 100% oil fired until 1947, when dieselization ... brought about assignment of surplus coal burning 4000-4032 series Mikado Type engines for use between Monett and Fort Smith, along with a coal fired 0-6-0 Switcher numbered 3674."

    (Of course there was a time lag between the decision to go with oil and the actual conversion of the Division to "all oil".)

    "By the 1930's, through service over the Central Division had been reduced to only one daily train. Pullman service between St. Louis and Fort Smith remained, but to the south the train regularly consisted of only three cars: 1) a Baggage-Mail car, 2) a Snack car, and 3) a Deluxe Coach. Pacific Type engines 1040-1059 operated over the entire distance because frequently, northbound trains included one or more Passenger-Express Refrigerator cars loaded with perishable south Texas fruit and vegetables. Northward from Fort Smith the train also picked up car loads of Arkansas-Missouri dairy products, poultry and eggs, and fruit and vegetables in season."

    "In 1938, Gas-Electric cars 2124 and 2125 replaced the 1040-1059 series as motive power between Ft. Smith and Paris, Texas... When 2124 or 2125 were layed up, substitute engines were 629, 1007, or 1106. With the heavy passenger and express increases beginning in 1940, Pacific Type locomotives (1040-1059), resumed operation between Fort Smith and Paris, Texas."

    "...0-6-0 Switcher engines 3744 and 3748 came to Fort Smith in 1941. Small engines 3653 and 3654 went into storage, and 3544 was sent to Hugo. For a time the 3745 also worked at Fort Smith and later came the 3738... "

    "Ten Wheeler Type 705-740 engines moved the local freight trains through Fort Smith, and were also used on the Mansfield and Bentonville branch lines. It was not uncommon to see one of these engines doublehead with a 1300 series in mainline freight service, when a 700 class would be en route to a new assignment on another Division, or to scheduled heavy repairs or maintenance."

    "During a disasterous flood on the Arkansas River in 1943, the river cut a new channel, destroying part of the bridge and the roadbed extending into Fort Smith. The Frisco made several detours via the MP using the Helen Gould Bridge. With use of the 1040 class prohibited by weight restrictions, engines of the 629-633 series temporarily powered the daily passenger runs... Modern Frisco 4-4-0 American Type engine 185 came to Fort Smith for use on a Work Train with a pile driver, used in rebuilding the bridge and roadbed. During the same flood, Consolidation Type engines 987 and 1268 came doubleheading from Hugo, Oklahoma. Some of the seven heavy Mikado Type 1350-1356 engines began operating between Monett and Fort Smith, but weight restrictions prevented their use south from the city."

    Charles also stated that during the Second World War the Frisco moved trainloads of gasoline received from the KCS at Poteau, Oklahoma to St. Louis. "These trains were frequently doubleheaded, powered by a small pacific of the 1015-1039 series, and a 1306-1345 Consolidation." This operation required the dispatch of two engines and a caboose to run light from Fort Smith to Poteau to receive the train from the KCS. "Toward the end of the European conflict, Russian Decapod Type engine 1626 came to Fort Smith for movement of heavy semi-anthracite coal shipments originating along the former Mansfield Branch."
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 25, 2009
  16. Joe Lovett

    Joe Lovett Member


    WOW! Thanks guys for all the information on Central Division motive history. This gives me all I need and more for my Central layout. Have three books, Frisco Power (Collias), Frisco Steam Finale (Stagner) and Frisco Diesel Power (Marre/Harper), that have several photos of locomotives on the Central Division. I am about half finished with reviewing my old notes and will post location of photos soon. Do not have a scanner, so the best I can do is give page numbers. They are photos of individual locomotives.

    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 26, 2009
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  17. john

    john FRISCO.org Supporter

    As you're probably already aware, a great source for Central Division photos from the 1960's to 1980's is Mike Condren's online collection. Additional photographs include a number of earlier Frisco steam photos by various photographers and an extensive collection on material about various railroads in Fort Smith.

    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 25, 2009
  18. john

    john FRISCO.org Supporter

    Charles Winters stated that Frisco 0-6-0's 3653, 3654, and 3744 were leased to the KCS railroad during World War 2. The first two, at least, apparently remained in Fort Smith (but on the KCS) some of the time. KCS also leased Ten Wheeler Type 705, 712 and 715, and Consolidation Type 1301. In a footnote Charles stated that Albert Brown once photographed Frisco 705 as motive power on the KCS "Flying Crow" and that 3744 was working in Shreveport, LA on June 6, 1944.
  19. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Frisco.org Supporter

  20. john

    john FRISCO.org Supporter

    You've spotted a photo of the last major SHAFT type underground coal mine built in Sebastian County (there were later large underground SLOPE mines). The mine was known by various names (Pendigrass or Great Western to name a couple) through the years. The siding in the photo (it extended about the same distance north and south of the mine and tied into the mainline on both ends) appears in the 1944 ETT as mile 427.0 Fire Chief - 70 car capacity. Fire Chief was a name the coal was sometimes marketed under. As for the mine, it was entered through a 360 foot deep shaft under what was reputed to be the only steel tipple in Sebastian County. Above ground the mine was located in Arkansas but much of the underground workings were in Oklahoma. Like many other area mines it closed down early in the World War II years, probably in part due to the shortage of available manpower, never to reopen. Much of the coal which was produced was shipped (via Frisco of course) to St. Louis. Some of it via an early version of a unit coal train.

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