Coal Train and Caboose 1250

Discussion in 'Action Photos' started by Karl, Feb 25, 2014.

  1. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Supporter

    Caboose 1250 brings up the rear of an empty coal train as it rocks along on the Ozark Branch at 25 mph. The caboose is nearing Lacuna St, which is just north of Sequiota Park. The rail is still 90 lbs, so the 55 ton hoppers are still in use. During Aug-Sept of the following summer, the steel gang will lay SH 115 lbs rail, new ballast will be put down, and the surfacing gang will do its work, the 55 ton hoppers will disappear from the branch.

    Note the placement of the markers lamps atop the cupola.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 25, 2014
  2. wpmoreland719

    wpmoreland719 Member Supporter

    Is this the branch that used to cross US 60 and tie up traffic (overpass now goes over it)?

  3. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Supporter


    You are correct.
  4. John Sanders

    John Sanders Member


    A few photos from the Ozark Branch upgrade in 1976. Poorly scanned, but I will redo them at some point.

    John Sanders
  5. pbender

    pbender Member Supporter


    Thank you both for the images. I still have dreams of building a model of the Ozark Branch one day...


    Do you remember a more exact locations on these?

    The 1st photo was clearly taken on one of the trestles on the line, and there is a neighbourhood in the background. I believe that places it somewhere south of Battlefield Rd. (I'm not aware of any trestles north of there...)

    The 2nd photo definitely was taken in one of the locations where this line passes close to one of the neighbourhoods it borders, but I don't recognize which one. I think that places this one north of Battlefield Rd.

    The 4th photo has a road in the background. My memory immediately jumped on this being either Southern Hills Blvd or Covington St. These were the two locations I rode my bike to watch trains before I could drive. I
    rarely saw a train, but I had fun anyway (My parents house is just east of Ingram Mill between Sunshine and Battlefield, so this really was the only track I could get to without riding my bike across a major road...)

  6. John Sanders

    John Sanders Member

    Hi Paul,
    You are correct. The first photo was taken on the trestle just south of Battlefield Road. Steve McVey and I had caught the train southbound at Walnut (second photo) and followed it to Galloway. The track work shows another local railfan, Brian Despain in the blue shirt setting spikes for the air spikers behind. Those shots were taken at Covington Street in Southern Hills in late summer of 1976, I believe. Some of these photos appeared in an article for the Frisco Museum's newsletter. Prior to the track upgrade which allowed larger cars and locomotives delivery of coal was a real struggle. Aside from the problems with delivery from coal companies in Kansas and Oklahoma, the Ozark branch and CU unloading facilities were not up to the task. A former coworker worked as a laborer at the James River Power Plant. He was one in a fairly large crew of men who had to climb into the hopper cars in the winter to break loose the frozen coal. Remember we had 'global cooling' back then. That crew had a dangerous job. There was an antique car shaker on a frame that straddled a single car. While the car shaker was running the crew was in the car with bars knocking the frozen coal down through the hopper doors. On one occasion the shaker motor came loose from the frame and narrowly missed the guys in the car. The falling motor also broke loose enough coal to cause one man to fall part way through one of the hopper openings. No one was hurt, by 1970s standards, but this illustrated why there was resistance to the Federal mandate to burn coal. The natural gas pipeline that fed the entire plant (without drama in normal weather) until about 1975. Up until then coal was an emergency cold-weather reserve only. John Sanders
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 2, 2014
  7. pbender

    pbender Member Supporter

    Thanks John.

    I was just a newborn at the time your photos were taken, so I have no memory of the line under Frisco ownership, but it always has fascinated me as a
    potential model railroad. (I came to that decision originally wanting to model BN, which is what I saw when I grew up, but found the line much more
    interesting under Frisco ownership.)

    I'd welcome any other photos you have of the line as well.

  8. pbender

    pbender Member Supporter

    I was thinking about modeling kissick today and a couple of thoughts occured to me.

    First, Does anyone have a picture of the car shaker?

    Second, I think this also may answer a question I asked when the Springfield industrial charts were published ( see: ) that is what was the structure indicated by the symbol at spot 1.

    At the time I had suggested an overhead crane, but an overhead car shaker also makes sense, especially on the coal unloading track.


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