Discontinuance of Frisco 101-102

Discussion in 'Passenger Operations' started by arkrail, Dec 24, 2020.

  1. arkrail

    arkrail Member Frisco.org Supporter

    Frisco originally sought to discontinue 101-102 on December 31, 1966, but then for some currently unknown reason withdrew the ICC discontinuance application. Then, after RPO service was discontinued in October 1967, the Frisco immediately applied for discontinuance and received permission from the ICC without the formality of a 4-month delay for hearings.

    The attached PDF file details some of these maneuvers. Does anyone know why Frisco withdrew their original application in 1966? Was there stronger than anticipated protest from some entity? Surely the attorneys filing would have known financial numbers before going through the ICC process.

    Bill Pollard
     

    Attached Files:

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  2. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Frisco.org Supporter

    Will look in the annual report for anything further
     
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  3. gstout

    gstout Member Frisco.org Supporter

    According to an article in the December 1984 issue of Passenger Train Journal, the company originally petitioned to discontinue both of its remaining passenger services in November 1966, but then withdrew the petition for the Southland in December. Perhaps owing to the absence of an Interstate highway connection between Kansas City and Memphis-Birmingham, the railroad gave it one more try, expanding the advertising budget from three cities to seven and promoting the upgrade to an "all-streamlined" consist with "food service." Perhaps there was a whiff of corporate sentiment in its decision to try to hang on just a little longer. We may never know about that. But in any event, the effort did not succeed.

    GS
     
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  4. arkrail

    arkrail Member Frisco.org Supporter

    Thanks for the reminder about the November & December 1984 PTJ Frisco coverage. I wish that I had scanned those articles before I put the magazines in "deep" storage, LOL.

    Your assessment of perhaps some corporate sentiment for the passenger train is considerably more charitable than mine. I would be more suspicious that the Frisco had perhaps not complied with all the terms negotiated with the ICC when 101-102 were created in September 1965, and thought that they would face an automatic denial. The food service was nothing new, that had been present from the time the train was started, and the "streamlined" equipment was likewise no different other than calling attention to it; the HW coaches were rarely seen except on extra movements after September 1965. If there was additional passenger marketing in 1967, that is noteworthy and somewhat curious, but probably more just to be able to prove that all efforts had been made when the discontinuance petition was finally filed. MoPac did similar advertising to circumvent the complaint of no advertising.

    Trains 1-2 already had a more anemic head-end revenue stream, as I recall, because there was no RPO service on that line after September 1965. On 101-102. the Birmingham & Memphis RPO lasted until August 19, 1967, and the KC & Memphis RPO lasted until October 18, 1967. The latter was a more robust RPO operation, utilizing cars with 60-foot RPO compartments versus the 30-foot allocation for the line south of Memphis. Perhaps it was determined to be a safer bet, in terms of financial drain, to wait until the RPOs were actually gone before going before the ICC with these trains, but again, sharp attorneys would seemingly have made that assessment well before the initial November 1966 filing.

    Bill Pollard
     
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  5. gstout

    gstout Member Frisco.org Supporter

    ...with malice toward none, with charity toward all.

    GS
     
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  6. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Frisco.org Supporter

    The 1966 Annual Report notes the Frisco’s attempt to discontinue The Southland and the Oklahoman, but makes no reference to withdrawal of the train-off petition for The Southland.

    Local press releases state that the Frisco dropped the petition to “conduct further studies”. That is clearly a cover story and not the true purpose of the hesitation on the Frisco’s part.

    I am building a time line, 1965-1967, and the Frisco clearly had its ducks in a row for discontinuance of all passenger service. Political and union opposition was very strong at the time. Hope to finish the timeline after I get back home.

    I do remember the Frisco advertising on WHB in Kansas City. There was also talk of the Frisco acquiring a pair of Wabash domes for 101/102. I also have read that The Southland came close to breaking even for a brief period.
     
  7. arkrail

    arkrail Member Frisco.org Supporter

    How serious was the talk about acquiring a pair of Wabash domes for 101-102? That would have added quite a bit of interest for the railfan travelers, but I wonder whether it would have been of much benefit, other than for the PR value, in terms of attracting regular riders.
     

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